Catherine's Career Corner
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June 22nd, 2009
The 3 Things That Will Get You Hired

It is simple – the way to stand out and get hired is to understand what a hiring manager goes through. Today, two or three times as many applications and resumes are received for virtually every open job; hiring managers are buried under reams of paper or thousands of e-mails. So, what would make his job easier? What would get his attention? What would make you stand out?

It won’t be resumes submitted on colored paper or including movie tickets with your application. It will be by ensuring that the hiring manager quickly, easily and accurately knows these three important things about you: how you perform, how you fit and what value you will provide.

Step back for a minute and borrow a little wisdom from Stephen Covey, author the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: “start with the end in mind.” What is your real goal of submitting an application or resume? It is to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job because your performance will drive the greatest value for the company. This requires that you know what you are good at (your talents), what jobs need your talents (to see whether you fit) and how your performance can impact company value. Knowing this helps you to apply for the right jobs – jobs that allow you to maximize your performance and value. When you clearly present this information, you make the hiring manager’s review process easier, more effective and more conclusive. You get his attention. You stand out. This is how to get hired.

Critical to understanding and maximizing your performance is knowing what you are good at and what you love to do. These are reflected in your talents – your natural abilities, interests, strengths and aptitudes. Most people spend very little time assessing and understanding their talents and strengths. Without this meaningful information, we unknowingly apply for and work in jobs that do not use what we are good at; we become disinterested, disconnected and bored. When performance suffers, value suffers.

Most of today’s average and poor performance is due to employees hired into the wrong jobs. They are neither good at what the do or love doing it – both required to excel and to provide the greatest value.

To determine what you are good at, take a talent assessment. A talent assessment tool provides survey questions to help identify your thinking style and your natural strengths. Additionally, a talent assessment helps you learn the language of talents – terminology that will be important to include on your resume or application, and to discuss in your interview.

How to get it right for the hiring manager:
Create a talent-based resume. Present your primary talents on the resume. Explain what you are good at and how you have used these talents in other jobs. This shows the hiring manager that you understand what activates your performance, you know how to play to your strengths and can see your impact in the workplace.

Once you have defined your talents (what you are good at), determine which jobs, roles or responsibilities need your specific talents and strengths. These jobs will provide an engaging environment where you get to do what you are naturally good at and what you love. These environments activate and inspire your greatest performance. Fit is critical for both performance and value.

As you can see not only will you need to know your talents, but you will also need to assess the critical talents required for success in the job for which you are applying Fit relates to the matching of your talents to the talents needed in the job. Good fit – great potential performance. Bad fit – guaranteed average or poor performance.

Let’s say your talents (natural thinking and strengths) are more social and relationship-based. Roles in sales, service, healthcare and the arts are therefore a better fit than roles that require more linear, analytical and detailed thinking such as accounting, auditing, engineering and IT. Not only will you be better at relationship-building and social contact, but these jobs will also appeal more. Consider what a salesman thinks of an accounting job, or what an accountant thinks of a sales job. Neither would be inspired to their greatest performance by the other’s work responsibilities. Hiring managers know this. Fit matters. The more closely the job fits your talents and strengths, the greater you perform.

How to get it right for the hiring manager:
Most of today’s current resumes don’t address the “fit” component. The way to stand out and get hired is to assess the talents needed to be successful in the job, and then to openly compare them to your talents. Show this comparison. This makes the review process more effective and more accurate. This is significant part of the critical information the hiring manager

Face it, few people do something for nothing. In exchange for your pay, the company expects a return. The greater the return, the more value they see in you. This is the focus of the hiring manager – to attract, hire and retain those employees who maximize value. Start with the end in mind – how much value can you provide?

How to get it right for the hiring manager:
On the talent-based resume, summarize how your talents have increased the value in your previous jobs. Provide specifics. Comment on how your ideas, performance and influence have positively affected customer loyalty, efficiency, profitability and results. Provide numbers, percentages or ratios. Highlight your impact and how your talents and thinking have contributed to your performance. Help the hiring manager see your ability to create similar or greater value for his company. This is the specific goal of the resume and application process. Value. Sustained value. Maximized value. This is what makes you stand out and get hired.

To get hired, you need to make the hiring process simple, obvious and conclusive. Know your talents and what you are good at. Share this information. Know what jobs use your talents to maximize your performance. Share this information. Know the impact of your performance on the company – how you add value. Share this information. Performance, fit and value – the three things that will get you hired.

Article by Jay Forte, a former financial executive and corporate educator, now performance consultant, speaker and author, is a nationally ranked Thought Leader and President of Humanetrics.

His new interactive book, Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, presents a step-by-step process to help today’s managers attract, hire and retain the best intellectual-age talent. His new resource, “Stand Out and Get Hired,” helps employees assess their talents, identify roles that match their talents and stand out by learning how to create the new talent-based resume.

Jay is a member of the ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) Find his resources on his new website See his daily blog, called “BLOGucation” (daily power learning), at

Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.

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