5 Ways to Impress an Employer (Soup to Nuts)
5 Ways to Impress an Employer (Soup to Nuts)
Let’s pretend you’re getting ready for an interview. You’re probably wondering what you should wear and whether you should prepare to shake hands or fist bump in the post-COVID world. You may even be practicing eye contact and commanding your best smile in the mirror. While these things are great, and I encourage you to pay attention to them, the real preparation to impress begins long before you even secure that interview.
The impression you will make on your future employer begins with the very first touch. Maybe that’s the instant your friend who works for the company sends an email inquiry on your behalf or the minute the hiring manager first views your application and resume. An impression is formed from those first moments and through every point of contact (whether virtual or in-person) until you accept a job offer.
This means you must consider every response to every email, text or phone call, and anything else that can be searched and discovered about you online as admissible in the court of employer perception.
Here are 5 ways that you can prepare to impress an employer and set the stage for a good relationship:
- Make a good impression by cleaning up your online presence
Search for yourself on Google to see what you find. (One tip is to include your city and/or state in search to refine the results.) Change your settings on your social channels so that only your friends can view your profile, and remember that employers expect to find some information about you on Facebook and other social channels. This makes it important for you to share a public post every so often that paints a picture of yourself that you are proud for employers to see.
- Keep your communication professional
When you respond to an email or a text inquiry from an employer, use full sentences and punctuation. Don’t talk like you would to your friends. Instead, pretend that you are already talking with the employer in an interview and respond like you would in that situation.
- Don’t over share
When responding to an interview request, it’s ok to ask for an alternate date or time. However, you don’t need to give a potential employer every detail of your situation. There is no need to tell an employer that your child has the flu or that you have to take your father-in-law to the doctor. You want to be honest, but this is far too much information to share right away, and there are much better ways to find out if an employer has family-friendly values.
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- Refine your resume
Of course, preparation doesn’t end here. You will want to keep your resume fresh and mention the skills that make you a good fit for the job you’re applying for. If you don’t think you have all of the needed skills, find someone who can help you refine your resume. Working together, you can usually identify skills you do have that are transferable.
- Be able to explain during an interview why you are interested in the job you have applied for
As a rule of thumb, everything you say and do must show that you care about the job and understand why it is important to you. If you can do this, you will have a good chance of getting a job offer. I recommend that you never answer the question, “Why are you interested in this position?”, with the response, “I just need a job. I’m happy to do anything you need me to.” This answer has kept many good candidates from receiving the offer they hoped to get.
All of these steps are important and more. You must research the company before you apply and review that information before you show up for an interview. You will also want to prepare to follow-up in an appropriate way after the interview. It’s a good idea to ask the interviewer how and when you should follow-up. This is one way to show that you care.
As mentioned earlier, it can also help to have someone in your corner to encourage you and help you consider transferable skills or prepare for interviews. If you are looking for better work and would like someone by your side to help you prepare to find and keep a job that meets your needs, BETTER WORK communities have mentors who are available to walk alongside you during your journey. Visit betteropportunity.org to find out more.