This week, LiveCareer reached out to the hiring managers in our network of contacts and asked them to provide some insight on the following topic: how do they find candidates who fit their workplace culture? What are some of the signature signs of a great match? Or an obvious misfit? Here are some of the responses we received in return.
Response #1: Funny Matters
"We latch onto candidates who have a goofy, fearless sense of humor. If you're the kind of person who can make a silly pun in your cover letter, but still stay within the bounds of professionalism, we like you. There's a simple reason for this: it describes our target customer demographic. Take a close look at our product and the kinds of people who buy it, and you'll learn everything you need to know about the kinds of people who work here."
Response #2: Be Real
"We like candidates who drop the plastic corporate façade and just present themselves as they are. Professionalism is great, but we like honesty and self-knowledge even more. If you're comfortable in your own skin, this is the place for you."
Response #3: Language Skills
"We like articulate candidates who can organize their thoughts clearly, write well, speak with diplomacy, and understand multiple layers of meaning. If you're too literal or you don't get hints, you won't thrive here. And that kind of quality often shows through in a cover letter."
Response #4: Sore Losers
"We reject rigid, angry, and relentlessly competitive candidates. Any sign of these traits and you're off the list. It's nothing personal, but hyper competitive employees will just have to look elsewhere for work. We're a team here. If one of us succeeds, we all succeed."
Response #5: Sorry Sally
"We consider it a red flag if a candidate is already apologizing and making excuses at the cover letter/resume stage of the application process. Yes, you may have been laid off from your last position, but your cover letter is no place to launch into a long, detailed, apologetic explanation of the circumstances. Save that for the interview. And even then, it's smart not to bring it up unless we ask. A lay-off is not a big deal until you make it a big deal."
Response #6: Grow Up
"Candidates who show signs of eternal youth are a problem for us. School and the professional world involve different definitions of 'success.' So, for example, don't include your GPA on your resume. Don't bring your mom to your interview. And don't boast that you obey orders like a robot. We want employees who take risks, ask questions, propose new ideas, and aren't afraid to make mistakes and get things wrong. If you're still thinking like a straight A student, get that out of your system somewhere else, and try us again a few years down the road."
Response #7: Believe in the Cause
"We're looking for those who are passionate about our industry. If you love this field, just share that love with us. We'll hire you, and the rest will take care of itself."
A Great Resume Shows You at Your Best
To create a resume and cover letter that present you at your very best without betraying your true personality, visit LiveCareer. The site provides templates, samples, suggestions, and an easy-to-use builder that can frame your character and your credentials in a way that's both brilliant AND accurate.