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The prospect of bringing someone onto the team is one that is exciting and full of possibility. I love talking with talent: I enjoy learning about them and their passions, their aspirations. Hiring should be something that is exciting and fun. The problem is it remains a process ― and processes are generally less fun and exciting. But, I can say that there are five things that candidates do that truly make the “process” awesome.


Focused communications

When a candidate tells me exactly what they are going to bring to the table to solve my business challenges, I pick up the phone and call them. And who doesn’t love it when the hiring manager calls them directly to talk about their experience? When you are writing to a hiring manager, try to keep the following in mind: “What’s in it for the hiring manager?” When you focus your communication on solving the business problems, I love you for it. I can imagine you doing the job right away, because you get it. And if this makes you wonder: “What’s in it for me?” Well, when we get to the interview, it is up to me to convince you “what’s in it for you.” So keep your communication focused on how your skills will solve our problems. Then you get to decide if our company, employees and role will fit your goals, skills and lifestyle.


Being on brand with the company

SmashFly is approachable. So, I love it when candidates send me contact requests or inquiries that sound like someone here wrote it. This tells me three things: First, you took the time to read our site and understand our personality. Second, you understand our brand enough that the learning curve (hopefully) won’t be steep. And finally, it tells me that you also see and feel an alignment with our company.


Show not tell

Nothing beats examples! Examples are awesome and help you stand out. If you have a portfolio, Slideshares, links to documents, spreadsheets, reports, project plans, ideas, presentations from Dropbox, send them. I love to see what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. It puts the proof in the pudding long before you start and gives you an edge because I can visualize your final products.


Ask good questions

The interview and its precursor communications should help you make a good decision on each step in the process. You should be curious about our company, its trajectory, my management style and the team. Be honest! Ask us tough questions! You need to ask good questions to help yourself make a well-inform decision. When you ask good questions, I can tell you are inquisitive, sharp and thoughtful. These are my top desired skills as a hiring manager.


Follow up smartly

Nothing seals the deal like a smartly crafted follow-up message. First, there’s the follow up thank-you note. I have to admit as digital as I am, I do like a nice hand-written note from time to time. But, an email is also a really nice gesture. Everyone knows that, right? But still so many interviewees leave never to be heard from. The real deal-sealer: When a little time has passed, the candidate sends me a news article or blog post that is thought provoking based on our conversation. This type of communication almost always elicits a follow-up email from me.


I’d love to hear what you think. In fact, let’s flip it. In the comments, tell me the things that hiring managers do to make the experience better for you. Check out SmashFly’s open jobs (and prove how stellar you are!).

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