Think Like a Hiring Manager and Get the Job

Nancy Anderson
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As a job seeker, your primary goal is to obtain employment. Through your cover letter and resume, you attempt to gain the attention of the hiring manager reviewing your application. However, that person has a different goal, and getting noticed is not the same as getting selected. To increase your chances of landing the job, think like that manager and demonstrate to her the ways that hiring you could benefit her and her company.

Imagine that you are the hiring manager. Her goal, as she sifts through piles of cover letters and attached resumes, is to locate candidates for the open position that appear to possess the requisite experience and skills to fulfill the specific duties of the job. Your job, then, as an applicant is to demonstrate the value you offer as a potential employee. At each step in the hiring process, show the ways you will be an asset to the organization.

Craft a Cover Letter to Connect the Dots

Use your cover letter to highlight a few relevant skills, gleaned from the job description, that the hiring manager likely is seeking. Provide specific examples of instances where you used each skill. The goal here is to illustrate how hiring you could make the hiring manager's job easier. Connect the dots to clearly show how your experience fulfills the position's requirements.

Convey Enthusiasm in Conversation

If your resume makes it past the first cut, then the next step might be a telephone screening. In the course of the conversation, convey your excitement about the job and demonstrate that you are a good fit for the company's culture. Remain professional and engaged throughout the telephone screening. Do not sound bored, a mistake that many make on phone interviews.

Build Rapport During the Interview

Hopefully, you are invited in to interview. Use this meeting to not only provide additional details about your experience and skills but to build rapport with the hiring manager. Share specific anecdotes and stories that prove your abilities and support your claims. These stories can make you personable and help forge a connection with the hiring manager. Be truthful in your answers, continue to draw the lines between what you offer and what the company needs, and be as likable as possible. Connect with the interviewer as much as possible.

As a job seeker, you are constantly seeking to impress potential employers. You must also impress upon them the value that you bring to the organization. It is not enough to recite the facts from your resume. You must make it clear how these bullet points relate to the job. By filling in the blanks for the hiring manager, you increase your chances of getting hired.


Photo courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul at



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