You’ll Stand Out By Giving Employers What They Want

Refusing to follow employer protocols or meet their expectations can hurt your chances in a competitive job market.

It’s no secret that employers expect candidates to research their company and customize resumes and cover letters. This is especially true in a job market like today’s, which is to say competitive. We know that employers can receive hundreds of resumes for each opening, and look for reasons to pare down the candidate pool.

Unfortunately, dozens of qualified contenders ignore that information, submit generic resumes for a managerial position, and are summarily cast aside by the hiring manager. Want proof? Read this e-mail to Dice expressing his dismay.

Why sabotage your search by failing to meet an employer’s basic expectations? Why ignore their protocols or disregard their advice? Certainly you’ve got to be shrewd and “play the game” to the best of your ability – like it or not. It makes no sense to limit your chances by ignoring an employer’s simple requests.

Employers’ Expectations

– Do your homework by researching the company, the position and the technical environment.
– Customize your resume and cover letter to match an employer’s needs and  requirements.
– Tout your business acumen and ability to influence business outcomes through technology.
– Prepare for interviews and ask insightful questions.
– Show enthusiasm and express your interest in the company and the position.
– Don’t talk on the phone or text during interviews, drink coffee or chew gum.
– Follow proper business etiquette and send thank you notes after meetings and
phone calls.
– Don’t be a pest, but do follow-up with the hiring manager and meet deadlines.
– Complete paperwork and take technical and personality assessments upon request.
– Provide references and other personal information when the time is right.

— Leslie Stevens-Huffman

3 Responses to “You’ll Stand Out By Giving Employers What They Want”

  1. I am 34 years old and have been going to college for the past 3 years for my Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology with a focus on Help desk, my problem is that most employers want at least a Bachelors in the field I am pursuing. How can I show employers that I have what it takes when I don’t have a Bachelors degree?

  2. MoChaMan

    @AW : Help Desk positions normally don’t require a Bachelors degree . You should be diving into the field taking computers apart and building basic websites . It’s assumed that you love the industry and the technology so you’ll get better by playing with all the tools at your disposal . Once you can demonstrate that ability in phone interviews you’ll get interviews and jobs . If you concentrate on improving programming skills and systems skills with your own projects, you can easily make your way into good paying jobs which will require a practical interview test but which you’ll be prepared for with your experience on your personal projects .

  3. HA! I have followed every Employer Expectation you list and then some…”Work-Ethic” and a positive attitude should still mean something…especially after this long a hiatus from employment. But, after 2-years of searching, just to be “pigeon-holed” (screened by computer), then ignored. (What happened to “Professional Courtesy”, just a cheap rejection letter is better. Karma WILL hit those people!) I’m not impressed! All any H.R. Representative need do is look at your Work History (as required on Employment Application) and IF you have over 40-years Work Experience, they just say ,”oh you’re OVER-QUALIFIED”! While, others just out of college and NO-Work experience, but 4-year degree, are told, “oh you NEED experience, then we’ll talk”! (So, a B.S. at McDonald’s? How many “Happy Meals” pay for a college loan?) Catch-22? You bet.