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Top 7 Proven Ways to Get Hired

Top 7 Proven Ways to Get Hired

Before my son was born I was an office and hiring manager at a company. Each time I advertised to hire someone, I received over 100 resumes. I interviewed a lot of people. I’ve learned that there are things that can hinder your ability to be hired. There are also ways to increase your chances of getting hired as well. Start by looking for jobs online, help wanted signs, and advertising yourself on social media. Search diligently each day. Once you have found a job to apply to, begin by doing these top 7 proven ways to get hired.

1- Fine tune your resume. The first thing hiring managers see is your resume. You want to make a great impression. It’s true what you hear, that employers typically spend less than a minute looking at your resume (unless it catches their attention). Here are some things to do and not do.

  • Don’t send in a resume that is obviously applying for a different type of job. Many resumes I received were focused on a different position (often in a completely unrelated field). It was like the person who sent in their resume had tailored it to another job they had previously applied for and never bothered to revise it before sending it to me. As a result, I could tell that they didn’t value the position I was hiring for so I deleted it.
  • Have someone else with good grammar look over your resume. Resumes that had lots of typos and/or that were not coherent I also tossed out.
  • Use bullet points, short sentences, sell yourself, use descriptive words, be clear, and don’t lie. Sell yourself but don’t over exaggerate.
  • Don’t send in a resume for a job that you don’t have all the qualifications for. The exception may be if  you have 9 of the 10 qualifications, then you could maybe get away with applying for it. Just let them know somewhere that you have 9 of the 10 requirements (and which one you are lacking). If they are interested, they will contact you.
  • Leave at least 2 or 3 references of trustworthy people and include their updated phone numbers. Also, call your references before hand to ask permission/make sure they know you are putting them down as a reference. This will give them time to think of great things to say about you. When references sound rather shocked or surprised when asked about the individual, it typically doesn’t reflect well on the applicant.
  • Use a professional email address. Create a new one if yours is cutesy, immature, or profane.
  • Keep the resume less than 2 pages long unless it’s a job that requires more detail.

2- Clean up your social media. Yep that’s right, before you send out your resume to anyone, make sure your social media is presentable. What to delete?

  • Foul language
  • Pictures of you partying/drinking
  • You gambling
  • Skanky shots/immodestly dressed selfies
  • Basically, anything that would make another person wonder about your ability to be reliable and/or be professional.

Often the first thing I would do after sorting through all the bad resumes is take the good ones and do a quick Google search of each person. Immediately their social media pages would pop up. I’d spend a few minutes clicking through the photos.

It was surprising to me that people who were desperately looking for a job had 20 or sometimes even 100+ photos on their social media pages of them partying-hard- and/or lots of crude messages/updates. I recommend not putting that stuff up on the internet at all, but if you have already, then delete them (making them private doesn’t always hide them).

3- Follow up after you send in your resume. In my experience, a lot of people sent in resumes to me because it was a requirement for them to keep their unemployment. Further, resumes may get blocked and never make it into the right hands. Unless the ad says not to call, I recommend following up either later the same day or the next to make sure it arrived. Following up also gets your resume on the top of the stack or starred in their inbox.

4-Follow instructions VERY CAREFULLY. After these first few steps, I would send a short task to the applicants I was interested in. I did this for multiple reasons. A few of them were to ensure that they:

  • Had critical thinking skills
  • Could follow instructions
  • Were serious about getting the job
  • Could complete something by a certain deadline.

After I got the questions back, those who exemplified the aforementioned qualities would be called for an interview. So even if you are asked to do something really simple, follow the instructions carefully and complete the task thoroughly.

5- What to do at the interview.

  • Show up on time. Leave plenty of time to arrive (sometimes there is horrible traffic) but don’t go into the building too early. I’d say that arriving about 7 minutes early is good. I remember one day I had a crazy schedule and it was about time for lunch. I was very hungry. Just as I was about to take my lunch break. My interviewee came in. She was 45 minutes early! Needless to say it wasn’t my favorite interview. I let her wait a little but I still wasn’t happy about having to scarf down my lunch as she sat in the waiting area outside my office.
  • Dress modestly and neatly. Its uncomfortable to interview someone who has a low cut shirt or tiny skirt. It’s not a great impression if men have wrinkled shirts, dirty, or stinky clothes.
  • Also, lay off the ‘glam’ look.  Unless you are going to an interview for a modeling position or something similar use a moderate amount of make up. Generally employers don’t want to hire someone who will distract the rest of the staff. If you are extremely good looking, I’d say dress even more modestly (high neckline, long skirts or pants). Put your hair in a nice ponytail or wear glasses. And no matter what you look like, don’t flirt with the office staff while you are there.
  • Don’t complain and make excuses. I almost always threw out the resumes of interviewees that went on and on about how they were slighted in their last jobs. How they were the victim of their last boss, or how horrible their life was. Even if it was true, it wasn’t productive. If you think about it, an interview is a time to talk yourself up and to prove that you are the best candidate.  Keep answers positive, honest, and reasonable in length. Here is a guideline: If you are shy think of ways to use 4 sentences or more to answer. If you are a chatter box monitor yourself to not say more than 8 sentences to answer a question. Keep eye contact, relax, and be personable.

6- Find out about the company. I was always really impressed when those who I interviewed had taken time to find out about our company beforehand. It was a huge green flag for me. So mention it once or possibly twice. Often a smooth way to mention it without seeming like you are ‘trying’ to impress could be at the end. Often the interviewer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”. At this point you could say, “I was looking on your website and it looks like you deal with ___________, if I were hired would I be involved in that?” or “It looks like your company specializes in _______. That is really interesting, how long have you been doing that?” This shows that you take initiative and that you are serious about the job.

7- Once you are hired do all you can to keep your job. Try to start when your employer wants you to start. After that (even if your employer doesn’t mention it), treat the first 30-60 days as a trial period. You are easier to fire now (when you are new and training) than you will ever be. So make sure to be on your BEST behavior. Show up ON TIME. Don’t call in sick (if at all possible). Study after hours. Take notes. Learn all you can. We hired and then quickly fired in this first 30-60 days. Many times new hires wouldn’t show up on time, were constantly sick, and/or weren’t working hard. Also, don’t talk back. If someone would talk back to me or to other managers early on  we would start with the warning/firing process. If you don’t have one, work on developing a good work ethic. Give your all at your job (no matter what it is) and your odds of keeping it will be much higher.

Getting hired is a process but if you follow these top 7 steps you will get a job much quicker than if you don’t.

If you are tired of trying to get hired and want to start making money legitimately from home I’ve interviewed 30 women who work legitimate jobs at home you can read their interviews, how they got started, how much they make, etc. here. How to Legitimately Make Money From Home.

Top 7 Proven Ways to Get Hired

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94 Responses to Top 7 Proven Ways to Get Hired

  1. Carissa Joslyn says:

    This is great! I’ve never applied for a job, I have only had one & I just got it-because my dad worked there as well! this is good for this summer when im looking for a new one

  2. These are very helpful tips on applying or a job. I believe on cleaning up our social medias. I am glad that I do not drink but I have foul language in my own dialect 🙂

  3. Shannon says:

    I am in the middle of job hunting, so I will definitely be using these tips! Thanks so much for sharing them! 🙂

  4. Mitzi Fisher says:

    This is awesome advise. It’s really hard to apply and get hired. So, this will help so much!

  5. Olivia says:

    Wow, these tips are great. Tip number 4 especially keeps this up to date. One thing that is a challenge now is that most companies will not receive your resume or application on a face to face basis. Everything is through the internet, so cleaning up the social media is critical!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Olivia- Yes sending resumes by email does have a disadvantage to actually going in and handing it to the hiring manager. I appreciate your comment/feedback. 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sigh…..were you one of those jealous boses where if a female walked in and was more attractive than you, you instantly hated her..? Were you one of those who hired mostly men? (Unless the female was fat and unattractive) sigh…women should not be in a position where they hire people. Too emotional and jealous.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      The reason why I added this is because on TV the more attractive women always get the jobs. When have you seen any show where the main female workers were unattractive? TV gives off the impression that the sexier you are the more likely you are to land the job. I clearly wanted to state that as a hiring manager in the ‘real world’ that is not true. You don’t have to be a supermodel to get hired. Further, those that were immodestly dressed were usually thrown out by my male bosses that were above me. The reason? they didn’t want them distracting the rest of the employees. I always mostly hired women and beautiful (yet modest) ones at that.

    • Stephanie says:

      *Sigh* Who makes a comment like that? Coming from an HRM, these are great tips. I couldn’t agree more about getting “glam”. I cannot think of a good reason an interviewee would need to wear “purple smokey eye”. There is simply no need for it in the workplace. Anita is correct, it can make people uncomfortable and believe it or not it can lead to sexual harassment down the road. It is always best to address these issues before they cause a ruckus.

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Thanks Stephanie- I appreciate another professional opinion on this. 🙂 agreed, that is exactly what I was trying to say. Thanks for the supportive comment.

        • Debbie Lawlor says:

          Thank you for your help! I lost my job after 17 years 8 months ago and still have not landed a job. What a schock it was to find out that the only way to apply for a job was on line! LOL. I have been wondering what else has changed since. I like the suggestion of re-working the resume for the job appling for ( which may be my problem). I listed my job duties with the employer and have noticed some of hte skills that the HR was looking for was father down on the page and I needed to point it out.
          You are right about the 100 applications for one job!, I have had three interviews and have not progressed, I have followed up with a thank you.
          I guess I guess God has’nt lead me to my new job yet but I llok every day!

          Thank you for your advise.

          • Anita Fowler says:

            Debbie- You’re welcome! Thanks for sharing your story! I do think that it is great you are so actively searching. Your biggest positive main point is your experience 17 years and that you held down the same job for that long. Those two positives are huge! Make sure they are some of your first bullet points. If you have great references from that job from your management or coworkers who worked with you for years that’s another huge factor you have going your way! I hired a lady once that held the same job for 20 years and her coworkers and old manager praised her to the sky. Even though her interviews weren’t the best those two things weighed so heavily in her favor we hired her. She still is at the company here 4 years later.

            Good luck and yes, tailor each resume to the position you are applying for, list your main qualities as bullet points at the top of your resume and if you don’t have a Facebook account make one just make your profile pictures and other pictures look presentable. I wish you the best! God bless!

    • Teresa says:

      Well it’s nice to know women are denied jobs due to their eye shadow choice or lipstick. Real leap forward. Especially on the basis that male employees just wont be able to control themselves. Let’s just never expect men to behave above that. Instead let us blame women for “inviting” that kind of attention with their choice of makeup. If a man jazzes things up it’s great! If a woman “glams” up she is just asking for it or promises to be a problem. I don’t have an issue with your advice I believe good potential employees are denied jobs over rediculous things all the time… Afterall women are judged much more harshly then men, especially by other women. I just think its sad that there is still a basis for it.

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Teresa- Next time you are looking for a job just test this theory out for yourself. Dress scantily (show as much skin as possible), use layers of make up and see if you get hired by a professional. Those who are reading this article do not need to take my advice. I’m not anti women, I’m actually pro women respecting their bodies and dressing modestly. Modesty is something that the media has all but abandoned (even scoffs at) but in the professional arena it is still very important.

        If women want to show their cleavage and their upper thighs that’s fine with me. If they want to cake their face with makeup (and I mean really excessively) that’s okay too! But if they are looking for a professional environment to work in then I would encourage them to dress appropriately. I’ve actually been told to go home and change once because I was new at a job and wore jeans (this was when I was 16). I didn’t hold it against my boss and call him a woman hater, I just went home and changed into business attire. I also worked at a restuarant with no dress code and wore a sleeveless shirt in. My boss asked me to make sure to wear sleeves while I was working. I didn’t sue him or spit in his face. I understood that he wanted me to be representing his business in a more modest fashion.

        Oh and for men I did add that if they came in with stinky, dirty, wrinkly clothes it didn’t look good. I’ve seen guys be sent home as well because their T-shirts were inappropriate or their pants were sagging too low.

        It is what it is, if you don’t like it I’d recommend working at a job that allows you to dress immodestly if you desire.

      • Christi says:

        Teresa…. I’m fairly sure that if a man came in dressed outrageously it counts against him as well. Women need to stop thinking that ‘modest’ means covering everything but their eyes. If you want to be taken seriously, then dress that way. If a male boss of mine did not dress modestly, or in a professional way (example, extremely tight leather pants that showed everything off) then I would have a hard time concentrating and taking him seriously. Anita isn’t being sexist. She’s being realistic. Don’t get personally offended over lip gloss.

    • Supervisor says:

      As someone who also hires, you are way off base. People don’t get hired when the people who are interviewing see more work coming their way as a result. Addressing dress code early on or regularly is more work. Period. Same thing goes with unprofessional (flirty) behavior and tardiness. You only get one first impression and in an interview that’s all you can go on.

  7. Christy Stone says:

    Hi Anita. Could you comment on searching for a job online? My 19 year old college student is looking for a part-time job. There are plenty of places hiring in our area and he has applied for them all. All of the applications are online. He has not heard back from a single one. How can he get noticed with this type of fill in the blank application?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Christy- Make sure he is following up on the jobs he is applying to. Perhaps he needs to rework his resume. He should use bullet points and make it look very professional (yet easy to read). Make sure he tailors the resumes for each job. Also, the best way to find a job is to look everywhere. Look for signs on buildings that say they are hiring, look for classified ads in the newspaper and on newspaper websites, look on the internet on job sites, and finally post on facebook and other social media that your son (and have him post as well) is looking for a job. When About 6 years ago, I was looking for a job I had a goal to put in at least 5 applications a day. I signed up for a temp agency and substitute taught school. On days they didn’t need me I was more actively applying.

      My husband was out of work for sometime when we moved states and by applying to almost everywhere he finally found a low paying retail job that he accepted. The money (although not great) helped us get through until we found him a secure profession position. So even starting off at fast food while actively searching can be a great way to get the income stream coming in while looking for better. I hope this helps! It’s a tough market but you’d be surprised how many companies are really hiring! Have him follow these other proven tips as well. I wish him the best of luck. Anita

    • jewles says:

      Christy if your son is putting in online applications make sure he uses the exact key words and phrases from the advert in either his cover letter or resume – do not reword or paraphrase. Many big companies and agencies use scanning technology to look for this before applications are read by a real person – they are sorted into yes and no piles and the no’s are never read.

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Jewles- That is a very handy tip. Thank you, working at a smaller company I never ran into this issue but I can see that this could be helpful for a large corporation or business.

  8. Helen S. says:

    Your advice is excellent. I have been a stay at home mom for all my life and now that I am 56 I need to find employment to help pay the bills. In #3 you stated to follow up with a phone call to make sure that you resume was placed in the proper hands. What exactly did you mean by follow up? Many times I do not know who is supposed to get my resume. How do I make sure the right person will see it?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Helen- You’re welcome, I’m glad it’s been helpful. I’d recommend calling the company and saying, “Who is in charge of hiring for new employment?” This way if he/she is not in you have their name and you can just call back another time and ask to speak with them specifically. If they are in, ask to be transferred. When they answer quickly ask, “I wanted to follow up with you and make sure you received my application for ________ position”. If the secretary is screening calls (which is fine) ask her to send the following message on to the hiring manager. “Helen ______ is following up to make sure that you received her application for the ______ position. She sent it this ______day (Tuesday).” I hope that helps!

  9. Great post! I just read this with my son who is waiting for a call for his dream job! He has already called once and was told that his application was right on top, so this was encouraging for him to hear! Thank you!

  10. Mara says:

    Hi Anita, do you have any tips on not having good professional references? All of my past managers no longer work at the companies location or I haven’t been able to get in contact with past coworkers.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Mara- I would put references to people who you have known a long time as person references and then leave the HR departments as your professionalreferences (as long as you didn’t get fired or badly reviewed. They will just call the HR department and verify that you did work there. As long as you don’t have negative on your employment file, it will look good to have the HR department confirm that you worked there.

      • James says:

        What if I’ve legally changed my name and can’t have it traced back for my personal safety? There’s no way to confirm with HR that I worked at my previous jobs and if they did call, obviously HR would say I never worked there with my current name. What would you suggest doing?

        • Anita Fowler says:

          Honestly this is a tough situation that I’ve never heard of. The best thing I can suggest a few approaches. Believe it or not some HR companies do not check references. So you can leave references blank and see what they say. The other option is to provide references but explain that for safety they may not contact them. If you go the later route I would include as much information about the situation as you can to prevent them from passing over you. Another idea is to leave personal references of people they can contact even if you have just recently met them. Or get some small odd jobs and include those overseers as work references. Either way there are things you can do but you are at a slight disadvantage. Just know that many HR depts don’t call so you may be just fine.

  11. Juliette says:

    Another tip – don’t show up empty-handed! I rarely hire anyone who shows up for an interview without a notepad and pen. An additional copy of the resume is great too!

    My interviews are full of information and if you are unprepared to document what the job requires, what I’m expecting, training schedules, etc. then I assume you really aren’t that interested.

  12. Lindsey says:

    So anyone who disagrees with you or “talks back” gets fired? Hmm way to treat your employees like they are adults. Countless studies show that that type of management does little for the work environment.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Lindsey- I encourage you to talk back to your bosses and see how they react… do your own case study.

    • Tara says:

      As much as I believe in being as professional as possible my ethics are much higher. My previous employer was always biased towards the female employees. If we made a mistake he would call us and start yelling at us, calling us garbage and other similar terms. I managed to work there for 3 months before I had enough and talked back. I stayed another 3 until I had enough. Because of the way he treated his employees I always dreaded seeing him come in, hated to talk to him at all, couldn’t wait to be sent home early and often went home crying. I had the last straw when I came in after injuring my back due to being threatened to be fired. I spent that day unable to do most of my duties and twice he asked me if I wanted to go home-to which I answered a definite yes. He sent two other senior employees home and then an hour later tells me that I should have told him I wanted to go home because I was sore. And he didn’t say it nicely. I have an interview tomorrow though so I’m hoping that it works out well. There is nothing I like more than being able to help others and if I get paid for it then bonus!

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Tara- That is employee abuse. This has nothing to do with professionalism. I’m sorry you had to go through that. It’s sad that there are people out there that treat their employees so horribly and if he was just singling out women shame on him! I hope no one confuses being respectful as necessary to show to an abusive boss. Respect is a two way thing so Good for you for leaving.

  13. Whitney says:

    I was wondering what your thought is about wearing dark blue skinny jeans to an interview? Some people I talk to say that you should always wear the slacks but I kind of disagree. What are your thoughts about this?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Whitney- I’d say it really depends on the position. For labor intensive/tough occupations like plumbing, road construction, landscaping, architecture, and other labor intensive jobs I think dark skinny jeans are fine. For office environments I’d recommend dressing more ‘up’ than ‘down’ and wear slacks or a skirt. Another good way to know is to call ahead and ask the first person you talk to (usually the secretary) what the dress code is there at the building for employees, then dress accordingly. I hope this helps!

    • jewles says:

      I would always suggest that you try to dress how your prospective boss dresses in an interview situation – a little mirroring never hurt.

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Another Great tip! If you don’t know what your prospective boss will wear, call the secretary and ask what the employment and management wear in a nice appropriate way.

  14. Amy says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog, these are great tips! As a former hiring manager, do you have any advice for stay at home moms entering the workforce again? I decided to switch careers and stayed home with my young daughter while earning my Master’s degree. I’m graduating this Fall and I’m wondering how to explain this gap in employment on my resume and (hopefully) in an interview. Thanks again!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Amy- Going to school and having a baby are both excellent reasons to leave the workforce. That said, I’d just jot down the dates you were at school and if there is a gap between work and schooling, leave it blank. If they ask, you can explain it was because of your staying at home with your daughter. Although motherhood is one (if not the most tough job out there) I don’t recommend adding personal things like children and birth etc. on resumes. Some may disagree but I personally don’t think it helps you to get hired (unless its for a nanny or similar position) to mention it. You can do it in the interview if desired, but the resume I strive to keep as pertinent to that job as possible. I hope this helps.

  15. Jami Bombard says:

    You said, “If you are shy think of ways to use 4 sentences or more to answer.” Would you have more advice on that subject? I can barely breath because I don’t like the attention focused on me, and I begin to tear up. Is there a way to overcome this?
    I have a job fair at my college coming up and because of how shy I am it’s hard to network. I will not know what to say to these potential employers.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Jami- I’m sorry, although I’m not shy I do understand your personality. Introverted people are great to have on any team and many hiring managers know that! So I’d just try to think of restating the question asked and then answer it as best as you can. practice with friends or family, practice in front of a mirror. Practice really does make perfect. Other ways you can show self confidence without use of words is to use your body language. Have a firm hand shake, keep eye contact, smile, lean forward in your chair, nod your head when appropriate. All of these things communicate without use of words. Don’t restate every question they ask but if you are nervous for a minute focus on restating the question they just asked. Also one thing I do, its a bit crazy but they teach you about it in public speaking, think of an object that makes you happy and that can keep you from crying. I have the tendency to cry A LOT because I wear my emotions on my sleeve. So as soon as I feel like I’m about to cry I focus on my happy object and immediately I stop (or rather don’t start crying). You may benefit from a book I love called, Please Understand Me 2 by David Keirsey. It helps A LOT in understanding how valuable introverts are! Embrace your personality because if everyone talked, no one would listen. Although I said it already, it deserves repeating, hiring managers and bosses often really love hiring good listeners and introverts, they are a valuable asset to a team. Keep practicing and working at it and I’m sure you’ll do great!

  16. De Ann says:

    Along with the advice on social media, make sure your email address is not something provocative or “cute.” I was recently reviewing resumes and an applicant listed an email moniker that led me to believe she had a pretty interesting romantic life. Not a great first impression! I would recommend, if necessary, create an email account that you use exclusively for professional correspondence/contact.

  17. Khamiaj says:

    These are great tips – thank you for sharing. I’m a new grad and is currently looking for a job. So far there are no leads – its tough out there esp that I don’t have enough experience. So my question is “Should I send my reference with my résumé or provide it when I’m asked for it?”

  18. Melissa Bennett says:

    Great list! I have always interviewed well because I followed these steps. Love the last one! I recently held a managment position and had staff that constantly questioned my authority. I had all the responsibility yet none of the power. My supervisor was supportive, but I later found out she was supportive of all of us. I ended up leaving the position, my co-workers made it a hostile environment. Still job hunting, but know I have amazing skills to add to any team. Awaiting the right one!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Melissa- Good luck, I hope you find a job that you enjoy. It is very difficult when staff doesn’t respect the higher ups. It really makes getting things done difficult. I’m sorry you had to be put through that.

  19. Sherry says:

    Thank you for the great information. I was recently fired and am looking for another position. I want to use my former employer as a reference but not sure if I should or not. I was with the company 3 years, won several awards and got rave reviews each year up until I was wrongly accused and terminated. Not sure how to handle. Any suggestions?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Sherry- This is a very tricky situation. I would add the work/position on your resume but leave a number to someone who knows the situation. If there is no one then I would simply state to not call the company but write down that you received honors, awards, etc. and that everything was going well until you were wrongly accused. I quit a job of mine because the manager was on cocaine and was sleeping with the owner so nothing I did would have resulted in things getting straightened out. I left the number to the HR department but somehow all my potential hirees were routed to my manager (the cocaine addict). I never got a job until I took initiative and started telling the people who were hiring me the truth. The other jobs would call and my vindictive manager would say a variety of lies to keep me from getting hired. When I began telling them what happened (very briefly and not exaggerating) I got hired… Just keep everything else in the conversation very positive and truthful and when you tell them the situation of your last job underplay it and quickly state it (don’t get dramatic). I’d just say. I’d rather you not contact my previous employment because of X, Y, and Z and leave it at that.

  20. Briana B says:

    Another note: Calm down on the perfume or cologne! People that wear perfume often can become desensitized to the smell and end up putting way to much on so that it “lasts”. As a hiring manager I would recommend not wearing any cologne to an interview (if you absolutely can not not wear it, only dab a SMALL amount either on your collar bone or your wrists). If your perfume is too strong that will be the fastest way to end an interview with me. Be contentious of the fact that people with allergies or asthma can be “set off” by cologne so it’s better to assume these types of people will be interviewing you.

  21. Kayla says:

    Thanks a bunch for the advice Anita! I’m a recent college graduate in the process of trying to land my first “real world” job. These tips are extremely helpful, thanks for sharing!

  22. Heather Knott says:

    As someone who emigrated here 15 years ago, and has only ever had 1 employer here in the USA (same one for 15 years) should I mention any of my work experience prior to coming here, as there may be a lay-off for me next year?
    And is it essential to have a social media presence? as I’m not very active online.
    Great pointers in your blog, thanks a lot

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Heather- I’d definitely include it, even if you worked in a different country. You don’t have to have an online presence but having a basic Facebook account with a nice photo will help you (in my opinion). Good luck!

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  24. Veronica says:

    I can not believe there are women on here attacking the writer for advising both women AND men on how to wear office-appropriate attire to an interview. You wouldn’t wear a bikini to go shopping at the mall, right? Does that make me sexist or jealous? No. So don’t dress like you’re going to the club to an interview ladies. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is a time and a place for all modes and standards of dress. I think the writer gave excellent advice.

  25. Sandy says:

    Anita, do you have any advice for a woman in her 40’s returning to the workforce after taking several years off to raise a family? I feel nervous about answering questions about a job I had “10 years ago” or why there is such a big gap in my work history? I don’t feel as confident as I once was and there is more competition, no doubt about that. Also, I don’t believe I will be returning to the same field.
    Thank you.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Sandy- I would just state that you were a SAHM during that time if they ask. Don’t feel ashamed it is a very admirable thing!! If you volunteered, did major projects, worked on anything in a similar field you are applying for etc. make sure to mention that. Speaking from experience we loved when mom’s applied. They were great multi-taskers, had wonderful people skills, and were responsible and consistent. Further, if you have lived in your same area for years they looked very stable. We would have a very high turn over rate with kids straight out of college. Don’t feel less of an applicant because you worked for free for 10 years! Have confidence and Good luck!

  26. Susie says:

    Spectacular list & very practical! My previous position managing a large student-housing property had me constantly cycling through the hiring process.. with many young people who had never had jobs before. The advice you give is spot on. Good stuff!

  27. Sach says:

    Anita, what would you suggest to someone transitioning into a new field? I am looking into IT and know there is a bias against women. I had a few for lack of a better word, “interesting” interviews in the past. When I conferred with others in the field, they insisted my gender was used against me along with my lack of experience. A year and a half later, I have generalized experience and a new degree to my name. However, I’m still worried about not getting taken seriously in interviews. Part of the problem the last time was I was asked questions concerning office politics. What I understand to be office politics in my previous line of work is vastly different compared to my new field. How do I even begin to navigate this? What advice do you have?

    Btw, I agree with your views on interview attire. I’ve always dressed business or business casual, but nothing ever below that.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Thanks for the question. Now that you have experience and a degree for IT I bet the interviews are going to go a lot better. I would avoid asking about ‘office politics’ just wait until you get hired and see what it’s like working there. You don’t want to come across choosy or imply that there is typically drama in the office where you work at & that is what I would think if an interviewee asked me what the office politics were. Steer clear from talking about off topic subjects. Stick to your qualifications, work ethic, & job description. That’s always the best way to impress. Further, don’t worry about your gender or they will sense it. I have a hunch that switching to a new field without experience or education weighed much more heavily against you than your gender. Be confident, stick to the job topics, & I think you will have a totally different experience this time around. Great job on dressing appropriately that is definetly going to help you get hired as well. Good luck!

      • Sach says:

        When I asked for office politics, what I did was ask questions to get an understanding of the workplace dynamics. I’d ask “how can an employee communicate with their manager?” or “Can you describe how this team works best?” I’ve never flat out said “tell me about office drama” or the like. I just want to get a sense of how people communicate, because I have noticed communication styles seem to parallel workplace expectations. Just wanted to clarify!

  28. joan says:

    Reviewing for grammar is important. Be careful to use the right word/ You will get a job much more quickly if you follow these basic points. Quicker is an adjective describing a noun. The cat is quicker than the rabbit. Get is a verb so the right word is more quickly. Words ending in LY are for verbs- actions- as in GET the job.

  29. Laura says:

    Regarding social media, what if you don’t have any? My husband is looking for an IT job but he doesn’t have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc… Mainly because he likes his privacy. Would that count against him, make it seem like he’s hiding something (he’s very honest), or give the impression that he’s like in the dinosaur age of computers?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Laura- I don’t think it will count against him. But having a basic Facebook account with a professional photo and a few friends may help. If I couldn’t find anything on the person I was googling I didn’t count it against them, it just doesn’t necessarily help. Does that make sense? Either way I think its fine, but if he struggles to get any interviews you may want to re-tweak his resume and create a very basic and professional-like Facebook page.

  30. jan s says:

    I would like more information about #4. I’ve always thought that we needed to test before interviewing or during the interview. please elaborate. thanks

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Wow this could be a long reply! Bascially it depended on the job we were hiring for. If it was a secretary we would have her call into a voice recording and leave information (to see how clearly she could communicate). We’d also have her answer a question or two via email to see how well she could answer in written word. If it was a fulfillment specialist we’d have them search the USPS site and tell us the best deal on shipping something that weighed x amount and was a certain size. We’d also ask them to look on our site, watch a video and summarize what it was about to see that they can listen and process information. Computer programmers, we’d ask for examples of work and ask them a few coding questions, sales positions we’d ask them to research one product and answer questions just to see if they could learn about a product quickly. These tasks usually took the applicant 10-15 minutes to complete but we were amazed at how many applicants just didn’t even bother to do it, and how many couldn’t follow very clear instructions when others followed them correctly. It’s a great way to find qualified people to interview.

  31. Samantha says:

    So very true, specifically social media!

    PS I am a blogger. Twitter’s TOU states the bird is the only thing that should represent their brand, not the letter “T” 🙂

  32. Aidan says:

    In regards to cleaning up social media, I recommend Googling your name to see what comes up and figure out what you need to do to have them removed. Just because *you* haven’t posted anything doesn’t mean your friends aren’t putting your partying ways on blast!

  33. Amanda says:

    Thank you for this great article! I have been a SAHM for the past 7 years, but would like to start looking for a part-time position. Would I just list my last held position, or is there any way to document that I have been a SAHM on my resume? I often wonder if the person looking at the resumes will not just pass over mine when they do not see a work history for the last 7 years? Thanks for all you do!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Amanda- Yes a 7 year break probably does require an explanation. I would insert that you were a SAHM and also anything you may have done besides the very important and all consuming job you had as a full time SAHM, like volunteer work, classes taken, or roles in the community.

  34. Mary Schmokel says:

    This is THE most informative, relevant, and well-written short article on “How to Get Hired” I have EVER read!

  35. […] Post you should Check Out: 7 Proven Ways to Get Hired […]

  36. Sarah says:

    I really enjoyed all of these points, aside from the one on attractiveness. While I agree everyone should always dress modestly and professionally, it’s a bit out of line to say that an attractive woman will not get hired so she should try harder to appear less appealing. Because “employees might get distracted,” seriously? By a pretty face? How about the management keeps their employees under control and working. That idea, to me, screams poor management, is horrendously sexist/immature, and a fine example of the influence of rape culture. Would you turn down a male employee for being too attractive? No, of course not, so don’t do the same to women without good reason.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Sarah- I see where you are coming from. BUT It’s not a perfect world out there and I only speak from experience. When gorgeous women came through the interviews they were more likely to get hired if they dressed modestly and wore a modest amount of makeup. I also recall my bosses (male and married) a little worried that overly attractive women who were less modest may distract the staff. While I didn’t ‘agree’ with gorgeous women needing to dress or act differently what I experienced was that the more modest they looked and acted, the more at east the higher ups were about hiring them. I do get what you are saying and where you are coming from and I agree, but based on my experience (and every business could be slightly different) I wrote what I know.

      • voc rehab reofessional says:

        I thought this was one of the better application and interview tips lists I’ve read in a bit. I noticed items missing but were covered in comments and are very important: no cutsey phone messages, ask and references in advance-tell them what job you’re applying for and get their job title, address, phone and give them a copy of your resume or remind them of some skill sets. Three professional and two personal, the better the job title the better for you. Bring a spruce up kit with comb, breathe mint etc for prior to the interview, do not fidget!!, know the answers to basic and hard questions like why did you leave last job, what is your greatest weakness and scenario questions…what would you do if a client came in angry she was overcharged…ask for a job description!, always have several copies of your resume and references at interview, yes they do scan resumes and you should spit back the same terms on many web registrations, scan everything to attach it, all attachment are named last name firs name, ltr title, of course don’t dress hot and sexy for a job unless you’re a stripper-dress appropriate and equal to but not better than interviewer. I suggest faxing cover sheet, letter and resume not references as these are people to stand up for you not be harassed or have their name spread around. I always made a master application and worked off that and wrote job description in MS Word so I could cut and paste into job application. Wages are : negotiable” based on hire package or in a range to over price or undervalue….remember their name and write a thank you note

  37. […] with hiring employees. Also, be careful about who you hire. I wrote a blog post about the Top Proven Ways to Get Hired. I share my tips on what to look for and some tips and tricks for business […]

  38. […] to use social media efficiently and much much more! Here are some starting articles to look at! 7 Proven Ways to get Hired, Defining Your Personal Brand and How to Succeed as a Communications Major ! Looking for more? […]

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