I’ve been in the process of hiring an assistant (and down to the final handful from a high number,) and noticing a few things that may seem remedial, but are really standing out for me:
- Competition: Yes it’s true – there are many good and qualified people out there. Yet you can stand out from others with some effort, so don't be discouraged. That brings me to my next point…
- Write a tailored cover letter! Most responses lacked ANY cover letter, and I eliminated those right away. After all, if you’re not willing to do more than point and click for it, I’m not interested in you. Good stuff: your response or email will be noticed if it’s brief, well-written, and shows a) something about your personality, and b) that you’ve looked into the company or person hiring you. Less than 5% of my responders did those two things well--so they stood out, and I interviewed them.
- Phone screen: If someone’s screening you on the phone: be on time, be on a land line or other clear phone line. Check your mood – are you dour or glum? Be relational – not overly quiet or overly chatty.
- Interview: ask about attire before you show up—things are so variable from business to business, it’s totally ok these days to ask, what’s the expected attire? Be on time, be yourself. If you pretend to be someone else in the interview, that pretense will fall apart over time, and everyone loses.
I know these aren't magic, but they can certainly help!
The Recovering Leader