Kevin Brown, PHR, SHRM-CP, Senior Human Resources Manager for Hassett Express
As the local economy continues to build momentum, employers are ramping up their recruitment efforts and looking for top talent to fill roles within their organizations. This is when friends and colleagues will reach out and ask “What do I need to do to get a job”?
My advice is simple: “Be Prepared and Be Yourself”. Here are some things job applicants can do as they go through a job search.
Before the initial interview, review the company’s website and learn as much as you can. This includes taking down notes and having questions ready for the person conducting the interview. There is nothing worse than an applicant not knowing anything about the company he/she is interviewing with or not having any questions for the potential employer.
Next, make sure your resume is up-to-date, spell-checked and concise. I always tell friends and colleagues to ensure they can answer any question as it pertains to information on their resume. For the hiring company, it’s a bad sign when a question is asked about an item on the resume and the candidate cannot answer the question. It’s a signal that the candidate has placed information on the resume that may not be accurate.
Another area job applicants should keep in mind is to be patient. Employers are going through several resumes, conducting many interviews for a position and sometimes, the process may take a week or two. While it’s great to see that candidates are interested in a specific role, please don’t call the company every day or several times per week. A good company will follow-up with you and if they don’t, then maybe that company is not worth pursuing.
I’m often asked about proper dress attire. My initial response is always “Business Professional”. However, applicants may be told in advance to dress “Business Casual”. At that point, it’s up to the applicant whether or not they should go “Business Casual”. But, to really make an impression, I would highly recommend dressing “Business Professional”. You can never go wrong.
Also, I believe in sending Thank You notes after the interviews. Many companies view these notes as “closure” with the interview. Specifically, I look for a Thank You note from the candidate to see if they are really interested in the job and if they believe they are qualified for the position. Applicants should reiterate how their skills can fit the job duties and how they can add value to the company. The Thank You notes should be concise and to the point.
Finally, Be Yourself! There’s nothing worse than an applicant answering questions that sound “canned” or “prepared”. The best interviews are “conversations” and the flow of information is casual. Companies want to see applicants for who they are, not what applicants think companies are looking for. During the interview process, the best applicants are relaxed and able to talk to companies in a casual, free-flowing manner.
Companies are looking for good talent. This includes applicants with a good attitude and want to learn. Don’t over-think the interview process. Just “Be Prepared” and “Be Yourself”. You’ll land that job you’re really looking for.