What are Hiring Managers looking for?

Hiring managers

When you’re searching for a job, it can be easy to get caught up in every single job requirement before even applying. Hiring managers are looking for experienced applicants, yes, but the good news is they’re also looking for soft skills: people who are willing to learn and grow; people with personality who can communicate well. These are the things that are going to make you stand out against other applicants.


Hiring managers understand you’re not going to know everything going into a job. If you don’t check every single box on an application, apply anyways. Just be reasonable: a good rule of thumb is iff you match about 80% of the bullet points, go for it!

Companies can teach processes. You can learn new programs and CRM systems. If you’re open to learning, make that clear in your application and your interview. Sharing that you’re willing to learn on and off the job can also come in handy later when an internal position opens up in case you switch departments.

At a previous job, I started as a customer service representative. A year later, an email marketing position opened up within the company. It was completely out of my comfort zone, but I was up for the challenge and excited to learn. Because of that enthusiasm, I applied, switched departments, and wound up falling in love with emails!

Follow what you’re passionate about and expand on that through books, webinars, meetups, and mentor opportunities. Share what you learn with your team and your boss. They might just apply something that you learned to their own strategy within the company!

Solid communication

Strong written and verbal communication is always a must. Think of communication as a life requirement. You need to be able to express your ideas, goals, and input on projects with your internal team, clients, and anyone else you interact with in your life. Have you ever had a conversation that felt one-sided? Maybe someone was giving you flat, one-word answers and it felt pretty awkward? This is what NOT to do.

Keep the communication consistent. How you write in your emails should also be how you speak in your interview. Hiring managers aren’t looking for robots; they’re looking for humans! Be natural with how you communicate. People want to work with people.

Think of the hiring process as a courting phase: you’re showing the hiring manager how you work and how you communicate before you even start the position. They’ll be taking notes along the way before they decide if you’re “The One.”


With companies going fully remote and others returning to the office, hiring managers are looking for someone who can adapt to any environment. This goes back to having strong communication skills. If your team is fully remote, you should be familiar with (or willing to learn) the tools to stay on the same page as your team.  When you don’t understand something, ask questions!

If you prefer one environment over the other – remote vs. in the office – be honest with the hiring manager as early as possible. Mention your request in writing and offer to discuss this further in your interview or on a phone call. Explain why you prefer a certain environment if the employer is flexible. Explain in a few points how you plan to keep up with communication to work with the team without interruptions.

Show your personality

Companies want to hire someone who fits in with the overall outlook of the team! The buzzword “culture fit” can be annoying but it is a thing. Almost everyone has had a job where they don’t feel like they fit in or maybe are even uncomfortable with the team dynamics and office atmosphere. That doesn’t mean you need to be happy-go-lucky 24/7 but it does mean you’ll need to show the hiring manager who you are so you can identify a good fit on both ends.

It’s okay to go off-script! Share your personality and bring your resume to life by sprinkling in your quirks. You don’t have to be perfect and hiring managers can smell that from a mile always. Be genuine. Be you. You’ll be grateful for this later down the road.

Need more advice on what hiring managers are looking for?

We get it. It’s nerve-racking. “What if I say the wrong thing?” “What if I mess up?” “Am I being too formal?” We’re happy to help coach you through the interview process and give you advice on the best ways to “wow” your hiring manager. Get in touch with us today.

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