Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Truth Behind Hiring ~ What Really Goes On When You Apply for a Job

Getting Hired ~ Job Search & Resume Tips

Do You really know what happens when you apply for a job?


While the steps may vary company to company, what is constant is this ~ only one person will eventually be offered the job. 

Congratulations if you are the one chosen, but if you are not, the question often becomes “Why”?

That is when you start to second guess yourself.

Did your resume just get tossed?  Were your education or experience lacking?  Did they even get your resume?

And if you are fortunate enough to get as far as a phone interview, you still may not get any notice if the job was filled ~ let alone why you weren’t the one hired.


There is no doubt that looking for a job can be demoralizing and confusing.


But it shouldn’t be!


Knowing what goes on 
during the hiring process can help.


What Really Happens When You Apply for a Job?  “Tweet This”


It all starts with your Resume!
Before you even apply, it is important that your resume is memorable ~ and for all the right reasons.    

Employers DO care about not only What is listed but How you list it. Things like poor spelling and grammar can be deal breakers.

Other red flags are:
  • Missing or Inappropriate Contact Information ~ Have You listed a professional email address?  A working contact phone number? Do You have Voicemail?
  • Dates of Employment are Inaccurate or Not Listed ~ Missing dates or ones found to be untruthful are questionable.
  • A “Revolving Door” List of Employments ~ staying at your jobs less than a year (while one or two of these short term employments may not be a problem, a pattern of this is). 
It is also important that you make sure 
your resume is “Background Check Ready” before you ever submit it.  

If it is found out later that you lied about anything listed, your chances of getting the job are unlikely.

Find out what steps you should take to get your resume up to par here!

Time to Apply!
After your Resume is ready, the next step is applying for the job you want.  Many times this starts with a cover letter.

Make sure your cover letter gives clear cut examples of the skills/education you posses that match with the qualifications necessary for the job.  Insert keywords directly from the job posting in your cover letter.

This is important because many recruiters and human resource personnel immediately weed out applications that do not meet these requirements.

And if you are applying online, those keywords are even more important.  While you will not have the luxury of a cover letter here, keywords can still be used throughout your application.

Remember, your resume is more than just a list or “about you”.  It’s focus should be on how you are the answer to the company’s problems and needs.   So make sure that your resume clearly shows what you can do to help them.  

Now Comes the Wait!
This is probably the most frustrating and anxious time for many job seekers.  

You can expect to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after you apply (and sometimes even longer!).  In many cases (especially when an online application process is used), if you are not going to be offered an interview, you will not hear anything at all. 

When you apply online, a “real person” may actually never see your application.  The company’s system only passes on those resumes that fit their pre-determined parameters.  This is why keywords can be so important.

Even if you are able to apply with the more “old-fashioned” cover letter and resume, you still may not hear anything from the company.  Good business would dictate that if the job has been filled or if you are not being considered, that you receive at least an email to let you know.

But this is not always the case and, even worse, you have no control over it.  Companies will say that they simply get too many resumes to let each applicant know if the job has been filled.  

I think that unknowingly, they may be harming their brand. People talk.  And a company that is willing to go the extra mile and notify all applicants will be noticed!



Get Ready for the Interview!

Many times this step can start with a phone interview (or two). Companies look at this as a way to narrow down the applicant pool and save money and time.  

If they are still interested after this, then a face-to-face interview will be scheduled.  

This can be a day long affair.  You may meet with multiple people on the hiring team all in one day ~ human resources, hiring managers, etc.

Other times your initial interview will simply be the first round and you will meet only with one person.  However, it is that person that will determine whether you proceed to further interviews.  

Be prepared to answer questions pertaining to your resume, skills, and problem solving abilities.  Emphasize those that are essential to the job you are seeking.  

Have clear cut examples ready of actions you have taken that directly relate to what you can bring to the position.  Share the results of those actions and what you have learned from them.  Be sure to present yourself as the solution to their needs.

You Get a “Conditional” Job Offer!
After the interview phase, employers will decide which candidates will move on to the next step ~ the Conditional Offer of Employment.  This means that you are offered the job pursuant to successful completion of the Employment Background Check.

Depending on the position, companies may screen for criminal history, verification of education and employments, and even driving records.

They are also looking for confirmation that what you listed in your resume is truthful.

This can put many applicants in panic mode!

What you need to remember here is that if you have gotten this far, the company WANTS to hire you!  They are simply looking for confirmation that they have made the right choice.

Read more in “Surprise!  Doing a Background Check Means They Want to Hire You!”.



Once Again, The Waiting Game!
Even if all seems to go well, the hiring process can still drag on.

This does not mean that the company found out something about you and is trying to find a way to let you down easily!

Instead, the delay is most likely caused by something completely beyond your control.   


Likely Causes for Hiring Delays:

The Background Check
While usually the screening process runs smoothly, there are things that cause delays.  This most commonly occurs when trying to verify education and employments.  Often times the source is either unavailable or not responding in a timely manner.

Find out more in “The Life of a Background Check”!

The Company’s Own Hiring Process
Many times there is simply nothing that can be done to speed up the hiring process ~ as much as you would like it to be otherwise!  

So, even if they are completely sold on you, their own company policy dictates the steps they need to take.  This could include a minimum number of candidates that must be interviewed for each position.  It could even mean that there must be a certain number of decision makers that sign off on hiring you.      

No matter what the case may be, you have no choice but to be patient.

If after a week or two you haven’t heard anything, you can reach out to your contact person and check on the progress.  Anytime you can let them know you want the job, it is a good thing!

And even if you are not offered the job, it is important that you don’t take it personally.  While this will certainly be difficult to do, it is the only way you can save your sanity through your job search. 

All you can really do is keep going in your quest to find the job that is right for you!  
Good Luck!



Authored by   





API can help You Get Your Resume “Background Check Ready” and even find out what is “out there” about you so you are not surprised!

Contact API to Help You Land the Job!

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