Whenever you ask someone how to best present yourself in a job application or interview they will often respond with ideas such as “dress for the job you want” or “perfect your elevator speech.” While these are important aspects of the job hunt, there are additional parts of this process that you should be aware of. Based on personal experience and advice directly from hiring managers, here are a few points to keep in mind during your job search.
With the rise of social media, it is very easy to do a quick Google search to find out more about a candidate’s background — professional and personal. Make sure there is no inappropriate content associated with your profiles before inviting hiring teams to delve into your digital life. You need to establish and grow your personal brand as much as possible to accurately reflect who you are and why employers should be interested in you. Hiring managers do not want to see a candidate who frequently posts offensive or vulgar content. Always make sure to put your best foot forward — on and offline.
Remember to always be as polite as possible and practice the rules of good etiquette when you are at a potential employer’s office. This might sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people show up for in-person interviews and act cocky and disrespectful. While it is crucial to have confidence in yourself and your work, an inflated ego is a major deterrent for many employers.
Anyone you talk to at the company is a potential reference for you — good or bad. If you come into the office and are rude to the front desk, they will pass that information along to the hiring team. Also, people underestimate the importance of your behavior towards recruiters; but it is a recruiter’s job to be well connected. If you leave a negative impression, you will not only lose their interest, but you are also effectively burning bridges to all the people in that recruiter’s network.
When you find a job that looks like a good fit, try and track down someone on LinkedIn who you know from that company or someone who might be able to introduce you to a current team member. In doing so, you have the potential to receive an internal referral for the position as well as establish a rapport with the team.
Reaching out to current employees shows initiative and that you are willing to go the extra mile to get the job. That being said, do not email every single person from the company and do not email them too frequently. You want to maintain a healthy balance of correspondence, meaning that if you talked with someone on a Monday afternoon, don’t call them back Tuesday morning to see if there are any updates. Additionally, you don’t want to turn into a ‘stalker’ candidate. If you call the front desk, the hiring manager, and the recruiters every day about the same position, they probably won’t want to work with you in the future.
Passion and attitude can really sell hiring managers on a candidate. It is very evident when someone is truly excited about a position or the research a company is doing. If an interviewee comes in with a lukewarm attitude, that will be reflected in how the hiring team sees your potential at the company. At the end of the day, anyone can accomplish a task, but it takes a passionate person to become an integral part of a company.
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