If there is one thing organizations want to avoid, it’s hiring the wrong person.
If a new hire quits within three months, some say the cost for the company could be significantly more than that position’s annual salary. As a result, hiring managers have a very low degree of risk tolerance when it’s time to make a decision.
That’s why knowing the three things that a hiring manager is looking for will lower the perceived risk about your candidacy and help you slide right into that dream job.
1. Are you likeable?
This is the proverbial “fit” question—it comes down to first impressions and personality. It comes first because most hiring decisions are made here.
The hiring manager is going to ask herself whether or not she can work with you, eight hours a day, five days a week, without jumping off the top of the office building. It’s important to let your personality come through—professionally, of course!
2. Are you motivated?
Every applicant says the same thing, “I’d be great for this position, I’m really qualified, I love hamsters and would never get bored with selling hamster wheels, honest!” Your aim is to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and make it hard for the hiring manager to say “no.”
Your motivation will determine how successful you are at the company. Find ways to show this, even before you get to the interview. Hint: writing a blog about the industry—a blog you’ve kept alive and fresh for two years—won’t hurt!
3. Can you do the job?
Most job seekers harp on this point almost exclusively in interviews. That’s a mistake. Your résumé should provide enough information to determine whether you can actually do the work. That’s how you got your foot in the door, after all.
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If you’re invited to interview, it means you meet the minimum requirements to perform well on the job. It’s important to be qualified, but there will always be someone more experienced and more educated than you are. You need to go deeper in job applications or networking to show you’re a low-risk hire.
So what can you do about it?
With social media, you have an opportunity to answer all three of these questions long before you reach the interview. If you do your job search right, you should hear the hiring manager say at the first interview, “I feel like I already know you!”
- Take another look at your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you demonstrate personality and motivation in your headline and summary. Watch this video to learn more about polishing your LinkedIn profile to answer the three questions better.
- Start blogging. There is no better way to demonstrate motivation than having a voice. Twitter, Facebook and Brazen are all great places to distribute your blog content and turn your ideas into your résumé.
- Think about your personal brand: How do you communicate your personality and motivation? A brand is only as good as the way it’s perceived. Before getting online to fill out profiles, figure out what makes you better than everyone else.
Joshua Waldman helps frustrated job seekers use social media to find work. He is the founder of CareerEnlightenment.com and the author of the new book, “ Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies.” A version of this article first appeared on BrazenCareerist.