Last week on the Business is ART podcast at the TrueChat Network, my guest was Adam Dince, author of Hopeful to Hired. Adam’s book is about how to go from being someone hoping to get a job to someone who has landed the job they want. It focuses on students and recent graduates but there are lessons to be learned for everyone, no matter the stage of their career.
Like many works that would go on to become books, or products not envisioned when a particular effort started (or faltered), Hopeful to Hired took roots as a passion project stemming from an MBA course assignment on which Adam was working, driving home two important points for all of us:
- Inspiration may come from anywhere if we are open to it and listen for it.
- Opportunity is all around us if we are open to it and willing to reach for it.
Want to get hired? Do these 3 things to stand out
Adam suggests 3 major to-do’s for anyone looking to start, continue or change their career paths:
- Build soft skills, like communication, listening – even politeness
- Build a professional network – this goes beyond things like LinkedIn and requires in-person networking, be it formally organized events or casual meetings over a cup of coffee
- Establish an online, personal brand – you don’t have to have gazillions of followers to have a personal brand, but all it takes is one prospective employer to read one highly questionable or offensive post to keep you from getting the job
Hiring managers also have to be more proactive
For me, one of the most revealing moments of the podcast was when we turned attention to hiring managers. In the past, applicants wrote letters, attached them to resumes and mailed them in via snail mail, all in a very personalized manner. It was time consuming and unforgiving. Today, it is a comparatively simple task to fill out several generic online applications a day without ever getting out of your pajamas.
Hiring managers are inundated with resumes, often all received in the same, online, standard form that the company has defined, making them less personal and difficult for one to stand out from another. HR and the hiring managers want to hire the best candidate for the job (and the future), but how can they when they aren’t even sure the best candidates have bubbled to the top – or even applied?
Just as candidates need to be more proactive in preparing for job placement, so too do hiring managers in their searches. They can’t sit around and wait for the best candidate to come through the door. They have to “get out there” and get to know the resource pool from which they will draw employees.
There are new challenges but just as many options to overcome them
It’s a new world out there, but there are a lot of things both candidate and the hiring manager can do in order to increase their odds of success.