What Traits Are Hiring Managers Looking for?

When hiring managers search for the perfect candidate to fill a position, they look for a particular set of traits in their ideal candidate. These traits are what will set you apart from your competition and increase your chances of landing the job. Find out what they are in the list below:

  1. You met the minimum job criteria
  2. You have relevant experience
  3. You understand and support the mission of the organization
  4. You can site specific examples demonstrating your ability to do the job
  5. You demonstrate competent communication skills and are able to connect with your audience
  6. You interview well and confidently, and have strong responses to interview questions
  7. You build rapport in the interview including showing resourcefulness, intellect, and passion
  8. You ask questions to demonstrate interest in the organization (and to indicate that you did your homework on the company)
  9. You offer enthusiastic references
  10. You have potential for growth and development

At the end of the day, the real deciding factor boils down to one important quality: They like you. How you personally connect with the receptionist, hiring manager, and anyone else you meet during your interview is incredibly important. A less-qualified person might get the job over someone more qualified simply because they had better chemistry with the hiring manager. So it’s important to remember that being likeable is just one more trait hiring managers look for when interviewing candidates!

 

Source: http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2014/07/24/what-top-trait-beats-your-job-search-competition/

 

Last Minute Interview Checklist

You’re about to head out to an interview for your dream job and your mind is running a mile a minute. Before you step out the door, take a moment to go over this short checklist to make sure you are fully prepared.

 

  • Read over your resume again. Check for any small grammatical or spelling errors you might have missed the first time around.
  • Check yourself out in the mirror. Make sure your tie is straight, your shirt is tucked in, and there isn’t a hair out of place.
  • Make sure you have everything your interviewer asked you to bring. This could include the proper amount of resume copies, proper identification, a list of references, or a sample of your work.
  • Don’t bring anything you don’t need in the interview. Don’t bring food or drinks into your interview and avoid eating right before going in. You don’t want to spill anything on your suit or get something stuck in your teeth.
  • Look over the job description one last time. Also, it would be good to check out the company’s “About Us” section on their website. Make sure to completely familiarize yourself with the job and the company before your interview. You want to be fully informed so you can both ask thoughtful questions and answer questions thoughtfully.
  • Check the time again. While you don’t want to be late for your interview, you also don’t want to be too early. Showing up too early is just as rude as being late. Try not to arrive more than 10 minutes early for your interview, but leave some wiggle room in your schedule to allow for any traffic or public transportation issues that may arise. If you end up arriving to the building earlier than you would like, find somewhere cool to take a seat and look over your resume again before going in.
  • Right before you walk out the door, take one last look in the mirror and repeat a positive affirmation. Make eye contact with yourself and repeat a phrase like “I will get this job.” Affirmations are a great way to build confidence, and interviewers will be more inclined to hire a confident candidate than a nervous one.

 

Check off every item on this list, then take a deep breath and get going!

Creating the Perfect Cover Letter

Cover letters serve as an introduction to your resume. While a great cover letter can help you make a good first impression on an employer, a bad cover letter could result in an employer discarding your resume without reading further. Follow the tips below while writing your cover letters and you will be sure to impress every hiring manager you send them to.

  • Be creative:
    • Recruiters and hiring managers spend all day going over cover letters, so it’s incredibly important that yours stands out. Most job seekers follow the same basic cover letter format, so anything you do differently will make yours unique.
    • Try to grab your reader’s attention in the first few sentences of your cover letter. Avoid using the basic introduction stating how perfect you are for a particular position. If you can’t grab the reader’s attention immediately, they probably will not continue reading the cover letter.
  • Be brief:
    • Job seekers commonly mistake cover letters as opportunities to present their entire professional background. While you want to mention the highlights of your career and skills, you do not need to mention every position you have had in the past ten years.
    • It’s also important to use your cover letter as an opportunity to mention any skills or past responsibilities you have had that qualify you for the position you are applying for. If a hiring manager sees specific skills they are looking for mentioned in your cover letter, they will be more inclined to view your resume.
  • Be personal:
    • While you want to keep your cover letter professional, it is also important to give it a personal tone. Speak conversationally without being too informal, and avoid being overly formal.
    • Mention something about yourself that makes you stand out as a stellar candidate. Cover letters provide an opportunity to mention any past experience or skill you have that may not fit on a resume, but helps qualify you for a particular position.

 

Cover letters not only give employers insight into your background, they also serve as a representation of your writing and communication skills. After completing your cover letter, be sure to edit it for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Also, we suggest you have someone else read through it to check for readability and any mistakes you may have missed. Simply follow this advice and your cover letter will be sure to impress any hiring manager!

Choosing Quality References

You had a successful interview and you have a job offer pending, but in order to complete the process your new employer wants to check your references. If you have questions about how to choose the right references to lock in that offer, look no further! We’ve answered some basic questions to help you provide the best references possible.

  1. Who makes a great reference?
    • An ideal reference would be a former supervisor – not a family member or coworker.
    • Even if you worked for a family member, employers do not consider them to be good references. A family member will most likely be biased and provide a good reference for you no matter what.
    • Coworkers also make bad references, because as far as the employer knows, any coworker could be your best friend. In that case, they will also be biased and inclined to provide a good reference for you.
    • A former supervisor is most likely to be honest in their answers when providing a reference, and they are most knowledgeable of your work ethic and quality of work. They also know how you follow instructions and take initiative better than anyone else.
    • If you can’t use a direct supervisor as a reference, the next best person would be a coworker who was in a superior position to you.
  2. What information do I need to provide for my reference contacts?
    • After choosing your references, it’s important to make sure you have their full contact information.
    • Make sure to provide your references’ first and last name, phone number, email address and business address. Also, include their professional title and the name of their company. If a reference you worked with in the past is no longer with the same company, it helps to include both their current and former titles and companies.
  3. Do I need to call my references before using them?
    • Be sure to get approval from your references before giving them to your potential new employer. That way, you are sure their contact information is correct and they know to expect a phone call from your new company.
    • Also, it’s good to reconnect with a former supervisor before they receive a call asking for a reference. If it’s been a while since you were last in touch, they will have a fresh, positive memory of you.
    • Some corporations do not allow their employees to give references and will only allow employment verifications through Human Resources. If you call a former boss ahead of time, you will know whether or not they are even allowed to provide a reference.

Employers strongly rely on references to verify a potential employee’s background and work ethic, so it’s important that you provide them with references that will impress them. Follow the advice we’ve provided and you’ll be

The Do’s & Don’ts of Requesting Time Off

DO:

  • Give your employer plenty of notice before taking time off.
  • Try to plan your vacations, trips, etc. around your supervisor’s and coworkers’ schedules to avoid taking time off at the same time as the rest of the office.
  • Put your time off request in writing – a verbal request could easily be forgotten.
  • Try to schedule any doctor’s appointments, etc. during your lunch break, so that you don’t need to miss work.
  • Save your sick days for when you are actually sick – you never know when/if you will need them.

DON’T:

  • Request a lot of time off after just starting a new position.
  • Request time off at the last minute – for example, you shouldn’t wait until Friday to ask for that Monday off.
  • Assume you are guaranteed time off around holidays – always be sure to ask your employer about the holiday schedule and request time off if needed.
  • Use all of your paid time off at once – try to avoid missing a large amount of work at one time by spreading out your time off throughout the year.

Selling Yourself

It is a well-known fact that people are usually quick to judge. Unfortunately, this does not exclude hiring managers and potential employers. It is important to make a great first impression, whether on the phone or in person. This includes what you say, what you wear, and how you present yourself overall. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider:

  • Look good: Personal appearance plays a key role in making a great first impression on a potential employer.
    • Always dress appropriately for interviews – this means business professional unless your interviewer has instructed you otherwise.
    • Keep it simple – don’t wear a ton of jewelry or anything else that could distract your interviewer from what you’re saying.
    • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne – your interviewer may be allergic.
    • Groom properly – perfection is in the details! Be sure to brush your teeth or pop a mint prior to an interview, and keep your fingernails neat, clean and trim.
  • Sound good: Having a summary of your background prepared is a great way to impress hiring managers both in an interview and on the phone.
    • Your interviewer will most likely have a copy of your resume in front of him or her, so they don’t need you to go over every position and responsibility in detail.
    • A great interview trick is the “60 Second Sell” (created by best-selling author Robin Ryan). Memorize a summary of your background and qualifications that you can present (in under 60 seconds) to a potential employer. Things to include would be your education, your skills, and any specific qualifications you have that make you a great fit for the position.
    • When hiring manager’s say “Tell me about yourself,” they don’t want you to ramble on for 15 minutes. With the” 60 Second Sell”, you will be able to highlight your best qualities and sell yourself in only a minute!
  • Feel good: Smile, even if you don’t feel like it!
    • Show potential employers that you are confident YOU would be the best choice for the position.
    • Even if you’re feeling nervous, it is important to walk into an interview with your head held high. Feigning confidence can even help you feel more confident, and you’ll forget you were ever nervous in the first place!
    • On the other hand, don’t be overconfident! No one wants to hire a big ego.

 

Remember: first impressions are lasting, especially in a slow job market! Employers can afford to be picky, so it is important you present them with the best version of you!

How to Tell Your Boss You’re Leaving

Whether you are working in a permanent or temporary position, quitting your job is a complicated procedure. The key to a successful career is networking with peers and coworkers, so you don’t want to burn bridges when leaving a position.

Guidelines to follow:

Give Proper Notice

    • When telling your supervisor that you are quitting, you want to give them as much notice as possible in order to give them time to fill your position.
    • Announcing to your boss that you are quitting and today is going to be your last day leaves them with the same amount of work, but less people around to help.
    • Your employer was kind enough to give you a chance and a job in the first place, so the least you can do is give them a couple weeks to find your replacement.
    • Two weeks notice is the acceptable amount of time recommended to most professionals. If you are in a temporary position however, one week should be fine.
  • Quit in Person
    • You wouldn’t break up with a person through an email, and it is just as rude to quit your job through one.
    • Arrange a time to sit face-to-face with your boss to tell them you will be ending your position.
    • Your boss will be much more appreciative if you give them the respect of quitting in person, where you can look them in the eye and explain your situation thoroughly.
  • Don’t Burn Bridges
    • As we mentioned previously, you do not want to lose the connections you made at your position when you quit.
    • Be as respectful and appreciative as possible when quitting, because without your current employer and the experience you gained from them, you might not have been qualified for a new job in the first place.
    • Even if you didn’t use your current employer as a reference for your new position, you might need to use them in the future.
    • Make sure you leave your job on good terms, so you can use them as a reference if you ever need to. Also, you want to make sure that the reference they provide will be a good one!

 

 

8 Ways to Fast-Track Your Job Search

If you feel like your job search has been dragging, we’ve provided eight easy ways to speed things up and improve your chances of landing that ever-elusive job offer!

 

  1. Focus on applying to particular job opportunities or companies
    • Rather than blindly sending your resume to every job posting you see, focus on applying to specific opportunities and/or companies.
  2. Only apply to relevant opportunities
    • Don’t waste time applying to jobs you don’t really want or aren’t fully qualified for. That is time you could spend perfecting your applications for more suitable opportunities.
  3. Conduct in-depth research on potential employers
    • Before going to an interview, make sure to thoroughly research the company’s history, mission statement, culture, and more to ensure you are fully informed.
  4. Present yourself well
    • This includes sending out a well-proofed resume, dressing professionally for job interviews, and maintaining a professional reputation online.
  5. Network, network, network
    • Building a strong professional network takes a lot of time and effort, but networking is a great resource for job seekers who are having trouble finding work on their own.
  6. Demonstrate genuine interest
    • You should demonstrate your interest in a potential position in every interaction you have with the hiring manager or recruiter.
  7. Don’t forget to follow up
    • Always follow up after a job interview or after sending a job application for a position you’re passionate about. This is another great way of showing your interest in the opportunity.
  8. Maintain a positive attitude
    • Keeping a positive attitude is critically important for a successful job search. Don’t lose hope of finding your dream job, no matter how bleak things may seem.

8 Ways to Fast-Track Your Job Search

If you feel like your job search has been dragging, we’ve provided eight easy ways to speed things up and improve your chances of landing that ever-elusive job offer!

  1. Focus on applying to particular job opportunities or companies
    • Rather than blindly sending your resume to every job posting you see, focus on applying to specific opportunities and/or companies.
  2. Only apply to relevant opportunities
    • Don’t waste time applying to jobs you don’t really want or aren’t fully qualified for. That is time you could spend perfecting your applications for more suitable opportunities.
  3. Conduct in-depth research on potential employers
    • Before going to an interview, make sure to thoroughly research the company’s history, mission statement, culture, and more to ensure you are fully informed.
  4. Present yourself well
    • This includes sending out a well-proofed resume, dressing professionally for job interviews, and maintaining a professional reputation online.
  5. Network, network, network
    • Building a strong professional network takes a lot of time and effort, but networking is a great resource for job seekers who are having trouble finding work on their own.
  6. Demonstrate genuine interest
    • You should demonstrate your interest in a potential position in every interaction you have with the hiring manager or recruiter.
  7. Don’t forget to follow up
    • Always follow up after a job interview or after sending a job application for a position you’re passionate about. This is another great way of showing your interest in the opportunity.
  8. Maintain a positive attitude
    • Keeping a positive attitude is critically important for a successful job search. Don’t lose hope of finding your dream job, no matter how bleak things may seem.

Being Punctual

Punctuality is a critical quality for any professional to have. While this may seem obvious, a lot of professionals struggle with being on time in this busy modern world. Even unemployed job seekers need to be aware of time frames and deadlines when interviewing for and applying to jobs. For now, we will focus on the importance of being on time for a job interview and provide some rules to help make sure you are always punctual in the future.

Rule #1: Don’t be late.

  • If you realize ahead of time that you are running late for an interview, call your interviewer immediately and let them know your situation. Be sure to apologize for the inconvenience.
  • In a tough job market, hiring managers have their pick when it comes to capable candidates. Even showing up five minutes late for a job interview could disqualify you for a position.
  • If a hiring manager can’t trust you to show up on time for an interview, they have no reason to trust that you will be on time for work or meet project deadlines.

Rule #2: Being too early is the same as being late.

  • Do not show up more than fifteen minutes early for a job interview unless you were otherwise instructed.
  • Showing up too early for an interview can make you appear desperate to hiring managers. Think of a job interview as a first date, you wouldn’t want your date to think you were overeager or desperate either.
  • The same as if you were late for an interview, a hiring manager will attribute you showing up a half hour early to your bad time management skills.

Rule #3: Know where you’re going ahead of time.

  • If you have time and are unfamiliar with the area, visit the company’s office prior to your interview so that you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.
  • If you don’t have time to physically scope out your route, use the Internet to plan it in advance.
  • If you are driving to your interview, make sure you know where you are going to park. You don’t want to be late because it took twenty minutes to find a parking space.

Rule #4: Show up early, but don’t go in.

  • The best advice we can give you is to intentionally allow yourself extra time to get to your interview. This will give you some wiggle room in case you run into unforeseen trouble such as traffic or delays on public transportation.
  • Even if you don’t hit any delays and end up outside of the office twenty minutes early, don’t go in! Find somewhere nearby you can kill time prior to your interview such as a coffee shop or deli. Use the extra time to review your notes one last time.