Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Working in Human Resources was a field I never actually considered for a career. When I completed my Master's degree in Public Administration, I knew I wanted to work specifically with nonprofits. I started off working with local governmental agencies and eventually landed a role as a Regional Director at a nonprofit where most of my job consisted of managing all the human resources functions of the organization. A few years ago, I landed another job managing the HR and administration departments at a museum and after that I worked as a Program Director. In my career, I've done my fair share of hiring and firing, but behind the scenes of hiring is a whole world of craziness when it comes to preparing to hire for a position. This consists of days and sometimes weeks of creating job descriptions, posting job descriptions to job boards, receiving resumes, sifting through resumes, setting up interviews, interviewing, selecting a candidate and making an offer, and finally preparing hiring documents and on-boarding the new hire. This process is tedious and time consuming and that's why is so important to hire the right person to avoid having to go through this process all over again!
What's even more frustrating is when applicants don't seem to take the job process seriously by submitting poorly formatted resumes and cover letters or don't follow the instructions clearly detailed in the job descriptions. From my experience, what I've found to be the most disrespectful are applicants who show up to interviews ill-prepared. Being late, dressed inappropriately, not knowing anything about the job you've applied for, or complaining about what you won't do if hired will automatically create a bad impression on the hiring manager. With my experience working in Human Resources, I want to share with you the 4 tips that will not only get you an interview, but also get you hired.
Make Your Resume Match the Job Description
You'll never have the exact experience you need for the next position you're applying for. However, it's necessary to learn how to make your resume work for you. When hiring managers receive resumes, especially a lot of resumes for one position, we never really read the resume word for word. This is why it's necessary to use keywords on your resume that matches the job description. Hiring managers know exactly what they're looking for to fill a description and if your resume matches that, you'll be moved to the top of the pile and likely receive a call for an interview.
Show Your Personality
Here's a tidbit of advice: a hiring manager will hire someone with a great personality over someone with great experience. You can train someone how to do a job but you can't change someone's personality! In most cases, depending on the company, hiring managers want someone who will mesh will with other personalities; someone who is genuine, easy to manage, and most of all, flexible in the work environment. These things can be picked up on by hiring managers in an interview by asking only a few key questions.
Study the Company Website
It's laughable to think back on how many interviews I've conducted and the person in the interview had no idea what the company did and what the job description said. When this happens, it causes the hiring manager to sometimes mentally check out of the interview because it feels like you're wasting their time. Also, why wouldn't you come prepared anyway?! Even if you've never heard of the company until you actually applied for the job, take the time to go online and review the website. In my past job hunting experience and prepping for the interview, I usually review the company's website, social media pages, and even go as far as looking up current staff members on LinkedIn. It not only gives you a feel for the company, but it allows you to get a feel for the people who may be your future co-workers.
Dress Like You Want the Job
An interview is like a mini dress rehearsal for how'd you fit into your role with a company. So, act and dress the part! When in doubt of what to wear, always go for a blazer and slacks. Don't wear something you'd wear to a club or bar on a weekend night. Also, don't show up in jeans (unless it's specifically requested). I guarantee that your visual presentation makes just as much of an impression as your personality and experience because, if hired, you will be representing the company.