Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Gets a Person Hired? Pt I

I was recently asked by someone who follows my blog on FaceBook, “What gets a person hired?” It’s a good question and one I have heard often during my career as a recruiter / headhunter for the last 20 plus years. But there is no simple answer to a process that can be anything but simple and if there was, nobody would have an ounce of interest in blogs like this one and others. I wish there was a universal antidote because then we could instead be sitting on far off beaches with sand between our toes, sipping big drinks with chunks of fruit and little umbrellas hanging off the sides and laughing about things we used to stress over. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet solution; no secret handshakes or magical words that can ensure you’ll be chosen for a job you seek - there are just too many variables. 

When you are looking for a job, applying, interviewing, etc., you can’t dictate or force the outcome of a situation and trying to do so will almost always backfire. I can’t control the result of any particular event or process and I’ve been doing this for a long time. But I can suggest ways to get the most out of the time you have with a hiring official; you can also influence the only part of the equation that is under your full control, and that’s you. Empowering yourself and making a conscious effort to improve your interviewing abilities can be, well, powerful. When I consider job search and interview strategies I always first consider what is everyone else doing? Do you know what most everyone else is doing? They are looking at one another trying not to stray too far from the crowd and, in most cases they are just stumbling their way through the process. The biggest effort most people make is in constructing their resume and why? Because that is what everyone else thinks and says they should do. As I stated in the first paragraph, if everyone else had the answer everyone else would be getting hired, but there are usually more applicants than open positions, so that makes it into a competition between you and others. Your resume is such a small part I am always amazed at just how much effort people invest in a piece of paper, but fail to make nearly as much of an effort to develop their own abilities; you know, like what happens when it’s your turn to speak. Oh, wait a minute, you mean the resume doesn’t speak for you, but then why did you spend so much time…? 

(Part II will be posted on Monday) 

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