Even during a hiring frenzy some candidates get hired and others don’t get a second look. Why? It is not always a matter of skill or qualifications. Often, it is poor marketing.
1. Let’s start with your résumé. A résumé is more than just a list of employment facts. It highlights your brand, accomplishments, and potential. It needs to be clear, concise, easy on the eyes and most importantly it must showcase how you have contributed to your current and past employers’ success.
While working with one of my clients, a young man in his 20’s, I discovered that he was an extremely gifted financial analyst. Nowhere on his résumé was there any evidence of the significant contributions he made in his first professional role. Until we discussed it, he had no idea that he should include accomplishments on his résumé and that his failure to do so is what cost him numerous opportunities. Once remedied, he had an offer in place in less than two weeks. Since then, he has rigorously tracked his contributions and shared them during performance appraisals earning promotions and significantly increasing his income.
2. Many qualified job seekers lack interview experience. Their anxiety may reveal itself as nervous over-talking, monosyllabic responses to an interviewer’s question or a tendency to veer off topic. These idiosyncrasies make it hard for the hiring manager to make an accurate assessment of the candidate’s qualifications.
If it has been a while since you’ve interviewed or your confidence is shaky, get feedback on your interview skills. If your skills aren’t where they need to be, hire a professional to coach. It is essential that you put your best foot forward during conversations with hiring managers. Your long-term success is worth the investment.
3. No visibility or poor branding on LinkedIn.
Ninety-five percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates. If they can’t find you, they can’t hire you! And if your brand is less than professional, why would they want to talk to you when there are so many other candidates to choose from?
Your LinkedIn profile should match the information on your résumé although the tone is slightly different. Write your profile so that your personality and brand shine through. It is OK to share a bit about who you are when you are away from work; however, LinkedIn it is not Facebook-lite.
4. Lack of business etiquette. Many hiring managers interview candidates over lunch to test their social skills. How you behave over lunch or dinner will offer insight into how you will behave with clients and coworkers. Ordering alcohol, choosing the most expensive item on the menu, and treating wait staff rudely are red flags. Regardless of how comfortable your feel during an interview, never forget that you are on stage, watch your manners, don’t lean on the table, and take care with your language.
5. Over-eagerness. Even if you are sure this is the perfect fit for you, keep your enthusiasm in check. You want to express excitement without appearing desperate or disingenuous. Qualified candidates who convey confidence and genuine interest are more likely to be viewed positively by hiring managers.
©2021 Mary Jeanne Vincent. All rights reserved.