In hiring process, actions really do speak louder than words

If a company tells you that they brew the best beer in the world, but have minimal sales and no awards to show for their efforts, how believable is their claim of having an outstanding product? We can all say whatever we wish about our abilities and achievements, but as the saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.”

And thus is the challenge for today’s job seekers…making believers out of skeptical hiring managers. This is actually not that difficult to accomplish, but it does take a significant investment of a candidate’s time, which is something that the vast majority of job seekers are still not willing to do. This means that those candidates who do elect to put in the time and effort necessary to develop a truly “killer” resume and memorable interview discussions, can very quickly distance themselves from a large percentage of those competing for the same job opening.

Here are some tips that should help your actions (accomplishments) speak for themselves:

  • Talking what you DID makes your resume sound like a job description. The hiring manager wants to read about what you ACCOMPLISHED in each of the roles you held while at previous employers. Talk about how you applied each of the required skills being sought by the hiring manager (your actions) and how doing so produced outcomes that were considered (by supervisors, senior management, clients, co-workers or industry averages) to be exceptional.
  • Quantify with metrics (dollars and percentages) each of your accomplishments, and be certain to relate why that level of success was considered to be outstanding. In other words, provide the hiring manager with some benchmarking that proves the results of your actions were exceptional. For example, don’t just state that you “increased sales.” OK, maybe you did…but the hiring manager needs to know by how much and then see that level of production compared to peers in your company and/or a similar industry. If you really are as outstanding a salesperson as you claim, comparing your accomplishments in this manner will clearly support such a statement.
  • Understand that the interview process actually begins with the reception of your resume. Does the document reflect the skills and competencies required as noted in the position description? What type of image did you project during the phone screening (confident delivery of your answers, reflecting thorough research on the company, or taking the call at your house with children yelling and dogs barking in the background)? Did you dress appropriately for the interview? Show up on time? Did you check out the interviewer’s profile on LinkedIn? (I know of many hiring managers who will check to see who has looked at their LinkedIn profile…they are often looking to see which candidates made the effort to learn about them prior to the first interview.)

Remember that everything you do, say or write, and all that is written or said about you is considered as part of the job selection process. What are your “actions” telling the hiring manager about you?

Michael Perry

Szarka's Director of Financial Education

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.16.2012