With all the avenues available to job-hunters to look for work, make connections, and market themselves, you can now make a ‘first’ impression multiple times. A hiring manager or recruitment consultant might view your LinkedIn profile or social media posts, read your resume, speak to people in your networks, or call, text, or email you, all before they meet you in person. In doing so they start to form a view of your personal attributes and style, as well as how you operate, and what you have to offer their company. Representing yourself consistently across all of these forums is important, so that prospective employers see you as genuine, professional, and job-ready.
Recently I needed to contact a candidate who’d made a positive ‘first’ impression with a great resume that outlined, amongst other things, their well-developed communication and engagement skills. However, these skills did not extend very far when it came to setting up an interview for a role. Getting in touch proved difficult, despite my repeated follow-ups via phone and email. To make matters worse, when we finally did connect, the person’s telephone manner and tone was abrupt and disinterested, which left a very different impression, and had me reconsidering whether to put their CV forward at all.
I’ve also met candidates with excellent LinkedIn profiles highlighting their strong writing and research skills, and organisational and time management capabilities. Unfortunately some of these candidates have not been able to translate these abilities to a successful interview. Research and writing skills should help you to easily get background information on the organisation you’re applying to, either through websites, media articles, or industry information. From there you can work up useful prompts for your interview responses, as well as a few brief but relevant questions to ask about the job itself. Hiring managers or panels will spot inadequate preparation or a disorganised approach every time – it’s that obvious. On another note, if you’ve written a great resume but your LinkedIn profile is a bit bare, you can simply cut and paste sections of it across to add more detail to your profile, making your online and hard copy profiles more uniform.
We’re all pressed for time but it really is worth the effort to regularly review the various tools and profiles you use to promote yourself in the job market, and keep them updated and consistent. In today’s competitive environment, you need to make it as easy as possible for employers to get the right ‘first’ impression of you – every time!