You got your resume through the ‘black hole’, you know there’s an opening, a need, and here it is the interview. So why should they hire you?
Sometimes it comes down to just that, making the case for yourself in a very human but passionate way. How do you make the case? They’re going to invest a lot of money in you, not just salary, but benefits and time. How do they know they are getting the person you say you are?
I’m thinking about a session some time ago that I had with a career coach. It was a group of human resources professionals meeting one evening a week to prepare ourselves for possible career transition. We all prepared our resumes and handed them in. The next week we came back and were addressed by the career consultant who said “These resumes are terrible! You HR people are too nice!” “Sure you arrange the picnic and help the employees when they have problems, but no company is going to hire you because you’re nice. Your resume should show how you made money or saved money for a company, that’s all!” And with that, in shock, we took our resumes home and started all over again.
To this day, I think this advice is still very pertinent. You have to show the company how you are going to solve a problem for them, or earn them some money. No one wants to hire you because you’re nice. It’s a case of nice guys and gals not just finishing last, but not getting hired. Once you internalize this message, it makes you reconsider everything you put on your resume. I review resumes all the time, for clients, for friends, for people who are not having success, and the one thing I see is people putting a list of tasks they did day after day. Guess what, no one really cares about those tasks. They didn’t ask you for a job description. They need to see a resume, a short, well edited invitation to hire YOU! That means you have to show what you accomplished with some good statistics in a way that they can relate to instead of falling asleep. James Caan, founder and CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw, entrepreneur, UK TV celebrity says it well: “Why would I hire you?”
When you are faced with the hiring manager, or a panel of hiring managers, you need to reflect very quickly and show your passion, determination, and ability to get the job done. This is not something to go about in a relaxed fashion. Give them a good reason to say, yes, this person can help us, we need them. It’s as simple as that. Of course getting there is not so simple, it means you have to be polished yet pointed in your delivery. You need to understand what problem they are trying to solve. If there is a job specification, you need to look through it and read between the lines, thinking why exactly is this position open? How can I help them solve their problem? All of this will be going through your head all while you try to look presentable and not knock over the glass of water they’ve offered you. If you’ve done your homework and you believe in your value, then go for it and tell them why you’re the best one for the job!