Common misconceptions about what hiring managers look for stunt our potential. We believe the likelihood of getting hired amounts to the cold, hard facts on our resumes or jumping through some silly hoops and we miss great opportunities to build truly useful skills and mindsets that will make us better, happier, and more in-demand.
What Hiring Managers Look For?
Following are six important factors that they look for when evaluating potential candidates, along with some tips to make your candidacy more compelling:
#1 Your Expectations from the Job
Yes, your expectations matter. Hiring managers want to know you will be content in your job because you’ll be more likely to stay for the long haul and, even more importantly, you’ll be motivated to do your best.
You can address this by:
- Reviewing the job description carefully and not stray too far from it.
- Asking relevant questions to show your interest in the position.
#2 Your Interest Level
This is similar to the first point. If you have researched the company, you are more likely to have a genuine interest. It just makes you look like you dedicated real time and effort to your job search rather than throwing some cookie-cutter resumes out to every company that’s hiring.
You can show that you’ve done your research by:
- Using key concepts and words from the job posting, website, and other materials in your resume and job interview.
- Trying not to be a parrot. Incorporate the ideas and words into your answers without direct or excessive copying.
#3 Your Personality
Corporate culture matters. A business with strict rules will want to hire employees that find it easy to follow not only rules in general, but the particular expectations of the business. A business with a relaxed and easygoing atmosphere will naturally choose employees that work best with room to roam.
You can find your job match by:
- Discovering and highlighting your unique assets.
- Asking questions about the manager’s expectations and the work environment.
#4 Your Motivation
Wanting to appear self-motivated while job hunting probably isn’t a new idea to you, but how important it is to illustrate it and how elegantly you can show it may be.
Dazzle hiring managers by:
- Setting goals for yourself and reaching them.
- Talking about setting and reaching goals in job interviews shows that this is part of your mindset.
#5 Your Trustworthiness
You want to make yourself look as good as possible on paper and during job interviews, but you need to do so honestly. For one, lying will increase your chances of appearing uncomfortable. If a hiring manager gets the suspicion that you are misrepresenting yourself, they may wonder what you are trying to hide. Where there’s no trust, there’s no job.
Preen yourself without appearing insincere by:
- Finding positive ways to express the truth (instead of saying I quit because I didn’t like the manager, say you were looking for a job with a different culture).
- Using that goal-setting mentioned above to boost your resume in a legitimate way.
- Applying to jobs that fit your personality rather than trying to force yourself to fit into an inappropriate mold.
#6 How Practical You Are
Problem-solving is a very attractive trait, particularly to hiring managers. It obviously makes you look like an achiever who can… overcome problems…, but it also makes you appear positive and resilient.
Demonstrate and foster an ability to overcome obstacles by:
- Describing setbacks as opportunities.
- Using downtime caused by setbacks to develop skills.
You may notice that all of these ideas relate to one another. If you set goals for yourself, you will hit on several of these tips at once. If you explore your interests and dreams, a little at a time through individual courses or charitable experience, you will build skills that help you become more confident, find a job you will genuinely like, and accumulate credentials for your resume. The bottom line: be better to yourself and be truer to yourself, and you’ll be one of those star employees that hiring managers look for.