When you come right down to it, hiring managers are looking for people who can:
- Help them solve an immediate problem
- Help them reach longer-term goals and objectives effectively
- Work harmoniously with the boss, co-workers/staff and customers
Put more succinctly, hiring managers are reallylooking for someone who can find solutions to current issues, prevent future problems, and advance the function to its full potential. So, what can you do on your resume or interview to convince the hiring manager that you can contribute to his success? Here are a few ideas:
FIND SOLUTIONS: Nothing will warm the heart of hiring manager more than a candidate who has achieved results in a prior organization, similar to the results that is needed. The candidate who has successfully completed a high priority task somewhere else, has a higher probability of success than a candidate that has not. When creating your resume or during the interview, make sure you focus on results or solutions that you have attained that parallel the top five items on the position description. You’ll increase your potential candidacy if you do.
EFFICIENCY/EFFECTIVENESS: Document your achievements in a way that impresses the hiring manager. The best way to do that is with numbers, percentages, ratios or metrics that demonstrate your high level of performance. Most candidates use a narrative like: “Improved revenue through the introduction of a new product”. When the hiring manager asks what was the improvement, this candidate doesn’t know the answer, only that it was better. As a candidate, you should be able to answer: “My new product introduction improved by 8% in the first quarter and 12% after 6 months”. You should also be able to document savings in the same way: “Reduced administrative cost by 4% through process improvement”. Hiring managers will ask, “How did you do that”? Candidates that don’t know their measurable results are left behind.
WORK HARMONIOUSLY: If a hiring manager believes a candidate will cause their results to suffer, that candidate will be dropped. So how do you project a team orientation to the hiring manager? Use words and examples from your experiences that demonstrate “teamwork”. Give examples of successes you’ve had as a team leader, or from a cross-functional project of which you were a part. During the interview, the more times you use the word “I” versus “we” gives the impression that you only work alone. Combine both individual and group success. Example: “We grew our sector by 20% over a 2 year period by working as an interactive team, with my contribution as the project leader responsible for strategy”. In this way you’ve positioned yourself as a team member while describing your individual contribution.
Hiring managers want people who find solutions and advance their performance rather than those who find ways to continue past performance. You need to find ways to be the bosses “go to” person.
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