For job seekers who are new to the process, or even for some who aren’t, common practices of job hunting may be a little perplexing or hard to wrap your head around. Searching for a job can be a lengthy, time consuming, and cumbersome feat. With all of the different elements from cover letters and thank you notes, to choice of wardrobe and how to answer interview questions, you might feel like you are jumping through hoop after hoop with no real direction. What are Recruiters looking for? How do Hiring Managers make selections? How do you showcase your talents in an interview? These can all be mystifying concepts. It helps to understand these practices from from the other side of the desk. The following are three key areas in the decision making process and how they are viewed from a Hiring Manager’s standpoint.
Making a good impression: You must start right when you walk through the door.
Waiting until you are being interviewed is much too late to think about how you should present yourself. Some employers start assessing your fit for a job from the moment you walk through the door. Why is your appearance and your communication such a big deal whether you are speaking to a manager or a receptionist?
Professionalism. Every business has it, and it should be respected.
Job seekers need to know that the way they conduct themselves in their “natural” state is a sneak peak of their level of professionalism. Anyone would see a red flag if an applicant was rude to office staff but charming to a Recruiter. Some hiring managers may seek the advice of office staff on your level of professionalism when in the office. Your interpersonal communication and overall conduct when dealing with non-decision making personnel will all be valuable insights for employers. Be mindful of your language whenever at a place of employment as a job seeker, limit your personal phone calls, and if you’re waiting around refrain from entertaining yourself with audible videos. Remember that making a good impression starts long before the interview happens. Start early with the first person you meet and treat everyone you meet with respect.
When it comes to dress, assuming that you don’t have to put your best foot forward until your interview creates a problem as well. Don’t wait until an interview to put together a well thought out outfit. Though you may not need to fill out an application in a suit and tie, you should not do any job seeking activities wearing anything you would not wear to an interview. Why is this so important? It shows that you are mindful of your appearance and respectful of the business environment.
Applications and Resumes: They’re not the “the same thing.”
Applications and resumes contain a lot of the same information, but serve two different purposes.
The information you provide on your application could make or break your next shot at a job opportunity. The easiest way to get yourself filtered out of the process is to complete your application with little to no attention to detail. With so many people trying to land one job, the application is the first step to separating the candidates who may be a good fit from those who are not.
Applications are often viewed as lengthy and tedious. They end up not getting the attention they deserve especially by those who think a resume defeats its purpose.
“Why do I have to fill this out when I am submitting a resume? Isn’t that redundant?” applicants often ask.
It might seem like it, but there is a difference. Submitting an application is the act of providing an employer with information about you professionally with the hope of obtaining a job. It is the first place an employer will go to gather information needed to make a decision. Your resume on the other hand is more of a showcase of your experience and accomplishments “at-a-glance.” Sufficient time and energy should be allotted to completing an accurate application. Even if your resume highlights a lot of the same information, no answer should go overlooked or filled in haphazardly.
Interviews: Questions are not about “right and wrong” answers.
It’s not a final exam or an audition. Interviews are a conversation employers use to assess what you have to offer them as a professional. From detailed explanations of your previous experience and insights into your work values, to your communication style and overall professionalism, interviews are a way for an employer to learn about you beyond your application and resume.
The key to doing well in an interview is take your focus off of getting the “right answer” and opening your mind more to who you really are as a professional. If you have made it this far, in an interview you only have a few minutes to portray your potential value to an employer. To do that, you have to know what you have that is of value and be able to speak about it on a moment’s notice. You have to know what your strengths are and how to highlight them. Learn to communicate why you’re confident in yourself with quickness.
How do you prepare? Make some time to get to know who you are in the workplace. What do you do well and why? What challenges have you overcome and learned from? What do you offer that stands out against others you work with? If you have to, ask others what they think! No matter what the question is, if you know what you are working with as a professional you will be well prepared to answer any question from “Why should I hire you above anyone else we are interviewing?” to “What are three of your strengths?” Know who you are and any question can become a chance to showcase what you have to offer.
Lastly, remember that employers are looking for how well you “fit” the position. That means you have to research the job and the company to demonstrate how you fit their needs (but don’t oversell yourself!). At the same time, it is just as important to assess the company and position’s “fit” for YOUR professional needs. Is there room for growth? Will the schedule allow time for your family? Do you believe in the company’s core values and can you stand by them? Use this opportunity to ask questions about the job and make sure it’s a good fit for you. Overall, if you find yourself trying to piece together a version of your professional self just to fit the position, or if the company and position do not seem to match up to you, this may not be the right opportunity for you. Have confidence in what you have to offer, stick with it, and the right opportunity will lead to the right job for you!
Find the opportunity that’s right for you with GuamTemps. As a staffing firm that provides candidates for hundreds of local employers on Guam, we can give you access to unlisted opportunities for various industries. Learn more about our job-seeker services and apply today.