Great question posed by Rebecca Metschke
Take off your candidate’s cap and put yourself in the role of hiring manager.
Start with your submission materials – your cover letter and resume. Try to look at them objectively – as if you’re seeing them for the first time. As if you are unfamiliar with the candidate.
Is the person you’re describing someone you’d want to interview?
Do you sound interesting? Unique?
Are your materials full of empty statements, or do you back up what you’ve written with quantifiable information? Do you tell a complete story, or are chunks of it missing?
Does your resume read like something the human resources department might have published? Is it merely a string of job descriptions or does it illustrate what you’ve accomplished? Does it make a compelling case as to why you’re a serious candidate for the job?
Let’s move on to the phone. What do you sound like (do you know for sure)? When hiring managers conduct phone screens with you, do they hear energy and enthusiasm in your voice? Can they hear you smile? Is your voice clear? Do you speak at a good tempo? Do you interrupt?
Then there’s the candidate people see when they interview you face to face. What do you look like? Are you pulled together? Polished? Professional? Well rested? Do you have nervous habits? Do you look people in the eye and have a good handshake? When you meet people, do you put them at ease? Do you exude confidence?
How about your behavior? Are you prompt…polite…do you speak to everyone you meet, even people in the hallway? Do people like to be around you?
This isn’t necessarily an easy exercise. It’s tough to stand back and take a dispassionate look at yourself. But it’s important to get an accurate assessment. Enlist the help of someone you trust.
Make sure you’re the kind of candidate you’d want to hire.
Rebecca Metschke helps professionals improve their marketability. The author of The Interview Edge, a comprehensive job search and career management guide, she also writes a daily blog posting strategies, tips and advice for those whose careers are in transition. http://blog.TheInterviewEdge.com, http://www.TheInterviewEdge.com
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