Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I the best candidate of all?

Most recruiters know when they have found the perfect candidate for a position. We typically have a checklist or there are requirements that the candidate meets in helping us determine their quality. While it may be clear to the recruiter or employer that a candidate is a fit, sometimes it’s not clear to the job seeker themselves. Here is a checklist for determining if you are in fact a fit for a position.

Your resume “reflects” the job description – You know you’re a fit for the position when your resume reflects the job and skills required with minimum modification to your resume. You recent position is the same and you have recently utilized the skills necessary and used them often. You will know if you are a fit for the position if your resume sounds like a repeat of the job description and, if you want the position, it should do just that.

Your compensation is in line with the position – This holds true for either contract or direct hire. Now I know that there are some candidates that have all of the requirements that are needed in the position but are more expensive than the client is willing to pay. I will admit there are exceptions to the rule; however, most hiring managers have a budget to follow and, if you are within the compensation range and have the skills, you are going to get the position more than not.

Your availability is in line with the hiring managers start date – You could fit both of the criteria above but if the need is mission critical to start and you have to give a 3 to 4 week notice, it’s probably not going to work out. Make sure that the timing is in line before pursuing the opportunity.

Location, Location, Location – This is not just important in Real Estate. It is VERY important to hiring managers. Now I understand that some candidates are open to relocation or that driving 45 minutes one way may not be a big deal, but most hiring mangers that I deal with are interested in the location of a candidate and the closer, the better.

Career or skill progression – Let’s say that you are trying to get a position as a Developer and you have been a developer for 9 years but you have been a manager for the last 2 to 3 years. Most hiring managers are going to pass on you because you have not been a developer recently or your career progression appears to be going away from development. It is important to remember that your work history tells a story to the client and can give them an impression, wrong or right, of your background and capabilities.

I hope that the information above helps some of you Job Seekers. I know that it is basic and there may not be a magic bullet but….remember to review your resume, put together a checklist, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you meet all of the criteria above.

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Comment by Randy Levinson on April 13, 2010 at 12:50pm
Perhaps this is a topic for another blog post by either you or me, but when I read the first line of your post I thought to myself "...but then the hiring manager fails to see the match. maybe it is just here in Silicon Valley where we have unemployment floating around 12% that managers are looking for the perfect-perfect match to the job and not able to peek outside the box at all. But I'll have those 100% candidates that were on teams that pioneered the tech the managers are looking for and they'll come back with "limited experience". of course everything has a context to it that I won't go into here (just venting really). But what hiring managers need to take the time to do with these candidates is at least ask the recruiter, "why did you see it?"


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