Secrets From Recruiters – How to Get Hired

First seen in Forbes 2015

Speaking with hiring managers at the 100 Best Companies to Work For to find out what they look for in ideal job candidates, how to impress them, and what it takes to get hired. Here’s what they shared:

  1. “It is important for candidates to have passion. No matter which department you’re in, your passion for what you do is essential. The more you love what we do, the more people will love what we make.” – Jason Burt, director of talent acquisition, Activision Blizzard
  2. “Finally, when you speak with the recruiter and ultimately with the hiring team, be yourself. Assume there are many qualified candidates for the position so help the recruiter and hiring team know you, how you align to our culture and mission, and what differentiators you will bring to the team and the family.” – Val Davenport, director of talent programs, USAA
  3. Professionalism and the ‘soft skills’ that stand out are critical ─ from arrival on time for the interview to personal appearance and email or voicemail etiquette.” – EmmaLee Ponzio, Manager, talent acquisition, OhioHealth
  4. “A strong candidate not only will offer solutions to the problem at hand, but also will demonstrate a natural curiosity to explore other, related issues and opportunities. Strong candidates will communicate what makes them unique, how they will contribute to our culture and how they will drive impact for our clients.” – Lucy Brady, senior partner at the firm, responsible for recruiting in the Americas, Boston Consulting Group
  5. We are looking for ‘Learn-it-Alls.’ Know-it-Alls need not apply. We gravitate towards candidates who have humility and intellectual curiosity.” – Jeff Vijungco, vice president of Global Talent, Adobe Systems
  6. “Build a Bridge with No Tolls: The best candidates today “build a bridge” from their backgrounds to the specific job they seek. They align the big questions of the position (the desired outcomes, the key competencies and the key skills) to what they have done in the past. This specific, clean articulation of why they are the right match creates a “no toll” situation for the recruiter.” – Andrew Majoch, Director, U.S. Commercial Staffing, Genentech
  7. Professional attire, good eye contact, engaging conversation, a positive attitude and sincerity all leave a lasting, positive impression in the minds of our recruiters.”- David Schubert, assistant vice president for talent acquisition and employee development, Baptist Health South Florida
  8. “We look for people who are: confident but not arrogant or self-obsessed; sharp and focused while also friendly and collegial; serious about their work, but not too serious about themselves.” – Grant Bassett, vice president of global talent, Workday
  9. “Give examples of how you have handled complex problems and situations.” – Elaine Poucher, recruiting director, Protiviti
  10. “Think of your application or cover letter as you would a date or dinner party conversation. Like a good date, the applications that capture our attention are the simple and honest ones – the ones that show off your curiosity, passions, and interests and how they match up with us. Above all, keep it short and sweet!” – Andrew Levy, talent brand and social media manager, Autodesk
  11. “I love being a recruiter because it is all about telling a story. If you are interviewing with me, tell me your story. I want to know about your skills and experiences, but I also want to know about you. I remember interesting people. Tailor your story to prove your value and let me know who you are as a person at the same time.” – Kevin Knapp, recruiting and talent Director, The Container Store
  12. “I am impressed when candidates follow-up after the interview with a thank you note or e-mail. Unfortunately, the thank you note is somewhat of a lost art and can really help a candidate stand out.” – Corey Walker, critical talent specialist, Devon Energy
  13. “Poems, they always catch my attention. If you can make a rhyme or two, I surely will remember you!” – Katrina Jadkowski, CLT Recruiter,
  14. “A happy person with a sense of humor is a plus, because we encourage our associates to have fun at work.” – Mary Muller, director of human resources, Nugget Market
  15. “What often stands out most to our recruiting team are those candidates that proactively take on projects outside of the workplace/classroom that aligns with their interests and career aspirations. This demonstrates a person’s passion for a particular subject and is often indicative of a candidate that will go above and beyond the requirements of the role at FactSet to become a top performer.” – Will McBrien, senior recruiting specialist, FactSet Research System

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