Whether you’re a newly minted college graduate or a veteran to the workforce, not landing your dream job can be frustrating. You’re qualified, showed initiative, demonstrated a go-getter attitude, and even sprinkled your answers with an extra bit of charm.
So where did you fall short? The answer may surprise you: It’s very likely the employer didn’t see you as the right cultural fit.
What does that mean, exactly? Companies look for employees who can collaborate well with others, who understand their core values, and who feel enthusiastic about coming to work every day.
In this millennial age, where interconnection dominates, culture means everything. Some of the largest corporations list cultural fit as their most sought-after trait in potential newcomers—Facebook, Amazon, and LinkedIn among them. So, your personality and value systems may be the key to landing that dream job.
Here are a few sure-fire ways to prove you’re just what they’re looking for.
- Make connections. It’s true—knowing the right people almost always guarantees you a foothold in the hiring process. Your job is to reach out and make yourself relevant to the people who matter. This means following all social media forums, liking posts, and making intelligent comments. You can take this initiative one step further and contact employees within the organization directly to discuss how company culture plays out on a day-to-day basis.
- Do your research. Understanding the “why” behind a company’s ethos is critical in gaining leverage over your competitors. Savvy employees do their homework by researching their potential employer’s mission and values, organizational strategies, news and recent events, pain points, and how their skills and expertise might augment the company’s growth. Let Google help you find the inside details of the company so that you can use this knowledge on your interview.
- Demonstrate your knowledge. It’s interview day. Make sure you can provide specific examples of how your background and disposition align with the company’s overall culture and values. You can bet that any interviewer will ask for personal anecdotes as evidence of a cultural fit, so have a few ready on hand. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your readiness to be part of their team, and that your creativity and passion are essential assets in accomplishing their mission.
It’s always a good idea to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. By networking with current employees, doing your research, and spotlighting your distinct personality, you will demonstrate that you’re both the right cultural fit and the ideal candidate for the job.