Gone are the days when people looking to join an organisation used to send in a resume and wait patiently for the interview call. Nowadays, more and more people are approaching the entire recruitment process in a creative manner. From displaying one’s skillset on hoardings for prospective employers to notice, to sending in resumes in the form of a Vine video, there is a lot of offbeat stuff being tried out. But these are not everyone’s cup of tea. Also, these options might be more suited to sectors like media and advertising and not for the more traditional industries.
With more and more companies focussing on diversity, it is a great opportunity for women to land their dream jobs and a little preparation will help.
So what can you do to tackle the hiring process with finesse?
Work on your networking
Some of the most ideal job offers can come in from one’s friends, acquaintances or former colleagues. Networking is an ongoing process. Maintaining a rapport with colleagues and clients also helps in getting great references, when required. A little additional effort helps in expanding and maintaining one’s network.
Get to know the organisation
Before applying for a job opening, it is important to do some basic research on the organisation and the job description, and understand if there is a match in terms of technical qualifications as well as your aspirations. Manish Bhatia, a director with a leading HR solutions firm, says, “Organisations are giving top priority to cultural fitment. For example, a candidate from a product company background, who is generally used to a more flexible work culture, might not be a good cultural fit in, say, a services company.” When it comes to middle-level and senior candidates, consultants filter out many candidates based on soft skills, since attrition is a problem in most sectors. Hiring is a big expenditure and organisations want the human resources to fit in well and stay on with the organisation.
Smarten up your resume
Resumes should be concise and a gist of your experience, educational qualifications and key achievements should be highlighted on the first page itself. It is also important to customise the resume as per the job requirement and include only the set of skills which are pertinent to that particular job. Removing everything extraneous will also help in making the resume crisper and less time-consuming for the recruiter.
Get to know your interviewer
Once your interview is scheduled, check out the profile of the interviewer on professional networks like LinkedIn, which will help in establishing a connection during the interview process. The interviewer already has a knowledge of your background and having a counter knowledge will help you be more at ease.
A lot of companies hire using the adage: ‘Hire for attitude and train for aptitude.’ Tanul Jain, a senior recruitment leader with a top IT company says, “Your personality matters as much as your competence levels. I have seen people making such rookie mistakes as coming in shabbily dressed or even answering calls during the interview.”
Tanul also says that companies and startups are being more accommodative of working mothers. So if women have issues with things like working late evenings or working during weekends, it is better to bring it up during the discussion and have a clarity on expectations and constraints from both sides.
Analyse your social media
Yes, social media is for socialising and is a way of chilling out online for most people. But be conscious about what you post on Facebook or Twitter. Most employers do keep a tab on social media. Manish says that background and even credit checks are involved before hiring a candidate.
Work on yourself
Self-improvement is a big factor leading to confidence and preparedness, while facing the hiring process. Working on improving your technical skills, reading more to be on top of what is happening in the world, or polishing your communications skills can help you do better. It goes without saying that all communication like e-mails and resumes have to be checked for grammatical errors or typos. Responding to calls or mails as promptly as possible is another essential.
Identify what drives you
When you are passionate about the job and industry you are aspiring to join, it will make you attractive to the hirer. “When there is a good match between the candidate and the job, both big organisations and startups will be ready to go the extra mile,” says Tanul.
Don’t be just a cog in the wheel
It is essential to have an understanding of the entire industry and not just your specific area of work. Even if you work at an entry level, prospective employers will appreciate it if you have taken an interest in learning more about your industry.
The employer and the employee have a mutually beneficial relationship and if the hiring process is carried out smoothly, it can lead to a synergy which will lead to the individual’s as well as organisation’s growth.