By Ron Jumper
You’ve heard it said, “When you know, you know.”
While this phrase typically isn’t used in the context of hiring, employers trust their instincts on hiring decisions just as they do when they make other business or even personal decisions.
It goes without saying that having the right skills or experience on your resume is critical to getting the interview and potentially the job, but if you successfully convey to the employer that you are the right person to take a chance on then the opportunity is yours for the taking.
Over the years, any time that I interviewed a candidate that did these things, I knew I had just the right person for the job:
1 – Have a Concise Resume
Consolidate your resume down to one page, don’t have 3 or 4 pages of non-essential information. If you’ve worked in different industries or fields, create different resumes for the different types of jobs you are applying for.
Perhaps in between full time or higher paying jobs, you took lower wage or entry level work just to keep bills paid. While you did what you had to, that doesn’t mean it needs to clutter up your resume and take the focus off your relevant work experience.
2 – Show Up 15 Minutes Early
Don’t be too early but always be there before the scheduled time. Coming in 30 minutes or more before is actually an inconvenience to the employer and could disrupt their schedule. However, showing up at the last minute doesn’t send the message you are interested in the position.
Also, take into account that there could be traffic or you could have trouble finding the interview location. It wouldn’t hurt to take a trial run the day before to make sure you know where it is or what travel time is realistic.
3 – Convey That You Are A Team Player
Typically, companies have a certain culture and specific systems in place, it is important that you express that you want to embrace that culture and learn those systems. The company is bigger than one person and, while employers are looking for talent, they need to be able to trust you to follow protocol.
4 – Be Prepared To Ask Questions
Typically, at some point during the interview, the employer asks if you have any questions. I can’t emphasize enough what an opportunity it is to showcase your organizational skills and also your sincere interest in the position by having a list of questions ready.
On the other side, it also says the exact opposite if you have no questions prepared and have a “deer in headlights” look when this question is asked. You need to visit the company’s website, research what they do, and what the position entails.
5 – Send a “Thank You” Card & Follow Up
After the interview, send a hand written “Thank You” card expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and for taking the time to interview you. You should also send a follow up email the following week after the interview.
When pursuing a job, it never pays to “play it cool” and just sit back. If you want it, you have to take it and this simple step leaves a great last impression. It also will set you apart, it is disheartening how few job candidates will follow this step.
If you follow these 5 steps, you will create a clear separation between the other candidates and yourself. The employer won’t just look at your experience and qualifications, they’ll trust their instincts that you are the right person to hire for their organization.