In our last candidate feature, we offered tips on how to hack your job search to “beat the ‘bots,” aka the Applicant Tracking System and its inherent keyword ranking. In this installment, we examine ways to inject some personalization into your job search.
Consider Your Target:
To be successful during a selection process, it helps to think like the hiring manager. Imagine the drain of reviewing hundreds of applicants who all utilize the same buzzwords of your trade. How can you set yourself apart? What does this particular company need and value most? What aspect of your candidacy will resonate with them, intrigue them?
Hiring managers like to be successful. Many fear making a bad hire. You need to break through the apparatus of the application process to come alive for them. Here are ways that can help:
At the Resume Level: Be 3-Dimensional
- Don’t be afraid to share unique aspects of your interests. Talk about self-study projects, hobbies and tech experiments at home. By sharing “Other Interests,” your resume better describes all aspects of your personality and helps you stand out.
Network Among Peers
- Attend and/or volunteer at industry and association events to get the inside track on hot trends, topics, and what’s going on at peer companies. It will help you stay confident at a future job interview. The connections you make at industry events can help you in two ways in your job search: 1. You’ll have inside contacts and 2. You’ll have information about the corporate culture.
Find A Mentor
- Working with a mentor in your area of specialty is invaluable. In addition to helping grow your knowledge base, your mentor can provide an excellent recommendation to prospective employers.
Use Social Media
- Keep your Linked-In profile up-to-date with your most current skills, projects and accomplishments. Leverage your social media profile by posting and sharing interesting industry-related articles, and follow or connect with as many people in the industry as possible. Your LinkedIn profile helps connect your skill set with your human side, so be certain to distinguish yourself.
Use a Specialist Recruiter
- Specialty Recruiters have insight into the corporate culture at the companies you’d be applying to. They will understand how to best present your experience and skills to entice a hiring manager. They can offer objective guidance in your job search, and if all goes well, your next interview!
Personalize Your Interview
A valuable thing to remember in a job interview is that you’ve already been screened for qualification. The interview establishes whether there is a “fit”. You’re auditioning for the role of co-worker. How you communicate is as important as the content of that communication, and your soft skills are as important as your technical skills.
Research the profiles of your interviewers and look for areas of commonality. Educate yourself on the company’s goals, current projects, and pain points. Compile a list of thoughtful questions.
As the interview proceeds, if you really listen to the other person, and listen to find hints of what the person is interested in and excited about, you will quickly discover how to connect in an authentic way. Listen more than you speak, but connect by collaborating, not just selling your traits. If you can establish a rapport with your interviewer and create an affinity, that new job may be yours!
Are you ready to personalize your job search? Contact Phoenix Partners for help.