What makes YOU an attractive candidate

What makes YOU an attractive candidate

In this blog, I try to make it a combination of work and play.  For most of us, that’s what our lives primarily consist of working our real-time jobs and then whatever we do outside of work, which isn’t always “play” or fun, but you get the idea!

 

Since I am a recruiter and interview people all day every day, I give career advice and interview advice from what I have experienced in hopes that it will help you when the time comes. 

 

Previously, I have talked about how to prep for an interview and how to write a thank-you note.  Those were tips that you can apply in real-time and you would then get an immediate reward from. 

 

Today I want to talk about the characteristics that make you a really attractive candidate to a hiring manager and they are characteristics that you have to build up over a longer period of time.  Writing thank you’s and preparing for interviews will definitely help you move forward during the interview process.  But I would like to focus on the characteristics or traits that you have worked on repeatedly, (hopefully) throughout your career, that you didn’t always see an immediate reward for, but will make you stand out in a hiring managers eyes.  

 

These are the top traits that an interviewer looks for when conducting an interview.   The things that you have to work towards your entire life and career. The intangibles that will make you the most attractive candidate.  

 

 

Can you do the job?

This seems like the dumbest question to ask – but it’s one of the most important.  Can you actually do the job you applied for, or have been recruited on? Very rarely will your “soft skills” or your ability to pick up on new things quickly, get you the job.  If a hiring manager is looking to fill an engineering position or a developer and you don’t have an engineering background and you can’t code… then you can’t actually do the job. Often times when hiring managers are searching for a person in a specific position, they need that person to be able to come in and almost hit the ground running.  They are not expecting you to know what the company does right away, but to at least have the skills to get the job done. 

 

 

Job Stability 

No matter how much the market is changing, and companies are evolving, or the circumstance at hand, hiring managers are STILL NOT interested in job hoppers.  

The definition of a job hopper will vary drastically from one person to another, but my personal rule of thumb is that if you have moved from one job to the next every 1-2 years, you look like a job hopper.  

Being in recruiting for years I have heard every story in the book as to WHY someone moved from one job to the next, and some are very legitimate and we can explain. But at first glance, it still doesn’t look great.  If we see that you have 10 years of constant job movement, maybe you should be vetting out your next job more carefully to make sure it really is a good move. 

This sounds negative, but it’s an elephant in the room and one of the biggest reasons a hiring manager won’t be interested in a candidate.   So I really want to make sure you are conscious of it when making a career step. 

On the other hand, if a hiring manager sees that you have been at a company for 3-6 years, they think the exact opposite.  They see someone who has stuck it out through the hard times, someone who took the time to learn and grow within a company, and who contributed years of their career to make it a better place. Someone they want to hire. 

Sometimes when we stop and try to see it from their perspective, we can better understand why they would feel that way and how we can better make decisions moving forward. 

 

 

Positive Outlook

Having a positive outlook isn’t something that is only talked about in self-help or fru fru stuff.  It’s legit and needed in the workplace. As you all know, “fires” or problems arise all the time. It’s inevitable and none of us can hide from it or control it, but what we can control is how we act or react when faced with adversity.  

If you are the type of person to freak out when shit hits the fan, no one really wants you on their team, because they have to pick you up and calm you down while they are trying to figure out a solution themselves.  On the other hand, if you are the type to look at a problem or unfortunate situation head-on thinking of solutions or the lessons learned, people will naturally be drawn to you needing that positivity to keep pushing them forward. 

Having a positive outlook and a can-do attitude is essential, and hiring managers can pick up on that just by how you talk about previous roles or situations you have worked through.  

Are you picking out the positive or the negative? Are you focusing on where you learned and could improve or where you lost? 

 

Work Ethic

I have never met a hiring manager that doesn’t love or respect a hard worker.  Some colleagues might get jealous or poke fun to settle their own insecurities to make themselves feel better, but that has never happened with a hiring manager.  

Your work ethic and how much of a driver you are comes through in an interview and is applicable to any job.  You know exactly who I am talking about too. It’s the person in the office who comes in early, or work late, and is just always giving it their all.  Hiring managers are never going to be upset about that and will bend over backward to keep employees like that happy or to get someone interested in joining their team.

A hard worker doesn’t only yield results faster, but it also brings the entire team motivation and overall energy to a level higher.  If everyone is goofing around in the office and not getting their work done, then there is less pressure to get back to your desk.  Whereas if there is one person grinding away, and hitting their goals and numbers while you sit and talk at your desk then there is a little bit of a nudge to get back to work to keep up. 

 

 

Culture Fit 

Aka – Can we work together?  As you all know, the people you work with or see in the office, you spend WAY more time with than your actual family and friends.  Since you spend so much time together it is crucial that you actually like each other and can get along.  

This one is typically harder to vet for.   Everyone is their own unique person, and no one ever wants you to change who you are, and it really depends on whether you just click with the hiring manager or not and if you have some of the basic qualities that a company is looking for. 

For example, many companies today have a “no asshole” policy.  There is no specific guideline or tool kit to follow to figure out if someone is an asshole or not, you just know or you don’t know.  

From a hiring perspective, a good way to be sure you like someone is to have the candidate interview with multiple people at a company to make sure the stories stay consistent and you get multiple opinions on a candidate.  This is never guaranteed to give you perfect results, but it will at least give you back up behind your ultimate decision. 

If you are the candidate interviewing for a job, if you have been a good person your whole life and you are kind and work hard you are probably going to be fine.  But what is most important here, is to just be yourself.  If you aren’t clicking with a team or meshing with a hiring manager it probably isn’t the best place for YOU.  

Remember interviewing is a two-sided sale.  BOTH parties have to be interested in each other to officially make a match.

 

 

Past Performance

How you have performed in a previous role or in anything in life, is likely a good indication of how you will perform in the future.  History repeats itself.  In the past, if you were a really hard worker with a positive attitude and didn’t give up until a goal was accomplished or an initiative met, you will likely act the same way when faced with another problem. 

If the opposite happens and you dodge conflict, or are always late with deadlines and blaming others for things that come up, you will likely continue to do that in your next role.  

Now with that said, there are always tough work environments or circumstances outside of our control that hinder us from hitting a goal.  But like I said in the job hopper bullet, if this is continually happening job after job then a hiring manager is going to get suspicious on where the blame should really lie. 

Hiring managers want top performers so that the top performers could help them meet their own objectives and goals, and will be a good influence on their team. 

 

In general, whenever you are interviewing for your next job the only thing that you can do is your best.  Put your best foot forward and show up to every interview prepared and ready to show them the best version of yourself.   

 

From now on, in your current role and every role moving forward, if you are consciously thinking about and working towards these long term characteristics to be the best version of yourself then no matter where you go or where you are, you will be valued and you will make your way to the top. 

 

Until next time, stay classy. 😎

Level Up your Squad

Level Up your Squad

I was inspired to write this blog after seeing the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ movie.  I am not a crazy, obsessive Marvel diehard, but I am definitely a fan. I think they are funny and cool and if there is a popular Marvel film out I am likely going to watch it.  My all-time favorites are ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ 1 and 2. To me, they’re hilarious, light-hearted and have great endings, which is very important to me (otherwise I get pissed).

 

Without spoiling anything, at the highest level ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is the sequel to ‘Avengers Infinity War’, a pretty epic movie that brought nearly all the major Marvel superheroes together to fight the big, bad guy, ‘Thanos’, determined to end life as we know it.  Simply put, things didn’t so great the first time around, so ‘Endgame’ is their second shot to kill the bad guy.

Image result for avengers endgame

I don’t want to spoil the entire movie, so I won’t, but there was one scene in it that pulled at my heart and I can’t help but share.  It was actually the only part that I got super emotional during the movie, but MAN it was good.

 

At one point, Captain Marvel is getting ready to carry the Infinity Stones away from the enemy to safety, but what’s in front of her basically couldn’t be any worse. Rapidly approaching is a sea of evil, black creatures. Rabid Gargoyle-like soldiers, slithering alien warships, armored mutant gorillas all sprinting towards her. Now, Captain Marvel is pretty rad, but still, the odds didn’t look good.

 

Spiderman looked at Captial Marvel and said, “I don’t know how you are going to get through all that”.

But out of nowhere rolls in the ultimate SQUADDDDD.  All the female Avengers characters started flying in around her one-by-one, reassuring Spiderman, “Don’t worry. She’s got help.”  For a second, they all stood around her tall, proud for a glorious moment, and then proceeded to kick all ass in the surrounding zip-code  It. was. EPIC.

 

It’s a scene that probably no one is talking about except me, but in my opinion, it was by far the best scene in the movie and definitely one of my top 5 or 10 movie scenes ever.

 

I have been thinking about that scene for weeks now and have been trying to think about how I can write about it, besides the simple fact that I just loved it.  Then, I was on one of my lunch walks and it came to me. Leveling up your squad.

 

This scene hit me in many different ways because it show was a perfect women empowerment moment. It showed friendship and women supporting each other, believing in each other and standing up for one another.  Pretty much the best situation ever for all the girls out there that don’t always get the same superhero love as the guys. But, it didn’t really just stop at women’s empowerment.

It was the perfect example of what friendship and respect for a colleague SHOULD look like.  The only way to get a squad as epic as the Marvel squad here to level up your own squad.  Consciously surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams and who would fight through Demogorgon super creatures to help you succeed. Figuratively of course ;).

 

But, you all know what I am talking about here.  We all have different groups of friends or colleagues. There are some who you know have your back always and would fight for you. Then, there are others who are a bad influence or they make you feel small and think your dreams are dumb.   

 

When striving and working towards being the best version of ourselves we can’t have heavyweights like that holding us back.  Now, I am not saying to ditch all of your friends who don’t always see eye-to-eye with you or are exactly like you. Our friends come in all shapes and sizes and being different from our friends in ways can be healthy.  I am just suggesting to be mindful of how much time you are spending with the different types of people in your life and be sure you’re not surrounding yourself with negative influences constantly.

 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

 

Take a minute to think here. Who do you spend most of your time within a typical week?  Think about who they are, what they do and what they stand for. Do you want to become more like that person?  Do you want that person to influence how you treat others?

 

At some point in our lives, which will be different for all of us, it’s important for us to take a good look at the people around us and ask ourselves “How they are influencing us?  Are they building us up or bringing us down?”

 

I did this in high school, college, after college, and before I got married.  And it wasn’t something I planned. I just naturally started asking myself which of my friends I really trusted and looked up to, who I was a better person around and who I wanted in my life for the long haul.  I naturally wanted to spend more time with the friends who built me up and made me feel good because I enjoyed them and I was proud of the person I was around them.  I also look up to them in some way and respect the person that they are. 

 

The friends I have today and the people I spend most of my time with I truly do think that they make me a better person and I know they are ALWAYS there for me no matter.

 

For those of you who maybe have never even thought about how the people who you spend your time with influence you, I put together a couple of things you can start to do or think about to level up your own squad. 

 

  • Raise your personal standards.

To level up our squad we need to start with leveling up our own standards.   Think about the person that you want to become.  Who do you want to become or be remembered as? Maybe a great friend or the mom that has everything right or a badass businesswoman.  Whatever it is we want to be, it starts with us believing in ourselves and our ability to become that person, followed by raising our personal standards to help us get there.  

Then the question is, “Am I surrounding myself with people who are making a positive impact on my goals and the person I want to become?” “Do I personally know people that I can learn from and look up to?”  If you do, great! Become best buddies with that person and learn from them, look up to them and their awesomeness.  People who make a positive impact on our life are gems to be treasured.  Absorb and take in everything that they do and learn from them.  You may start to notice that the reason they are who they are and do what they do, is because they hold themselves to a higher standard.

By simply being around people who hold themselves to a higher standard it will help you do the same for yourself.

 

 

  • Make a conscious effort to meet new people.

 

This is what I want you to do if you find that you DON’T have the friends or network of people you want to become like. There are always different types of networking events in local cities where you can meet people. You can try to reach out to people directly via Linkedin or anywhere you go by introducing yourself and just putting yourself out there.  

But to be honest, I have never loved the whole networking events, introduce yourself to random people thing.  Some people love it and it works great for them, and more power to them! It’s just not my thing. What I do is start to follow someone I look up too, in a certain area I want to improve in.

For example, I love Rachel Hollis.  I think what she is an incredible business woman and has been able to do inspiring things in her career, so I follow her and am a raving fan.  I read all her books and blogs, I do her programs and follow her on all forms of social media.

This helps me in two ways, 1. Having a role model to look up to who lives a life that I respect, and 2. Has been a way for me to meet people through a common interest.  

This method of meeting like-minded people with common interests can be done in so many different ways.  My way of connecting with people has been through a business role model, but yours could be through a lifestyle blogger or an art class you are taking or even joining a rec sports league you are a part of.  They are all great ways to meet new people.

 

 

  • Lead by example.

 

Whenever trying to level up your squad it is important to remember to START being the person you want to be for the people around you.

Finding new friends that help you grow and learn is super important, but it’s just as important to be a great friend and person towards the people in your life today.   Regardless of how they treat you, make sure you always treat them with the love, respect, and support that you would want. Lead by example and show up as the best person that you can every day.  We can’t always wait around for our hero to show up, sometimes we need to be our own hero.

By doing this, you will turn into that person that others look up to, seek out, and try to befriend because you are the person that they respect and love most.  You will teach those around you how good friends or colleagues SHOULD treat each other.  You will show them how they should act to become the best version of themselves.

Someone out there that you already know needs you to be the person they look up to and learn from.

Funny how that works. 😉

I hope this helps and inspires you to level up your squad.  Surround yourself with people who support you, love you and believe in your dreams.  If we all just tried to be a little better of a person to our friends and those in our lives imagine the impact we could all make on our world.

We can save the world, just like the Avengers. =]

 

Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide

Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide

This past December I noticed that all of my favorite podcasters were doing a year end review on their shows.  A year end review is when you would take a moment to reflect on what went well and what didn’t over the past year. The pod casters would go over what they accomplished and where they failed so they could learn from it.

At first I really wasn’t into the episode because I didn’t feel like it was something I could benefit or learn from. But, by the end of that first episode I realized just how wrong I was.  The whole concept of what they were doing was such a GREAT tool for improvement. Taking a minute to stop and reflect on the past year to get a better “birds eye view” of what ACTUALLY happened, rather than evaluating it while your in the middle of it.

I am not kidding when I say this, every single December I eat too much, I party a lot, and then January comes and I’m NOT happy and at that point I’m already starting to think about the year to come. Not once have I ever taken a minute to stop and evaluate the year that just happened.  It sounds bizarre, but I truly never take time for reflection. I am always too focused on how to fix everything I just screwed up in December and am looking forward to next years goals.   

Also, a year is a long ass time and I can confidently say I forget most of it.  I can barely remember my social security number and that never changes, let alone my weekly and monthly accomplishments over a year.  When an obstacle comes up I will figure out how to overcome it or just trudge my way through it. Whether  I fail or succeed, in the end it is over and I move on. I don’t really dwell on things too much, that’s how I have learned to survive.  I never take the time to stop and reflect on what just happened, unless there was a major blow up or something really bad happened.

But seriously, how often do we all do this?  How often do we not take the time to stop and reflect on what just happened in our life and just keep soldiering on? Sometimes that is completely necessary, even vital, but I think once in a while it’s good to force yourself to stop and think about what REALLY just happened.  Taking the time to pat ourselves on the back or figure out how we can do better is essential

As I mentioned before, a year is a really freaking long time and because I really do so easily forget everything I do, I thought it would make sense for me to try to do this quarterly.  The reason I thought of this was because in February/March I started noticing how “off course” I was in some of my goals and how “on course” I was in other areas of my life, and I started to change my ways a bit.  That’s when I started thinking that we should all being doing this quarterly review, so give ourselves credit where credit is due towards accomplishing our goals and then getting ourselves back on track in the area’s we were lacking.

Today, I am going to go through what I did for my quarterly review and will share the steps with you so that you could do the same.

Continue reading “Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide”

Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER

Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER

Recently, I finished listening to Brendon Burchard’s book High Performing Habits.  It’s actually my second time listening to it because it is THAT good.  I tend to listen my favorite books on tape multiple times and every time I walk away learning something new that I missed the first time around.

This time it was the saying, “Courage is contagious”. As soon as he said that phrase it really hit home, and I instantly wrote it in my phone so I wouldn’t forget.  Courage is contagious. It’s a saying that has been used for a long time and after Googling it last night I saw that there are MANY books with that phrase or something similar somewhere in their title.  I know I had heard it before, but for some reason when he said it that day it really resonated with me. It made me stop and think about the times in my own life where I’ve been courageous and impacted others, on top of the times I’ve watched someone be courageous and was inspired by THEIR courage.

While I was Googling the phrase “Courage is contagious”, I stumbled across Brene Brown’s extended version of that where she says, “Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

Since last week was International Women’s Day, I can’t help but think about all of the amazing, powerful brave women that I look up to.  Women who have moved mountains, whether everyone can see those mountains or not.  I have been lucky enough to watch women change lives and inspire others to do the same.  

When I think of courage, I think of them.   Continue reading “Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER”