Wondering What Happens to Your Resume? An Inside Look into the Hiring Process

 
Sitting idly by your phone? Constantly refreshing your inbox in hopes of a response to your job application? Weeks pass by and you still haven’t received word on how you faired in a recent interview. As a job seeker, it’s hard not to wonder if there’s any method to the madness behind the hiring process. While frustrations may begin to fester as days go by with no communication from an employer, rest assured, there is plenty going on behind the scenes. Just like watching a Broadway show, the visual production doesn’t always accurately depict all of the moving pieces behind the curtains, which ultimately create an entertaining show. The same goes for the hiring process. Below, we’ve shed some light on what happens inside the HR department once an application has been submitted.
 
Once You’ve Applied
While you may picture your resume being swallowed up by some kind of World Wide Web black hole, it does have a destination after you hit apply. Once submitted, your resume will appear in an employer’s applicant tracking system (ATS) – a.k.a. software used to process and manage a company’s recruitment needs. Many ATS’s have customizable technology, designed to scan resumes and weed out unqualified applicants based on a list of keywords the employer enters into the system. There are many companies that still personally review each resume that comes into their ATS. However, it’s important to note that on average, a recruiter spends a mere 6 seconds scanning a resume. That’s why it’s important to invest time towards crafting a professional resume that adequately highlights your key accomplishments. Once reviewed by a hiring manager or recruiter, they will determine whether or not you qualify to move on to the next stage of the hiring process.
 
Once You’ve Completed the Phone Screening
Initial phone interviews have become widely used among recruiters as a preliminary method for creating a dialog with a candidate around their skills and wants in an ideal role. The phone screen is your first opportunity to introduce your personality and animate the otherwise lifeless text on your resume. If the recruiter or hiring manager cannot immediately schedule an in-person interview during the screening call, they will connect with the appropriate person following the call to discuss the appropriate next steps.
 
Once You’ve Completed a Face-to-Face Interview
Have you ever arrived at the airport with an electric current of excitement coursing through your body as you prepare to jet-set to the Caribbean? As you arrive at your gate, however, you resentfully discover that your flight has been delayed thanks to Mother Nature. Your irritation and anxiety intensify each time your flight is pushed back another hour, until you’re no longer certain when, or if, you’ll ever depart for paradise.
 
After your in-person interview, you’ll experience a similar mixture of emotions as you wait to hear word from the employer. The company isn’t purposely looking to torture you – there are plenty of reasons there may be a delay, including budget approvals and interviews scheduled with other viable candidates. Most likely, your interviewer(s) will need to consult with their team and the key decision makers involved in making the final call on who to hire. In addition, the employer will conduct a background check and connect with your professional references to verify your employment history and gain insight on why you’d make a great addition to the team.
 
Another way recruiters and hiring managers validate your qualifications is by perusing social media sites and using search engines like Google. According to a CareerBuilder study, 70% of employers are using social platforms to screen candidates before extending an offer. With this in mind, be sure to clean up your social profiles (yes, the keg stand profile picture must go) to ensure your forthcoming offer isn’t revoked.
 
Once You’ve Received an Official Offer
The employer has extended an official offer and you’re now swimming in an ocean of pure joy. The company will provide a written letter outlining all the particulars surrounding your position, salary, who you’ll be reporting to, and any benefits they may supply. Employers typically allow the candidate to take a day or two to review the offer and decide whether or not to accept the position.
 
Larger companies face even more intricacies when it comes to the hiring process as there are more individuals and steps involved in the decision making process. Regardless of an employer’s size, the hiring process takes time and can stem from a few days to several months. Always remember to be patient and never limit yourself in your job search. Broaden your options and consider more than just big, brand name companies that are highly competitive to get into. You never want to restrict your chances of securing a new role.
 

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When It’s Not Love at First Sight: Spotting a Poor Manager in an Interview

Between polishing up your resume, dishing out a healthy serving of applications, and studying to become some kind of interview-slaying champion, it’s easy to forget that the interview isn’t meant to be a one-sided interrogation. Evaluating your potential employer is equally as important as selling your candidacy, as it allows you to gain invaluable insight into the culture, internal workflow, and your overall compatibility with the company. Topping the list of details you should be probing for, is whether or not you will be working for an impactful leader or an ineffective, ‘bad’ boss. Here’s some guidance on how to detect a bad boss during your quest to uncover what type of manager you are potentially aligning yourself with.

Understand Your Work Habits and Preferences
There’s no definitive checklist, 3-part webinar series, or encyclopedia of attributes that characterize a poor manager. Classifying someone as a bad boss is highly subjective; you may place a particular boss in the ‘awful’ category while another person naturally synchronizes with that boss’s type of management style. Thankfully, we all harbor unique taste palates when it comes to our professional lives. Otherwise, everyone would pursue the same career.  Imagine existing in a world solely comprised of lawyers? We’d live in a perpetual state of court proceedings and debates, the economy would deteriorate, we’d starve, and cue the zombie apocalypse.
By constructing a mental portrait of your ideal boss, you’ll be able to better identify which traits complement and harmonize with how you work. While you may feel a bit uncomfortable when it comes time to inquire about management style, asking questions will help you uncover your level of compatibility during the interview rather than leaving it up to chance after you’ve already been hired. Some questions you can ask include, “Do you typically supply the team with detailed, step-by-step instructions when it comes to executing a particular task or project? Or, do you allow employees to take the reigns and figure out a solution on their own?
Your style preferences will ultimately dictate which option equates to a bad boss in your mind. However, one universal indicator that you’ve got a not-so-great manager on your hands is when the individual is unapologetically rude or is blatantly agitated by you posing these questions.
You Can’t Photoshop Personality 
Working for a boss who values transparency, shows humility, and is relatable on both a personal and professional level is paramount for creating an environment that’s conducive to your success. Having shared beliefs builds chemistry – your boss will be communicating in a language that naturally speaks to your career aspirations, drives your progression, and encourages you to thrive.
A great way to get a feel for your potential manager’s personality is to engage in a little small talk. The individual can certainly pre-prepare for what they’ll say in the interview, but when you begin a casual, unpremeditated conversation, their true personality will be put on display. After all, would you really want to inherit a boss that can’t chime in on their latest Netflix obsession or share their thoughts on a trending news story? You want to report to a manager that shows versatility, versus one whose native dialect appears to only include business-related vocabulary.
Do your best to emulate Olivia Benson’s sleuthing skills in Law and Order and survey the boss’s desk and surrounding work environment. Are you tempted to contact A&E to film an episode of Hoarders? Would it take a hazmat suit to remove the discarded crumbs and moldy remains of old food? Is their space decorated with family photos or is their office practically empty? Taking note of these details will give you some non-verbal cues as to what type of culture you may be signing up for.
The Inside Scoop
Many employers will schedule some time for you to meet and/or shadow your prospective teammates. Observing the boss’s interpersonal skills and how they interact with other employees will allow you to catch an inside glimpse of the type of internal ecosystem they’ve created. If you detect arrogance, a lack of accountability, or notice they squash ideas and discourage innovation, you may be dealing with a fractured, even oppressive culture. Dysfunctional family gatherings are for Thanksgiving and birthdays, not the workplace. You can even use more casual encounters between your potential boss and their colleagues, like how they treat others they pass in the hallway, to assess their behavior and management style.
Hold Them to Their Own Standards
Would you expect an employer to hire a candidate who lacked energy or had a blasé attitude throughout the interview? Fat chance. As an equal participant in the conversation, you should expect the same caliber of interest and enthusiasm from the interviewer. The manager’s body language and how focused (or distracted) they are during the interview will tell you a lot about how much value they place in their employees. Likewise, if they clearly didn’t prepare for the interview, ask generic questions, or repeat themselves because they aren’t truly present, it’s a pretty strong indication that you’re sitting across from a poor leader. Effective bosses can adequately and passionately explain the company’s values, mission, and future vision for growth and development.
Many unpracticed or newbie job seekers forget that an interview is a two-way dialogue. While an employer is evaluating the compatibility between your skill sets and the needs of the role, you should simultaneously be exploring if your potential boss and the culture they’ve created is a fit for you. Despite how enticing the salary or daily free lunch may be, don’t turn a blind eye to red flags that crop up during the interview. A large portion of your future success with a company boils down to your boss’s management style and their level of commitment to driving your progression. You should never feel obligated to accept a job offer, especially if your experience during the interview left you with a bad taste in your mouth. 
 

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