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It’s really a great time to be looking for a job. There are more unfilled jobs in the U.S. than ever before.

But there’s a catch.

Employers are looking for people that have the right skills, and are willing to wait. Time to hire is at a record time, hovering around 27 days.

So, let’s say you do have the skills you need for a job. How do you make sure your ideal employer knows it, and you make the impression that lands you your dream job?

Betterteam employs a few expert recruiters who work to help companies fill jobs all day. Most team members have hired and recruited for years, and they have a few easy rules to follow that will help you get that job.

Let Your Skills Shine

When companies post a job online, they never know what they’ll get. One of the complaints we often hear from employers is people applying for a job who are absolutely not qualified. Sometimes I wonder – are all these people really unqualified, or are they just obscuring their qualifications in dense resumes?

Here’s a number you need to keep in mind: 6. That’s the amount of seconds the average recruiter spends looking at your resume. So, if your qualifications for the job are buried in a paragraph, they’re not going to be seen.

The solution is making your qualifications scannable, so that a potential employer can focus in on them during those 6 seconds.

How to Make an Awesome Impression that Gets you Hired

Don’t Get Screened on the Phone

Employers that are serious about getting people with the right skills will do a brief phone interview before bringing you in.

In-person interviews are more resource intensive, and require more time and preparation by the interviewer and the interviewee. A quick phone screening to make sure people meet basic qualifications can help everyone save time.

Here’s what they’re usually looking for.

  • Qualifications double check. They may review the qualifications you need for the job, just to ensure you have the skills they need.

  • Current and expected salary. Be ready to answer direct questions about what you’re making now, and what you want to make. It may seem like a rude question, but there’s a good reason for it. If you’re asking for something they simply can’t offer, there’s no point in moving forward. Knowing what you currently make helps them gauge how senior you are at your current job, and therefore what level of ability to expect from you.

  • Why you’re leaving your current job. This helps them determine two things. For one, they can look for something that makes you incompatible with the job. For example, if you’re leaving your current job because you don’t like working nights, and all they have is night shifts, that’s a problem. Second, if you talk trash about your previous employer, this is a red flag for most recruiters and hiring managers. Be positive.

  • What have you done, really? A lot of good recruiters will ask you to tell them about a project you’ve seen through from beginning to end. It shows them that you have the ability to handle projects, and gives them an idea for how much responsibility you had in your previous jobs.

How to Kill the Interview

Ok, you made it through the resume scan and the phone screen. Are you ready for the interview? Here are a couple quick tips to help you ace it.

  • It’s all about the first impression. Seriously. Studies have shown that interviewers make assumptions about you in the first seconds of an interview, and then spend the rest of the time confirming those assumptions. So be early, look nice, give a firm handshake and a good smile.

  • Know your role. Candidates who aren’t quite sure what role they want are a big red flag. They generally don’t stay in a position very long. Whatever role you’re interviewing for, make it clear that’s the only role you want.

  • Don’t talk too much about money. Another red flag. Candidates who are too focused on money will often be on a constant search for the next job that pays better. You should come across as motivated to do this job for this company, not someone who only wants the biggest paycheck they can get.

Ready? This really is an awesome time to be looking for jobs. Employers are on the lookout for great candidates, and are hungry for them. If you present yourself right, you may be able to land the job of your dreams.

Good luck!


Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.