As part of Virtual Vocations’s new monthly “Ask a Hiring Manager” series, we had the opportunity to interview Kathryn Hauer, CFP®, EA, and employee at Green Bean CFO—an accounting firm that works solely with the cannabis industry. Through her insight, jobseekers can decipher what they need to do to garner attention from an employer—and more importantly—how to land a remote job.
How Important Is It That I have All of the Requirements Listed in the Job Listing? Should I Still Apply Even If I Only Have 50% or 75% of the Requirements?
When I do a job description, I try to limit my requirements to only those absolutely necessary and make as many qualifications as possible “preferred.” So for me, it doesn’t help if you apply if you don’t meet the requirements. However, other employers don’t necessarily see it that way, and they may say “required” when it’s actually preferred. So I’d recommend applying for a job if you are close, especially if you meet a really big requirement but are short on one that’s less key.
What Are You Looking for in a Cover Letter That You Can’t Get From My Resume? What Makes A Great or Terrible Cover Letter?
I think of the resume as what you have done and the cover letter as what you will be able to do for us with the skills you’ve gained from doing the stuff on your resume. The cover letter also helps translate your general skills into specifics for the potential employer. In other words, if you are entry-level with no computer help desk work experience but are finishing up college/tech school in that field and are applying for a job as a computer help desk rep, then you can talk about how your work as a cashier at Kroger helped you gain skills to remain calm and explain things to angry customers that you will bring to your job on the computer help desk.
What Do You Wish Applicants Would Pay More Attention to in the Application Process? Cover Letters? Resumes? Social Media Profiles? Interviewing Skills? Asking the Right Questions?
Be sure to follow the instructions. If they say to include a cover letter, include one. Explicitly state the skills you have if you have them. For example, if Quickbooks is required and you know it, say so on the resume—you don’t want your potential employers to have to think about that. From your experience, I can probably guess you know Quickbooks, but it is easier if you tell me for sure you do.
What Answers From Interviewees Make You Cringe? What Answers Make You Excited to Potentially Work With Them?
I’m not really a cringer. I know it’s so, so, so hard to look for a job, and people are just doing their best. Applying for jobs takes a lot of time, and you have to send in a lot of applications. You are going to make mistakes sometimes. Applicants pretty much all seem so interesting to me! To see their schools, other places of employment, skills: it’s such a window into a world of interesting potential co-workers.
Some Hiring Managers Say That the Objective and Summary Statement on a Resume Are Dead. What Are Your Thoughts?
I agree that the objective is useless—why take up a valuable line on a one-page resume to state the obvious. I love the summary though! It’s helpful for the speed at which potential employers look at resumes.
What Is Your Hiring Process Like?
We are small right now and don’t use an applicant tracking system yet; however, I am sure we will in the future. I think our practices are very standard [in relation to most industries].
How Do You Decide Who Gets the Job? What Are the Defining Factors?
The key factor is meeting or exceeding the requirements for the job. We ask specific questions to determine if the candidate really knows the subjects they say they do. We also do technical tests sometimes as well. Softer factors include being able to write and speak in an engaging way that I can see will work for when the candidate interacts with our clients.
Even softer is something like having gone to the same college I went to or being from a geographical area I lived in. Likeability in an interview does make a difference, too. It’s like when you are dating someone you think you might marry—if you are fighting a lot in the dating stage, it’s not going to be great ten years, 20 pounds, two kids, and a high mortgage later.
Not every hiring manager has the same hiring process nor looks for the same qualities in applicants. But with these tips from Hauer, remote employees can have the knowledge they need to successfully apply to the perfect virtual job.
Are you a hiring manager who’s interested in appearing in our “Ask a Hiring Manager” monthly segment? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to set something up with our team. We’d love to hear from you!
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