THR Partners, Executive Search Firm specializing in the HVAC, Appliance, and Commercial Restaurant Equipment Industries
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Hiring authorities do not tolerate errors on application forms whether filled out online or in person. If proper spelling and grammar are not your areas of strength, copy the information in your resume. Many hiring authorities will screen someone out, when they notice errors on their application form and conduct a courtesy interview. It is too difficult to land interviews to make this fatal error.
The application form you are given prior to an interview is the hiring authority’s first impression of your accuracy and written communication skills. They understand that often your resume and cover letter has been written by an expert. Many HR Professionals as well as Department Heads don’t conduct the interview, once they have identified errors or inconsistencies on the application form.
It is also important to note that the “desired” salary you list is the highest you will ever be offered. You may decide half way through the interview process that you want more money, but the employer will always reference what you wrote on your application. You don’t want the number to screen you out, but you also don’t want to leave money on the table. If you are aware of the salary level being paid, try to quote a salary that is lower than the maximum they will offer. Most employers want to be able to offer advancement to individuals hired which is why they don’t want to quote the top of their salary range.
Follow these tips and you won’t be screened out for an error on your application form!
The best references are provided by individuals who:
- Were one of your supervisors
- Are aware of your past accomplishments
- Understand the impact your accomplishments had on past companies
- Willing to make themselves available to provide reference checks
- Have been prepped by you, to understand the position
- Like you and have your best interest at heart
Co-workers are not considered a good source for a reference check. It’s also important for you to realize that employers do verify the title of the person you list as a reference. If you misrepresent someone’s title, this is considered dishonest and you will be eliminated from consideration.
If a hiring authority wants a reference from a current employer, you may consider providing the name of a customer or vendor, someone who is aware of the quality of your work. Explain that you can’t jeopardize your current position.
Human Resource Departments often only provide names, title, and salary verification. If you reference would be average at best, this could be the best reference to provide.
The person to provide the best reference check varies depending on your personal situation. When in doubt, have someone check your references so you don’t wonder what is being said. You will know exactly what references are being provided.
Learn to Properly Prep Your References
The greatest mistake you can make is to list an individual as one of your references, without informing them of the exact opportunity you are seeking. Most people are more than willing to help you in your efforts to find a job. However, if they don’t know what is most important to this particular company or person, they can actually cause you to be screened out from consideration.
You references know who you were in the past. Most references have no idea of what positions or industries you’re currently targeting in your job search efforts. The minute you provide the names and contact information of your references, you need to call your references and provide the following information.
- Name of the person who might be calling them
- Title of the person
- Name of the company
- Title of the opportunity you are seeking
- Areas of expertise most important to this employer
- Core values or company culture of this employer
- Any additional inside information that can provide your references with insight of the top priorities of this hiring authority
- Salary range if known
It is easy to get into a rut when you’re conducting your job search. Your routine might get monotonous after several calls and cause you to sound monotone or boring. You do have to come across articulate and polished, but every day in a job search is “bring your personality to your job search day!” You can utilize scripts when making follow up calls, but you don’t want to sound staged. Your personality must shine through so the potential hiring authority can determine if you would fit in with their company culture and the individuals in a specific department.
In addition to required credentials including experience, education, skills and stability you must be memorable. Hiring authorities hire qualified candidates that they also like. They will spend most of their waking hours at work which is why they put a premium on finding someone they enjoy. They also understand that one bad hire can hurt morale.
In every contact you make whether verbal or written, come across enthusiastic, interested, passionate and adaptable. Think of a day in your past where you felt the best about yourself. Think about when you were the most confident and happiest. It is THAT person who must conduct your job search each and every day, if you want results.
If you want to improve your networking efforts, it is important to learn how to “work a room or event.” Each time you find yourself in a group setting, there are endless networking opportunities. I’d like to address some common questions.
HOW TO I APPROACH PEOPLE?
It is best to approach people who are standing alone or in a smaller group. Smile and ask if you can join them and comment on something you have in common.
HOW DO I BECOME MEMORABLE?
It’s important to be lighthearted, fun and share interesting stories. You should be energetic, a great listener and engaging.
HOW CAN I BE MORE SELF-CONFIDENT?
Your self-confidence will increase if you feel you have prepared. Read the paper, magazines, trade publications and have three to five stories, news comments or questions you will ask prepared in advance. The more you practice having casual conversations, the more confident you will become.
HOW CAN I OVERCOME MY SHYNESS?
It is comforting to know that over 90% of people describe themselves as shy, especially in a networking situation. Observe the behavior and conversations of outgoing people you admire. Consider joining a book club or toastmasters to overcome your shyness.
HOW DO I MOVE FROM SMALL TALK?
Small talk is how you begin to develop rapport and is most important in networking. Let the other person talk about themselves and they will like you more and be more apt to add you to their network when the conversation turns to more serious topics.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET A BUSINESS CARD?
Offer your business card and then ask “Do you have a card?” If you are a full time job seeker your card should list your contact information on the front and list facts on the back about your experience and accomplishments.
Networking is not different than any skills. You will learn how to work a room and become a great networker with practice.
You don’t want to waste your time or the time of the hiring authorities, if their company is not going to pay you what you’re worth. You need to understand how employers set their salary levels and then adjust your job search.
If a higher salary is not within a company’s budget, they are not in a position to offer you more money. Companies normally don’t bring in a new employee who had a higher level than the person leaving the job, unless they are enhancing the level of responsibilities.
It is wise to understand:
- Average compensation being paid by similar companies in their industry
- Average pay for someone with your experience
- How strong your credentials and experience match the criteria of the position
Conducting this research will stop you from wasting time pursuing companies that can’t provide the compensation you require.