You land a job offer when a hiring manager decides she likes the way you come across. Put another way, you get the job when her perception of you matches up with the requirements of the job and the culture of the company. So, how useful would it be to know how you’re coming across to others? I’ll tell you — it’s critical.
The hiring manager’s perception of you involves how you look, sound, interact, and present on paper, email, telephone or web. To increase your odds of getting hired for the job you want, you’ll need help to figure out (and improve) how you’re perceived. Ideally, you’ll have a small team helping you (resources below).
If you can afford professional help with your resume or even a coach to work with you through your job search, get it. You’re looking for people who will not hesitate to tell you (politely) what 99% won’t – that you have bad breath, bad taste, bad timing, bad posture, body odor, personality issues, typos or whatever.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is entry-level stuff. Silly defects will stop a VP from becoming a CEO just as easily as they’ll stop a college grad from getting his first job. You’ve got to find someone who’s not shy and knows the environment you want to get hired into. Someone who can tell you how to fit in better if you have some rough edges. And who doesn’t?
Employment is a team sport for employers and it should be for you also. When we post a job, the position description has been reviewed by at least a handful of people in my company (who each usually suggest an edit or two). The text gets better with each review. The team approach improves every aspect of recruiting in my company (especially interviewing). So, why would you want to go solo in your job search?
Are you a do-it-yourselfer? You want to get vital feedback and assistance from your friends and family with your resume, your cover letter(s), your dress, people skills and interviewing style. You need to know how you come across to others, so, don’t give up until you find the right friend or coach.
If you don’t know anyone with the right smarts, consider networking with informational interviews to meet people that are in a position to give you valuable feedback and advice. These informational interviews may also lead directly to your next job – it happens.
Whether you go with professional help or prefer the do-it-yourself approach, getting feedback is a critical step in getting a job you love. Asking for feedback is also critical to keeping a job you love, so create the habit now.
For comprehensive advice on the entire job search process, read our complete guide to landing a job at a great company or visit our career advice hub.