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Last week, Career Communications Group’s Job Readiness expert Courtney Taborn shared tips to help you interview with confidence. In this edition of her career series, she looks at what hiring managers look for. There are so many things you need to know before you apply.

Check out why it is important to have knowledge of a potential employer and its industry, a resume tailored to the position, perspective on your own skills and reputation, and whether you will make a good cultural fit. Read on.

1. Knowledge of the company and culture – Preparation

Not only should you research a company before filing your application, but you should also spend time analyzing the position description and whether you even fit the bill. You should learn about industry trends and how the company compares to its competitors. Remember, being prepared isn’t just about memorizing trivia about the company, it also means taking time to interpret what you’ve learned and analyze what it means for the company, the position, and you.

2. A resume tailored to the position

A tailored resume shows that you’ve spent time considering whether the position is a good fit and increases the odds that your resume makes it in front of the appropriate person. Because of the increasing use of applicant management software, tailoring your resume to the job you are applying for is more important than ever. If your resume lacks keywords and skills you are unlikely to make it through the first round of screening.

3. Skills Perspective

It is especially important to put skills into perspective; whether you are an early-career professional, making a career change or you aren’t traditionally qualified for the position. Not only do hiring managers want to make sure you have the required skills and experience for the position, but they also want to see what else you bring to the table that makes you an outstanding fit.

4. Self-awareness

Someone who is self-aware is less likely to take a job that isn’t right for them. Hiring managers want to see a candidate who has a strong grasp of their strengths and weaknesses.

5. Reputation

Beyond your social media presence and pre-selected recommendations, there are infinite ways a hiring manager can learn more about you. This not only means there are many ways you can get caught in a lie, but it also means that you can do damage to your reputation in the future. Hiring managers do their best to ensure they select the right candidates for the right position which means they do their homework.

6. A good fit

For hiring managers, what it all comes down to is whether or not a candidate has the potential to become a part of the team. The reality is no matter how qualified and talented a candidate might be, if they cannot fit in with the team they will be working with, the candidate will ultimately become a burden on the organization’s resources. A poor fit is not only a drain on resources, but it also affects a team’s morale and productivity.

Signals that you are a good fit can be anything from how you handle answering a difficult question to whether you were friendly to the employee at the front desk. Because “fit” is such a complicated factor to measure, the best thing you can do is bring the best and most authentic version of yourself to every interaction with a hiring manager.

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