POSTED ON MAY 8, 2013:
Want a Job?
Tips from a recruiter
Teamwork and loyalty matter to employers, according to Lynn Flinn, president of staff agency The Rowland Group.
While the company specializes in only a few professions, Flinn offered insight into what makes a candidate truly stand out to those making hiring decisions.
Having a stable work history. "The past is always the best predictor of future success," she said, describing the importance of demonstrating previous career success, even if that means excelling in school for younger job candidates. "People that are stable and have loyalty and can demonstrate that are definitely well thought of," Flinn said.
Situations will vary, but she said a résumé filled with one-year and two-year stints conveys the wrong message to companies.
"Now if somebody stays in a job for five or six years, and maybe the next job they only stay for a year or two, it's not necessarily that negative," Flinn said. She estimated that roughly a quarter of applicants might be perceived negatively because of this type of job history, though layoffs or company buyouts can be considered acceptable reasons for such a history.
Having good communication skills. Companies "are not looking for somebody that just wants to be all out there by themselves," Flinn said. Working well with others and demonstrating the ability to collaborate are very important, she said. "Sometimes people have trouble with that," she added.
COURTESY OF ROWLAND GROUP
Flinn said candidates should be prepared in job interviews to describe their role in collaborations and team efforts. "Have some specific examples," Flinn said.
Being honest and working hard. Flinn said it's important for candidates to be good at keeping their word. "Somebody who's honest, who says what they're going to do and follows through, that's another big one that companies are always wanting," she said, adding that companies also seek someone "who's willing to put in hard work" on the job.
She said applicants might review what a company says about its culture, then state to the job interviewer what type of job culture is important to them. One strategy: "Talking about the importance of honesty and integrity to you as an individual," Flinn said.
By bringing up values that are important, "it makes you feel like they care about that kind of thing," Flinn said.
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