It’s Personal

Consider this little known fact: Hiring managers and recruiters are human beings just like you and me!  This incredibly powerful insight can help you enhance your job search if you know how to put it to good use. Today I am fortunate to know just as many people who sit on the hiring side of the desk as the job seeker side. Recruiters and hiring managers really do want to make the personal connections, so your job is to make it easy for them to like and remember you!

It’s Personal


Here are some of the best ways to personalize your job or internship search:

Target your job search.

  • Limit the opportunities that you pursue to companies that fit well with your skills, expertise, values and personality. Don’t apply to a company that doesn’t have your core values. Can you visualize yourself working at this company? Finding a great culture match is job one.

Personalize your approach.

  • Create a personalized approach to a very specific individual at your target company. The best scenario is when you are able to identify an exact person through your own contacts. You are more likely to be able to accomplish this if you have a large connection database in LinkedIn which will help you identify and connect with these valuable people.

Customize your resume and cover letter.

  • Your cover letter should answer the question of “why” you are a great candidate. Every resume should be customized to the specific job opening and company. It should be authentic and 100% factual, but you can also emphasize those things that are meaningful for that company or hiring manager.

Research your interviewers.

  • Along with researching the company and industry, be sure to research all the interviewers you are likely to meet. This task is quite easy with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to help you in the process. Find out everything you can about your interviewer so that you can identify things or places you might have in common. Learn about their hot buttons before the meeting.

Be memorable.

  • Be ready to explain why you are the perfect candidate for the company you have targeted. Be specific and enthusiastic. Remind them again with personalized follow-up. Here’s your chance to really shine. Write two thank you notes: one as an e-mail and the other as a personal hand written letter. Your e-mail should be sent out the same day as your interview. Thank your interviewer and mention a specific part of the conversation that was especially interesting for you. Pick something that was likely to be very unique to your conversation and not likely a generic discussion that could have occurred with any other person. This helps the hiring manager remember you among many candidates. Your excellent follow-up will certainly make you memorable.

Make all of your job search efforts very customized to each opportunity and hiring manager to increase your chance of success.

How do you make it personal?

© Copyright 2014. Sandra Long. All rights reserved.


Sandra Long

Sandra Long is the author of the bestselling book LinkedIn For Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide. She is also the managing partner of Post Road Consulting LLC. Sandra and her team work with corporations, universities, and individuals to drive successful sales, career, and talent acquisition results.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa - Good.Co says

    Certainly, studying up on your interviewers is well-advised, so long as you take care when bringing up what you’ve learned. For example, if you found a shared interest on LinkedIn, be sure to begin your statement with, “In the course of my research for today, I found out we both like volleyball,” or, “I saw on LinkedIn that you’re a movie buff. Did you get a chance to see (insert recent film here) yet?” Without an appropriate lead-in, you might come off sounding like a stalker; while that might be truly personal and individualized, it can also be off-putting. I would also stick to LinkedIn, and possibly Twitter, for professional research – less personal, perhaps, but more likely to be publicly shared, and more likely to provide pertinent and/or appropriate details for an interview.
    Thanks for the great article! Lisa Chatroop, Good.Co

  2. Sandra Long says

    Lisa, thanks for you comment. And yes, I completely agree with your point to always put the comment in perspective. Thanks for mentioning that!



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