Job Hunting Tips From Hiring Managers

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Couldn’t land a decent job? Read these interesting job hunting tips from hiring managers that you may not have heard yet before.

We’ve conducted a survey amongst hiring managers in Singapore. Below, you’ll find the top tips they’ve shared on how to get that first interview.

Keep It Level Headed

So many applicants think a nice template or fancy words are impressive. Truthfully, they are a real turnoff. I can almost tell if a candidate is a narcissist just by looking at the language in his CV. There’s no need to get them on the phone. 

When you’re reading through 30 CVs an hour, it’s so easy to spot the liars and the ones who are out of touch with reality. They think they are superstars.

I really like reading honest CVs which don’t overstate achievements. They write the content as facts. When I present CVs like these to my client, they’re always pleased. It’s not difficult. Sometimes just by being normal, you can stand out better than everyone else who are not realistic about their abilities.” – Jocelyn (Headhunter with 14 years of experience)

As much as we want to stand out, do remember that hiring managers want to work with people they can trust and relate to. Coming across as a narcissist doesn’t do you any favours.

Have A Narrative

Use the CV to tell a story that appeals to the hiring manager. Tell me the best about you. But please, keep the story short. Only include the relevant bits” – Barney (Offshore Banking Headhunter)

Having the right frame of mind is so important when crafting your resume. We’ve spoken about it in deep detail.

Apply Only If You’re A Good Fit

When we hire for junior roles, like an Investment Associate, the amount of cr*p that comes in is unbelievable. People with absolutely no educational credentials, no industry experience, never even attempted a CFA level 1.

I try to be zen about it and not get pissed off. But seriously, who are they kidding? There’s no way they’re qualified for the job. They shouldn’t waste their time. They shouldn’t waste my time. ” – Barney (Offshore Banking Headhunter)

Your Resume Is Not Read By A Human – It’s Read By A Computer First

Every single company on the Fortune 500 list currently uses some form of an applicant resume screening software. These programs automatically scan your resume and pick out key words. They then approve or reject your resume based on these key words. As a result, you resume often never sees a single human reader.

This is why it’s so important to pad you resume with key phrases related to your job history. See our article on Automatic Resume Screeners for tips on how to beat the screeners.

Candidates Who Call the Recruiter Have An Advantage

When you submit your resume, don’t just blindly hit apply on the job portal. Instead, call the hiring manager and ask a few intelligent questions about the job. Then, get the hiring manager’s direct email address to send your resume to. This way, your resume gets to bypass the entire initial screening process and get straight to the hiring manager. If you project yourself well during the phone discussion, you’ll stand a good chance to get into the interview pile.

Interviews Are Important – But The CV Leaves A Lasting Impression

Some hiring managers admit that they often have a definite favourite prior to the interview phase based solely on the candidate’s resume and cover letter. Sometimes unconsciously so, hiring managers want their “first pick” to interview best, thus proving their intuitions correct and making the hiring decision a snap.

Other hiring mangers say that if two candidates interview equally well, they often pick the one with the better resume. One hiring manager shared that a resume is “the person’s best work”. It leaves a lasting impression long after the interview impression wears off.

Use your resume to set yourself apart, and above, the pack by driving home the message that you can add value to the organization. Invest the effort in writing an amazing resume. If you’re not sure how, check out our free guide on how to write a resume like a professional.

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Russel Yee

Former Headhunter


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