Job Seekers: Be Known, Be Liked, Be Trusted

By Marc Poirier, General Manager of Abbey Placements LLC

It’s a principle salespeople understand. Buyers only purchase goods and services from sellers they know something about. Then they make purchases from sellers they like rather than sellers they are indifferent towards. And finally, buyers frequently go out of their way to make purchases from a well-trusted seller over sellers with a questionable track record. Be known, be liked, and be trusted.

Whether or not you work in sales, you can benefit from this concept as you search for a job. The idea is this: make it your goal for the hiring manager to know you, then like you, and finally trust you. If they go through this progression, your odds of being hired are greatly increased. It’s essentially selling the hiring manager on you as an employee.

Let’s look at some ways you can implement this principle in your job search:

Be Known

  • Have a Searchable Resume – Contemporary recruiters use powerful search engines to find qualified candidates. Your resume should be packed with keywords. For example, instead of saying you worked with “company software,” say you worked with “The Raiser’s Edge fundraising database.” If recruiters can’t find you, you will never be known.
  • Ask Friends for Introductions – Talk to your friends and family about your job search. Let them know what type of job you’re seeking and see if they can introduce you to someone looking to hire. A referral is often the best way for someone to get to know you. It can also add to your likeability and trustworthiness.
  • Personally Introduce Yourself – Stop by your prospective workplace and introduce yourself face-to-face to the hiring manager. Let the hiring manager get to know you by meeting you.
  • Display Competency – Employers can make it easy by having you take a test, but there are other ways to display competency. Describe your responsibilities in detail during an interview. Ask questions about the job only an industry insider would ask. Explain how your previous work impacted the bottom line of your former employer. Don’t hold back about your accomplishments in an effort to appear humble; the hiring manger needs to know what you can do!

Be Liked

  • Prepare for the Interview – Research the company ahead of time. Prepare several open-ended questions for the interviewer. Dress in the right attire for the job. All of this will communicate interest in the company when you interview. Hiring managers like people who are motivated to work for their company.
  • Share a Few Opinions – Look for opportunities to share your thoughts. For example, if you like the way the hiring manager’s office is decorated, tell them so! Better yet, tell them what you like about it. Your opinions exhibit your personality and help make a human connection, as long as they’re authentic.
  • Project Positivity – Your candidacy represents hope to a hiring manager: that their company will grow and thrive when they finalize a new hire. You can step into that hope by displaying enthusiasm and willingness to take on the challenges of the position. Stay positive during the interview and maintain the hiring manager’s hope for you.

Be Trusted 

  • Provide References – A letter of recommendation is among the best references you can provide, but a phone number to a previous supervisor is also good. If you previously owned your own business, provide references from former customers. However you can, get other people with credibility to vouch for your trustworthiness.
  • Be Consistently Responsive – If you always reply to phone calls, texts and emails within a few hours, your responsiveness will stand out to the hiring manager. It will build trust that they can always reach you when they need you.
  • Always Be Honest – A contradiction in what you previously said orally or in writing can represent that you are either incompetent or a liar. Both are bad. Make sure you are consistent with what you say and write throughout the hiring process.

These tips are a few ways for you as a job seeker to be known, be liked and be trusted. Consider other ways based on your specific circumstances and you will likely notice your applications being taken more seriously. Anyone you work for will need to know you, like you, and trust you anyway, so start building this progression during the hiring process and it will help you follow through into your job.