You’ve seen it in nearly every job posting: “We’re looking for the right person to join our team!” Employers are looking for candidates with the right job fit. And it’s about more than just what’s on your resume.
Job fit refers to your ability to both take on the role and integrate with their existing employees. It’s about finding the right people with the right skills to fill the job. If companies don’t hire with both factors in mind, both you and the employer will be disappointed with their decision. You can have all the right experience for the job, but without a good cultural match, you’ll be unsatisfied. And you can fit the cultural bill to a “T”, but without the right skill set you’ll be completely out of your depths and overwhelmed.
Conceptually, job fit refers to how well-suited you are for a position, based on three major components. These three pieces are your professional experience, your personality, and how well you align with the company culture. We’re going to dive into each of these components and give you tips on how to demonstrate it during the hiring process.
Experience and Background
Where to show it off: Your Resume
You’ve got to show what you know to get noticed! Use your resume to highlight your skill set, and be sure to really hit home how your experience overlaps with the job description. And remember that hiring managers don’t need you to have everything they ask for. They expect you to learn plenty of things on the job – they just want to reduce the amount of intense onboarding and training they’ll need to get you up to speed.
Personality and Comfort
Where to show if off: Your Cover Letter & Phone Interview
You know you’ve got the right skill set. But job fit means that you also need to be the right person for the job. You might be thinking “My personality is irrelevant! If I meet the most requirements, I should get the job!” And you would be missing the point. Who you are is just as important to the job as what you know. Why? If your personality clashes with the requirements of the role, your job is going to make you miserable. Which is going to make you want to quit. And now the company has to fill the role all over again. Not to mention that you’ll have to start the job search all over again – no thanks!
You can use your cover letter to demonstrate how your personal interests and disposition makes you a perfect fit for the job. Share a personal achievement or anecdote that establishes this in the body of your cover letter. Worried that the hiring manager didn’t read it? When the time comes for your phone interview, you’ll get another shot! Be sure to talk about how the job is perfectly suited to you – both your wheelhouse and your personality.
Where to show it off: Your In-Person Interview
At this point, the hiring manager has seen your resume. And you’ve probably talked a few times on the phone or via email, so they better understand who you are on a personal level. This in-person interview is to seal the deal and make sure that you’ll mesh well with other employees.
You’ll need to do some research to see how their company culture aligns with your own work environment ideals. Check out the company’s “About Us” page to learn more about their mission, they careers page to see what they look for in their average employees, and online review sites like Glassdoor for the inside scoop on how everything actually plays out.
In your interview, ask questions regarding company culture. What are they most proud of? How do they plan to maintain their values as they grow? These types of inquiries will show that you’re interested in learning more. They are also great starting points for a deeper conversation on company culture.
If you are able to demonstrate that you’re the perfect fit for the job, you’ll be sure to rise to the top of their candidate pool.