As a job seeker, it's natural to want to hide a few things about yourself from potential employers, like the real reason you're looking for a new job or pictures of your social life from back when you were in college.
If you're feeling guilty about wanting to keep any of these things private, don't be, because employers are also keeping a few secrets themselves.
Here are some of the sneakiest ones:
Employers want to learn about the real you, not just the professional side of you that you reveal during interviews. You can bet that they'll be doing a thorough Google search of you and going through your Facebook and Instagram profiles, all the while hoping you didn't take the time to clean any of it up beforehand.
On top of that, expect employers to reach out to your past employers – without giving you the heads up – and work associates to gather more information on you. This is especially common if they find mutual connections on LinkedIn.
We all like to think that we live in a world where recruiters are fair and unbiased – a world where we get the job based on our credentials and merits. However, the reality is that employers often make their final hiring decisions based on which candidate they simply like the most as a person.
They'll often ask themselves questions like, "which candidate do I have the best chemistry with?" or "who do I get along with the most?" This is why during your interviews, your goal shouldn't just be to show the interviewer you're the best person for the job. You should also be actively trying to build rapport with them. The goal is to ultimately get them to like who you are.
Most large companies, like Google and Microsoft, use applicant tracking systems to screen your resume during the initial stages of the hiring process. What they don't want you to know is that you can actually manipulate their software into giving your resume a higher grade.
Most hiring systems work by looking for specific keywords on your resume. If you're able to identify these keywords and sneak them onto your resume, the hiring software can potentially give your application a super high score.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? What type of work environment do you excel in? What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses? These open-ended interview questions may appear harmless with no right or wrong answers to them, but don't be fooled.
Recruiters pragmatically ask these questions to identify if you'll be a good fit for the job position and the company's work culture. If you something out of line with what the interviewer wants to hear, your chances of getting hired will drop significantly.
It's common sense, right? Employers don't want to pay more than they have to, and if salary is up for negotiation they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by starting things off with their highest bid.
That being the case, it's important to know your own worth when heading into the final stages of the hiring process. By knowing what you're valued in the job market and what you bring to the table, you'll be able to negotiate a salary higher than what is originally proposed.
Peter Yang is a career expert and the CEO of Resume Writing Services, the parent company of ResumeGo. Before that, he worked as a manager and recruiter for more than 20 years. His work has also appeared in Inc. and Glassdoor. Follow Peter on Twitter @ThePeterYang.
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