Value-Added Throughout the Hiring Process…
The hiring process is just that: a process. You start with initial contact in the form of a cover letter and resume. I call this the Paper Phase. If these “papers” are well written and enticing enough for a hiring manager to consider you, then they’ll likely proceed to the Interview Phase.
Now, they may start off with a phone interview or they may just skip right to the face-to-face interview, but this is where they meet the person behind the paper. This is where the intangible crosses paths with the tangible. And if there is a disconnect in the two, it can be a turnoff to a hiring manager. That’s why I always suggest complete honesty and full disclosure in the Paper Phase.
No matter what though, a cornerstone to success throughout the hiring process is adding value each step of the way. In the Paper Phase, you need to show the hiring authority what you have to offer right from the start. Employers use your past successes as a gauge for future ones, so show them how you will be able to hit the ground running. If you do not properly identify your qualifications, experiences, and talents, your resume will be generic and will not hold the interest of an employer.
Furthermore, you need to reinforce these qualifications throughout the process. In the Interview Phase you should come prepared. Do your homework on the company and be able to talk in detail about how your skills are a match for the position you’re applying for. Be specific, too.
After any contact and especially after an interview, you should also send Thank You letters to the appropriate individuals. Follow-up is very important to many hiring managers, so you should do this at every conceivable junction. And this is not permission to stalk and hound these people. It’s a simple courtesy, once again reinforcing your attributes, and assuring them that you are very interested in finding out what the next step would be.
Every step you take you should be asking what the next step is. That’s how you close them. How you seal the deal. Just remember to respect their professional position and don’t go overboard!
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