Many people don't get a response to a job application or get a rejection notice, yet feel they are an excellent candidate. There are a number of causes for that to happen. One of these is a lack of understanding of what the hiring managers’ perspective is on a candidate search.
Most people have a self-centered view of their job search, and that’s not surprising, nor is it wrong, at least in the resume writing stage of the process.
Preparing a resume is all about the candidate, as it should be. But once the search process turns to responding to specific openings, the astute job hunter will try to view an opening from the perspective of the hiring manager and modify their resume to be responsive to the hiring managers needs. Further, they will learn how hiring managers think and what motivates them.
Consider the fact that the job searcher needs the hiring manager as much as the hiring manager needs the right candidate. And the hiring manager has the upper hand most of the way through the process.
So in general, what makes up this person called a hiring manager? Understand the following:
Hiring managers are tasked with specific goals to achieve.
They are very busy managing people and/or tasks.
They have a specific position to fill with specific requirements. Some of those requirements are “must have”, others are “nice to have”.
They need to find candidates that meet the “must haves” as efficiently as possible.
Usually the hiring process is a necessary annoyance to them because it diverts their focus from other pressing matters.
Hiring managers are results-oriented and want to know what you’ve done that would help them achieve their goals. And they want to find that out quickly, without reading a book about you.
They've got a lot of resumes to pour through. So their perspective on the process is to quickly disqualify people so they can focus on those that are possible fits.
‘Possible’ is the operative word. They are in the disqualification mode almost to the very end of the process when they have made the decision about which candidate they want to hire. The back-up candidates are still in the disqualification process.
So what must a job seeker do to be the one that gets the offer?
1 – Understand the above.
2 – Understand what the needs of the hiring manager are for each specific position.
3 – Modify their resume to focus on the hiring managers needs. I call this “tuning” the resume.
4 – Keep the resume crisp and succinct so it can be quickly read and understood.
5 – Differentiate themselves from their competition.
These are not trivial things to do to win the interview AND the job. This is why there are competent job search consultants and resume writers to help.