Making a big splash can get you noticed by employers, but it's the little things that really get their attention, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Human resources managers were asked to recount the most impressive actions they have seen job seekers take to try to land a position.
They were also asked what they want to see in a potential hire.
HR managers recalled a job seeker who walked in with coffee and doughnuts, with a resume underneath; one who outlined a list of goals for the first six months on the job; and others who offered to work for free.
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in placing administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 650 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the U.S. and Canada.
Some job seekers did a little show and tell:
"Someone applying for a position as a car detailer brought in his own vehicle to demonstrate his skills," said one HR manager.
"I was impressed by a candidate who prepared an elaborate online portfolio and presentation," said another, while a third was most impressed with a creative resume.
There were professionals who shined by going back to basics. That means doing some research on the company, following up with an email or (especially) a hand-written thank-you note, and arriving on time and well dressed.
Overall, though, employers want simple honesty.
"Extreme tactics aren't always the best way to stand out with hiring managers," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "There is much to be said about showing up on time for interviews, dressing in professional attire and doing your homework."
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