When applying for a job, each interaction you have with a potential employer must show what qualities make you better than the next applicant.
An employer is able to learn about your education and work experience by taking a quick look over your resume. It is important to display personal attributes that can’t be found on your resume in order to be hired.
Below are some recommendations of positive personal attributes to display during the job application, interview and hiring processes.
You have an opportunity to show that you are a polite and thoughtful person from your initial contact with a recruiter.
Always submit a cover letter along with your resume for a potential position. In your cover letter, don’t simply repeat the information on your resume. Instead, take that space to express how your skills will fit in with the company’s overall mission.
This shows the employer that you are not just submitting mass applications to job listings, but you took the time to learn about their company and feel you are suited to the position.
Use “please” and “thank you” in all communication with the company. If the hiring manager’s name is listed in the job ad, use it rather than ma’am or sir. Better yet, try to do some research to find his or her name, even if it’s not included within the job listing.
Never blind email or fax your resume to a company without any greeting or indication of which job position you are seeking. This is seen as rude and your resume may be completely ignored or, even, tossed in the garbage.
When contacted about a position be sure to be both professional and courteous. Know that every
interaction gives the potential employer an opportunity to judge and assess what kind of employee you will make.
Show up on time for your job interview. This may seem like common sense, but it is still important to note. Some companies do initial telephone interviews. For example, if the recruiter schedules a telephone interview with you for Monday morning at 11:00, then you need to be available on that day, at that time, to take the call. Be sure to participate in a telephone interview in a quiet area where you will be free from background noise and distractions.
If any online tests are required to determine your qualifications for the job, take them right away and completely. Employers often use online tests to determine if you have the skills to do the job you have applied for. Not completing the tests on time may stop you from landing the position.
Only reschedule a job interview in the case of an actual emergency. Do not call the employer to say your car broke down, you can’t find a ride to the interview, or you can’t find a babysitter. These excuses will make the employer wonder if you will have the same issues once you start the job.
Confidence and Independence
Showing up for your interview alone—no chaperone needed—and giving a firm handshake to the interviewer will display that you are confident and independent. However, that alone is not enough.
The best way to convey that you are confident and independent, is to give specific examples of times you demonstrated these qualities in your past employment.
Find a way to work stories that demonstrate your positive qualities into the interview conversation. Think of examples you'd like to use ahead of time, such as a time you had to speak up about an issue, offer a solution to a problem, or make important decisions without a supervisor’s help. The more specific your example, the better.
When presented with two new graduates with identical resumes, a hiring manager is more likely to hire the applicant who has shown that he or she possesses the right characteristics.
Properly demonstrating the above attributes will show an employer that you have a lot to offer beyond the information on your resume.