Job hunting blows.


Here’s some tips to make you stand out and get hired.

In PART ONE of our four part series, we covered resume building tips, etiquette, and everything in between. That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s useless if you don’t know what happens next.

Let’s talk about HR…

They’re the ones you want “the call” from, but what do they really do?

Human Resource departments serve many functions, but their five core responsibilities include:

  • Hiring: Finding and attracting employees.
  • Benefits Administration: Keeping employees healthy
  • Conflict Resolution: Keeping employees happy.
  • Payroll Management: Keeping employees paid.
  • Retention: Keeping employees from quitting.

Fun fact: It costs companies appx. 16% of a position’s annual salary to replace that particular role if it becomes vacant. For example: to find, attract, interview, acclimate, and train replace a $10/hour employee, it would cost the company $3,328.

These five HR functions all reflect and intertwine into each other in dozens of ways, but ultimately… what do these things have in common?

One vital function: Minimizing human risk to a company.

Point. Blank. Period. HR exists to protect the company, and that makes hiring a game of “risk mitigation”.

Which one are you?

Risk mitigation is at the core of the business’s interests and all businesses want to avoid as much liability as possible. With this being said, when a position becomes available, there’s three types of hires that a business can make…ranked from the least risky to the most.

  1. Internal Candidate: Somebody who is already employed with this company.
  2. External Candidate with an Internal Referral: Somebody who is not employed with this company, but was referred to the opening by somebody who is.
  3. External Candidate: Somebody who is not employed with this company, and does not know anybody who is.

Most companies prefer to fill positions from within, and it’s a no-brainer. These hires cost the least amount of money, minimize turnover, and keep company morale at its highest levels.

If they can’t hire from within, then they’d prefer to hire somebody that their team knows and refers because it comes with invaluable perks. Referrals are significantly more likely to stay at the company for longer, be more productive, and cost less to find.

If they can’t find an internal candidate, or a referral, then they’ll prowl the open job market.

Who do you know?

Did you know that 70% of companies have programs in place to encourage referrals from internal candidates? That means 3 out of 4 companies are asking their own employees for help filling positions before they’re ever posted on a public job board.

This is why networking is crucial.

If you are in the market for a job, be sure to work your contacts. Don’t post “who is hiring” on social media, but rather reach out to individual people who are working in fields you like and tell them that you’re interested in working with them. Be sincere and strike up a conversation, because this person could be your golden ticket into the company!

There’s 3 types of people.

When you’re in the job market, you’ll likely come in contact with three roles. Be alert, because one person could be filling all three roles.

  • Recruiter: They may or may not be employed with the company (some businesses contract out for recruitment). These people are often the first ones to review your application/resume, and often make the decision to schedule an interview.
  • Hiring Manager: Generally writes the job description, makes the final decision, and may end up being your future supervisor.
  • Interviewer: People who help conduct any stage of the interview and may/will influence the final decision.

Each person may be dealing with hundreds of applicants, and dozens of interviews, so you need to think and appeal to all three.

Think like a recruiter.

Here’s some quick tips that you need to be using in your search.chew

Don’t give off job-hopping vibes: You aren’t obligated to list every job you’ve ever had. List the most important, consistent, and related roles you’ve held.

Don’t rely on smart phones: More than 50% of HR reps state that their company’s hiring portals aren’t mobile friendly. Although we all understand that phones aren’t perfect, that doesn’t mean that you get a free pass. Apply from a desktop computer if you can to make sure your spelling is error free, and the application’s format displays correctly. This will cut down on potential roadblocks between you and the recruiter.

Work Experience > Education: Companies like to see that you’ve committed to a long task via your college degree. However, don’t think that college-free life puts you at a disadvantage. 96% of recruiters would rather hire somebody who has actual job experience. If you’ve got the experience, and not the education, be sure to highlight this loud and clear with samples of your work, letters of recommendations, and anything else that shows your results.

Use keywords: If you’re on job boards and, you need to be using keywords. Don’t embellish too far from the truth, but find ways to incorporate commonly used words. Example: If you are applying for an Employee Benefits position, you might use employee benefits plan, health care benefits, benefits policy, FMLA, etc.

Don’t rely solely on the internet: As I said above, 70% of companies would rather hire somebody that was referred. Make sure your friends/family are working for you!

Use their website: If you find a job online, go to the company’s website and apply directly. Why? Most job boards use a universal application format for thousands of companies. This means that the company likely had to bend or omit their application wishes in order to be visible. By applying directly, you instantly get your application submitted under the best terms, and it will show the employer that you visited their site to apply…which could give the impression that you sought THEM out specifically.

Lock down social media: The second you think it’s time to job hunt, you need to update all your privacy settings and make everything private, or blur the lines between your social media and yourself: aliases, usernames, different email addresses. Employers WILL check, and you don’t want a seemingly harmless post keeping you from getting called, or hired. This applies to your default photos, too.