Feeling lost in your job search? Here are 20 things that hiring managers wish that you knew.
There's no denying that looking for a new job is tough. In fact, job hunting is one of the most stressful things that you can do. There is so much information available on how to to it better, it can be a challenge to take all of the information and filter out the bits of advice that are going to work best for your particular situation.
Recently, US News published some things that hiring managers wish you knew, and I thought that many of them were really valuable for any job seeker to here. So, here are the top 10.
- We want you to be honest – Even though your goal is to get the job, saying whatever you think will get you hired is a bad way to go about it. Both hiring managers and job seekers are looking to find the best match between the candidate and the job. Lying about your skills, interests and abilities will only serve to make you look bad and give you a job that isn't right for you. When you aren't able to perform a job well, you will be unhappy, and so will the employer. Odds are high that you will find yourself right back in the job market quickly.
- We pay attention to the small stuff – Your voice mail greeting, spelling errors in follow up emails and even how long it takes you to return phone calls are all things that hiring managers are paying attention to. Don't think that unless it is an “official communication”, it isn't important.
- We want you to ask questions – Asking questions during an interview means that you have done some research about the job. It shows that you care, that you have given it some thought and that you are taking the process seriously. If you don't have any questions, you risk not engaging the interviewer and making it seem as though you really aren't interested in the job.
- We'd like a thank you note – Thank you notes have fallen out of favor recently, but hiring managers still appreciate being thanked for taking time out of their day to consider your candidacy. It is sort of like the Academy Awards, just being nominated is flattering. Being selected from a pool of applicants to interview for a position is an honor, and you should be thankful for the opportunity to compete. A handwritten note is best, but make sure you send it out right after the interview. Emailing a thank you note is faster, and it is also acceptable.
- We're hoping for some enthusiasm – When you are feeling desperate about a job, it's easy to forget to be enthusiastic. In an attempt to not appear desperate, sometimes we forget to be excited about a possible opening. Just be careful not to call to follow up more than once a week, and if the hiring manager asks you to stop calling, respect that.
- You should address being overqualified in your cover letter – If you are changing fields or applying for a job you are overqualified for, address it in the cover letter. If you don't, odds are high that the hiring manager will just toss your application. In your cover letter, explain why you are willing to take a step or two down and why you would be happy in the position.
- Your resume objective usually hurts you – There are very few times that having a resume objective helps your cause, so it's best to go ahead and get rid of it entirely. Use this space to promote the highlights of your candidacy.
- A phone interview is not a casual chat – If you are asked for a phone interview, don't regard this a casual chat. This isn't the time for eating, correcting your children or putting the interviewer on hold while you check call waiting. Be sure to be your most professional self during the phone call.
- Don't count on a job offer – No matter how well you think the interview went and how much you think that you are a perfect fit for the job, don't let up on your job search. If the job offer doesn't come, you will have lost some valuable momentum.
- We may check references beyond your list – Just because you listed three references on your resume doesn't mean that the hiring manager won't contact other people who have worked with you. Reference-checkers can call anyone that might know you. This is a great reason why it's never a good idea to burn bridges.
Stay tuned for the next installment, 10 More Things That Hiring Managers Wish You Knew.
What did you think about this list? Are there other things you think should be included? Let me know in the comments.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for ManhattanJobsBlog. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.