Welcome HR and hiring expert Laurie Ruettimann to the SnagAJob.com blog. She’ll be writing guest blog posts from an expert point of view that will make you smarter, better job seekers.
The hiring process seems like a scary game to most job seekers. In reality, companies just want to hire likable, easy-going people who work hard. Here are a few tips to help you understand what a manager wants to see from you.
- An error-free application and resume/profile. Everyone should have a resume, even if it's one page. Your first instinct is to look for spelling errors. That is important, but the best resumes are pleasing to the eye. Double-check the alignment, margins, and spacing on the document. Lay off the italics and the bold-faced font. (Extra benefit: A clean, updated resume is easy to copy & paste into a SnagAJob.com profile.)
- A straightforward progression of work. There is no need to list every single job on your resume unless it helps to tell your story. Work a temporary job as an overnight stocker in a retail store? Include the job if it demonstrates your work ethic. Provide day care for your cousin's kid while you were looking for work? Probably not relevant unless you want a job in that field.
- A good set of references. Managers want to talk to people who know you -- the real you--warts and all. Great candidates will provide three managerial references and two extra people who can add a little color commentary. Think about including a former co-worker or someone who reported to you. A variety of references will show that you have depth in your work history.
- Integrity. Your resume isn't an autobiography, but you cannot lie at any point. If you were fired from a previous job, be ready to talk about that experience in a humble yet positive light. Tell the manager the basic outline of the story. Then be prepared to talk about what you learned and how you would do things differently in the future. Humility goes a very long way in the interview process.
Remember to smile, laugh and take every opportunity to demonstrate your strong work ethic. Show that you are a decent person with good skills. The number one goal of a manager is to hire people who solve problems, not cause problems. Offer solutions and a positive attitude and the job will be yours.