How to impress a hiring manager (survey)

Job hunting? Here’s how to impress a hiring manager according to a survey of them

A new survey has revealed a list of things that impress hiring managers and make job candidates stand out from the crowd.

Get yourself a website or portfolio

The survey of 600 senior managers in Canada*, found that respondents are most impressed when candidates do the following:

  • provide access to an online portfolio or personal website (43 per cent),
  • highlight accomplishments in an infographic (39 per cent)
  • add personal details unrelated to the position, like hobbies, to their resume (39 per cent)

Conversely, the tactics that hurt an applicant’s chances most are including cartoon images like Bitmojis or caricatures (42 per cent) and using colourful fonts or backgrounds (23 per cent) on application materials.

The research also suggests that you should still write a cover letter, even if you think nobody is going to read it. Sixty per cent of senior managers said it’s “very helpful” to receive a cover letter.

Networking on social media is always a good idea

Interestingly, nearly two in five respondents (37 per cent) said that networking on social media with employees at the company can tip the scales in a candidate’s favour.

Some of what this survey tells us abut how to impress a hiring manager is common sense. It’s always a good idea to connect with people on LinkedIn, and, yes, you should always include a cover letter, even if it feels like a waste of time. It also seems fairly straightforward that a personal website or portfolio of work is a smart thing to have that will put you above the competition that does not have these things. And that you should not put Bitmojis in your resume. 

The infographic, however, is an interesting tidbit. I mean, yes, it seems obvious that taking the time to do this sort of thing will impress a manager, but it probably doesn’t even occur to most of us. I’m not sure if they mean to create an entire infographic resume or to have an infographic within the resume, but the latter makes more sense as an entire infographic resume would probably not get past the Applicant Tracking System.

Include your hobbies

Another notable item here is the suggestion to include hobbies. I’ve seen some debate over whether this is a good idea. Some people actually think you shouldn’t include any hobbies at all. But that’s ridiculous. A potential employer wants to get an idea of what sort of person you are.

Good hobbies to list on a resume include:

  • Sports
  • Writing/blogging
  • Volunteering
  • Playing an instrument/singing in a choir
  • Anything you’re super passionate about, spend a lot of time on, and can discuss at length.

Know the difference between hobbies and pastimes. “Reading” and “hanging out with friends,” for example, are pastimes, not hobbies. And only list hobbies that say something interesting about you and give some insight into who you are.

*Conducted by Accountemps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *