Job Hunting? Here’s What Hiring Managers are Looking For

By  //  April 28, 2020

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Job hunting is often an overwhelming experience. It can feel like you’re giving it everything you’ve got and coming up with nothing. One of the main barriers job seekers face is not knowing what hiring managers are looking for.

To get your resume to stand out in a sea of applications and to make an impression during an interview, you need to know what’s expected of you. Here are some helpful insights into what hiring managers are looking for so you can land the job.

An Easy-to-Read Resume

Creating an effective resume is one of the most challenging aspects of job hunting. You need to find the right balance of relevant information and present it in a visually appealing way. 

Fortunately, there are resume makers like ResumeBuild that give you modern, well-organized resume templates. Using a template will take the guesswork out of formatting and create a polished document to present to hiring managers. 

When creating a resume, it should never be longer than two pages. Ideally, you’ll be able to condense your experience to one page, with clean formatting and precision. Don’t go back for longer than 15 years when including job experience, and ensure each skill you include is relevant.

A Bold Cover Letter

It’s surprising how many people forgo a cover letter when applying for a job. This simple document can be the difference between having your application added to the interview pile or discarded. 

A cover letter should highlight your experience and excitement to work for the company. It should summarize what’s on your resume while making connections between your experience and the job posting.

The cover letter is also a way to start building a rapport and to personify your application and tell a story. Don’t squander this opportunity to make an impression!

Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Your hard skills are learned skills you’ve picked up over the years. Things like working with specific programs or holding certifications are considered hard skills.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are attributes that convey how you work. These skills speak to your ability to work well with others, manage your time, lead a team, or follow someone else’s lead.

Soft skills play an important role in modern hiring practices. Your application might be competing against five other applicants with the same experience and education. It’s ultimately the soft skills that will set you apart.

It’s also important to note that many hiring managers will prioritize soft skills over hard skills. In other words, being someone with limited experience who thrives on collaboration and works hard can be more valuable than having years of experience and no drive or social skills.

Here’s how to best fit in a new company.

Value Alignment with the Company

One of the things a hiring manager will evaluate is how well they think you’d fit in with the company culture. Are your values in alignment with the company mission? Does your work style match that of the organization?

This isn’t always something you can prepare for when you’re getting interviewed. However, it behooves you to take time to research the company and learn more about what they do, how they work, their mission statement, etc. Hiring managers want to know that you’re interested in working for them, not just landing any job that offers you a paycheck. 

Honesty and Authenticity

While including relevant keywords in your resume and cover letter is essential for getting hired, stay humble. Don’t include a skill unless you’re comfortable with it and can put your money where your mouth is. Furthermore, avoid using buzzwords to try and fluff up your experience— it comes off as inauthentic.

Be honest and authentic, because you might eventually get caught in a lie. If you’re asked about a skill that you don’t possess, admit your lack of experience, but convey your interest in continuous learning and development.

During the job search process, it’s worth working with a coach or trusted friend to go over your resume and cover letter and practice interviewing. By refining your approach, you’ll be able to land the job you want.