As a guy who has hired hundreds of people over the years(and fired quite a few as well) I wanted to share some simple job tips that all employers look for when hiring. Lots of folks have cool looking resumes, have all the “canned” interview question answers down pat, and can to some degree put on a good first impression. However, when the interviewer has talked to hundreds of job applicants, they (and I) get pretty good at cutting through the smoke and knowing within the first 5 minutes what a person is all about. So, when I first sit down with someone, here’s what I look for first:
- Credibility (trustworthiness) – I’ll take honesty and trustworthiness over book smarts all day. Do not fudge on your resume, your current salary, your skills, or anything else. That will only lead to pain, either now or later.
- Competence – Speaking of book smarts, competence is obviously key. You know what this takes to achieve, and try to achieve just a little more than the other guy. Take a night class or extra online class. Get some initials after your name. Have a certificate that says you did something extra.
- Compassion – I know we all to some degree are about ourselves, but don’t be JUST about yourself. Having a true heart towards others will pay off in spades professionally(though self advancement isn’t the main reason to do this). Just be a nice person that genuinely cares about other people!
- Communication – Be able to look me in the eye and have a meaningful conversation please. Too many people now live their lives in the machine world and can’t even have a conversation. As painful as it may be, practice this!!! Maybe when you break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend next time, you can practice this by calling them and not texting them…or maybe even doing it face to face! Order a pizza on the phone rather than an app. Go to lunch with people. Whatever it takes, don’t lose the ability to have meaningful communication.
- Contacts –
If you can bring anything to the show that the company would not have otherwise had access to, you will exponentially increase your value and your chances of being hired.
And be just as or more interested in what you can do for the company as you are in what they can do for you.
Steve Hines, President of Emergent Holdings, a Birmingham Angel Fund.