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5 More New Year’s Resolutions for Candidates in the Recruitment Process

By Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

2014 confetti

Part 4 in our series:  Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions For Hiring Managers and Candidates

By now you’ve swept up the confetti and recycled the champagne bottles, but there is still plenty of “new” left in 2014! If you’re ready take your game up a notch, here is the second half of our top ten suggestions for candidates as they navigate the recruitment process. If you missed them, Parts One and Two covered suggestions for Hiring Managers and Part Three presented the first half of the list for candidates.

6. Be professional with the Hiring Manager

You would think it goes without saying, but dress appropriately (yes, that includes ironing) and don’t be late. A little common sense should do the job, but here’s a story that represents an extreme example of what NOT to do.

A candidate in Los Angeles applied for a position in San Diego. Let’s call him Poor Judgment — kind of like Poor Richard, but not nearly as bright. Poor got a room in San Diego the night before the interview. He thought he would cross into Mexico that evening . . . and no-showed for the interview the next day. Poor told the recruiter a pretty flimsy story, but his résumé looked so good that the HM wanted to interview him anyway. Poor showed up to the interview drunk. Our advice: don’t do ANY of these things!

7. Showcase your razor focus

In any conversation with a recruiter or HM, give succinct answers that stick to the point of the question. Most likely the interviewer has a set time to cover several topics, so you don’t want to fritter away that time going off on tangents. Give honest answers, not the answers you think the HM wants to hear — help lay the foundation for honesty and mutual respect.


8. Be up front in the process

On one level employment is a market transaction and there is give and take as both sides try to get the best deal. But it is so much more — most of us spend the majority of our waking hours in our employment. The relationship between you and your potential employer starts during the recruitment process. With that in mind:

  • Fill out ALL the questions on an employment application; if you skip the one about felony convictions, it unfurls a red flag.
  • If you don’t have a degree, focus on why your experience makes you more valuable than people with degrees.
  • Don’t accept a position at company A if you’re really still pursuing one at company B. Hedge with integrity.
  • Provide consistent information to all parties. If you tell the recruiter one thing and the HM another, chances are it will catch up to you.
  • Save the surprises for birthdays. One candidate went through the screening and interviewing process only to announce that she was leaving for a month-long vacation out of the country — tomorrow!

9. Present the positive

Qualified candidates have an edge in today’s tight market, but the HM still needs to know why it is in his or her best interest to hire you. I’m not saying you should overstate your qualifications, but consider how you present them. For example, compare these answers:

  • “No, I haven’t developed in C+ for several years, so I wouldn’t say I’m an expert.”
  • “Yes, I developed in C+ for years, most recently at Company Z.”

Both are truthful, but which would you hire?

10. Ask for the job

Seems simple, but many people forget. At the end of the interview, if you’re interested, say something like, “I think this could be a great fit, and I look forward to hearing from you.”

Now you have your resolutions and you can start incorporating them into your job search. Keep an eye out for Part Five, Tips for effective résumés.

Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn or Twitter.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

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