A Letter from a Baffled Hiring Manager-Part 2

A Letter from a Baffled Hiring Manager-Part 2

This guest letter was written by Mark Hannan

Dear Job Seeker,3182020992_45c9789b41_b

It is rare, extremely rare, to find the “perfect fit” for both the job and the company culture. Please do not tell me you are.

You’ve never met any of us, haven’t seen how we operate, on good days or on bad days , so you can’t really make that judgment, can you?

Any one coming on board will need to acquire new information and skills and then navigate through unfamiliar channels to succeed.  That is expected.

Rather than tell me that you have all the skills and personality to bring us a 100% ROI, show me you understand the demands of the job and how you will leverage your talents to succeed.

Do this by making sure the cover letter and resume reflect the skills you say you possess. If you tell me are detailed oriented and you misspell my name you show me that you are not, and, bring into question the veracity of all your other claims.

Crossing Into New Fields

Crossing over to new fields using equally valuable skill sets is common and in many cases not a problem at all. Fresh talent and new perspectives are often a plus.

Make it clear to me how you will translate your skills to your newly chosen field.  Make sure to tell me about any obvious deficiencies in your skill set or qualifications and about how you will use your experience to face the challenge of learning new skills.

I am going to notice the gaps, no matter how hard you try to airbrush or cover them up.  So use the cover letter to make a pre-emptive strike so I do not write you off too soon.

“In each position I have held it has been necessary for me to quickly learn new computer applications. Even though I am unfamiliar with Quirk, I am confident I will surmount the learning curve without jeopardizing the department’s progress.”

…or…

“While it may be true that I have been working outside the industry for the past three years, I have kept up to date on changes and innovations in the field by reading the trade media and networking. Last month, I attended the “New Analytics” workshop at the WorkSmart Conference.”

These two short paragraphs remove doubts that could have scored the application down, or worse disqualified it.

They show that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you have seriously considered what is going to be required of you and that you are motivated to take action and do what it takes to move us all ahead, not just yourself. I am looking to see that we can be in a mutually beneficial relationship.

After all, the Company will be trusting you with its assets and reputation. It is the hiring manager’s duty to protect those, so we are risk adverse and proactively reduce it.

I Know Job Seeking is Hard But…

I know you are working under a great deal of stress and pressure. Finding a job is exhausting and can deflate the strongest of us. It can make you begin to question your competencies and career choices.

If you can set aside the doubts and focus on the task at hand, (to present yourself in the best possible light by submitting a thoughtful application) you have a better chance of convincing the hiring manager of your ability to do the exact same thing when you are faced with similar challenges on the job.

Remember, “Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.”

How you “behave” on paper (and in social media) is all the recruiter or hiring manager has to go on when considering your application.

It is in your best interest to take the time and effort to do as best a job as you can on your application. A big part of that requires considering perspectives and concerns beyond your own individual ones.

Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and the Company. That simple shift in awareness can, and will, make a big difference in the outcome.

________________________________________

Mark Hannan, MA, is a Personal Narrative Strategist specializing in Solution Focused Consultations. He is currently the hiring manager for a multi-state retail chain and is responsible for hiring for all levels of the organization. Connect with Mark at [email protected].

Originally posted 2009-12-17 22:22:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is recognized as one of the nations top authorities in Social Media Career Advancement. To learn Joshua’s secret strategies for shortening the job search and getting the right job right away, watch his exclusive video training HERE

9 Comments

  1. “You’ve never met any of us, haven’t seen how we operate, on good days or on bad days , so you can’t really make that judgment, can you?” (re: the perfect fit). And yet you feel perfectly fine judging someone whom you’ve never met based on how he or she “behaves” on Social Media? God forbid I post a photo of my Cancun vacation, drink in hand, or support some cause or political movement you abhor. Your primary tool for evaluating a job candidate should be a synthesis of intuition and analytical reasoning gleaned from all the info, insight and “feel” you gather about and for them during the face to face. If you don’t possess those skills perhaps you had better clean up your Facebook and start searching for employment in another field.

  2. Wonderful insight. Thanks for posting this Joshua!

  3. Wonderful insight. Thanks for posting this Joshua!

  4. “It is rare, extremely rare, to find the “perfect fit” for both the job and the company culture. Please do not tell me you are”.

    This is so true. A lot of cover letters begin with “I’m perfect for the job”, that’s a good way to end up in the reject pile.

    This is good advice even for freelancers bidding for work. I’m amazed at how people respond to jobs that require English speakers with native fluency, who respond with messages containing typos and grammar errors. Others lacking sufficient experience, a decent portfolio or work samples claim to be web designers, graphic designers and SEO experts without even providing a link to a site.

  5. “It is rare, extremely rare, to find the “perfect fit” for both the job and the company culture. Please do not tell me you are”.

    This is so true. A lot of cover letters begin with “I’m perfect for the job”, that’s a good way to end up in the reject pile.

    This is good advice even for freelancers bidding for work. I’m amazed at how people respond to jobs that require English speakers with native fluency, who respond with messages containing typos and grammar errors. Others lacking sufficient experience, a decent portfolio or work samples claim to be web designers, graphic designers and SEO experts without even providing a link to a site.

  6. I appreciate Mr. Hannan’s take on the dance between job-seekers and hiring managers, but I’ve found his refreshing attitude extremely rare in this job market. Employers tend to hold out for that “perfect” candidate, figuring there’s enough people scouting the job boards that they can afford to ignore the “good” or even “great” until the perfect comes along.

    Aside from that, his comments about the job-seeker’s responsibility to present themselves as best they can are very apt; both the good news and the bad need to be recognized, revealed and dealt with. I’d not have thought to address gaps or limitations in a cover letter (see my comments above) but it may be the best way to get into the “yes” pile.

    • Thanks for your comments, Jeffrey. I generally look for potential and drive more than anything else. Skills can easily be acquired if there is commitment and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone.

  7. I appreciate Mr. Hannan’s take on the dance between job-seekers and hiring managers, but I’ve found his refreshing attitude extremely rare in this job market. Employers tend to hold out for that “perfect” candidate, figuring there’s enough people scouting the job boards that they can afford to ignore the “good” or even “great” until the perfect comes along.

    Aside from that, his comments about the job-seeker’s responsibility to present themselves as best they can are very apt; both the good news and the bad need to be recognized, revealed and dealt with. I’d not have thought to address gaps or limitations in a cover letter (see my comments above) but it may be the best way to get into the “yes” pile.

    • Thanks for your comments, Jeffrey. I generally look for potential and drive more than anything else. Skills can easily be acquired if there is commitment and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone.

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