Get ready for another rant!
When you apply for a job in the professional world, what are some things you might write on the resume you send, or say to the hiring manager if you get the chance?
I am passionate about (insert industry skill)
I work well in teams and independently (or something along those lines)
I understand and have experience in the entire project’s life cycle
Sound familiar? That’s because I’m sure you’ve said or written at least one of these before. Are these inherently bad things to say? Absolutely not.
Q: Which one of these statements could easily be said/written by a random person who might be faking it?
A: All of them!
What I’m strongly hypothesizing is that your application isn’t popping off the page. It’s not standing out to the hiring manager in the least.
Try your hardest to put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes: What do they want to hear about YOU?
Chances are, if the recruiter is online looking through resumes instead of hiring their co-workers cousin, they’ve read at least a hundred resumes from people who ‘are passionate about (insert industry skill)’
Q: Who do you think you’re competing against for the job?
A: Lot’s of passionate, hard working, team players etc. etc. etc.
I recently came across some knowledge from a Bloc mentor Mark Carpenter in a group session he was teaching about job searching. Paraphrasing one of the points he made was that employer’s look for more than the obvious minimum qualifications (like a degree or particular industry skill):
- Proof of passion – Notice I didn’t say passion. Who’s a manager going to hire, a passionate individual, or a passionate individual with projects done on their own time/dollar to prove it?
- Attitude and Personality – Who is this person really? Are they curious to learn more? Do they love what they do or do they just want a paycheck? Can they take criticism and turn it into improvement regardless of who it’s from? Will they be pleasant to work with? Answering these are absolutely critical to success in any professional environment.
- Above all else: YOUR EMPLOYER CAN NOT AND WILL NOT WANT TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE.
Let me say it again in case you missed it:
Your employer can not and will not want to change your attitude.
- This means having a positive, charming, professional, pleasant demeanor even in the face of disaster.
- This means helping the inexperienced (or plain lazy) folks when they need it, without complaining or shifting the responsibility to someone else. Ideally without your manager making you.
- This means getting more work done than needed (because you can).
- This means staying late to ensure a project is finished on time.
Beyond this list is a company’s mission and goals, and I highly recommend you research them in advance. Aligning with these can be the difference between top candidates.
That being said, you should still try to meet basic job requirements, especially if your blindly applying online. Don’t throw them to the wind.
More important side notes:
- I did not talk about it because it should be obvious: it’s not about you, it’s about the company. Think about what you can do for the company.
- Recruiters are people too! They don’t want to disappoint their manager/supervisor by referring a person that doesn’t look like a good fit.
- Make your resume short and sweet. If an employer wants to read more, they can contact you, and they will. One page is a great limit in my opinion. Not going into resume structure, but you can google this pretty easily.
- Talk about and provide proof to your passions/hobbies, not just your work experience. This goes along with what I said earlier.
I will be posting again soon about my experiences with the React.js library, so stay tuned!