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5 Ways To Reduce The Risk In You

This post is about how to reduce the risk in you as a job candidate – seen as less of a risky hire to your target companies.

risky hire, risk, job search, candidate, recruiter, resume, interview

Many of us are risk takers. We look for opportunities in life to try something new. To test the boundaries.

There is a thrill that comes with risk. A feeling that you are allowing yourself to experience a fuller life.

If this describes you. If you can imagine yourself sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon like those above. Then you fit this profile.

But don’t expect a hiring manager to think like you.

There are not in the risk taking business. Especially during a tough economy.

Risk aversion is the driver for software purchases that help companies calculate fit. It’s why behavioral interviewing is more and more common. It costs a lot of money to hire someone.

And even more money to make a change and re-hire someone new.

So pay attention to this:

What risks do you represent to an executive recruiter, HR person or hiring manager?  Are they testing the limits by spending time on your candidacy?  Will they be criticized for pushing you through the process?

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Here are the five ways to reduce risk and become a less risky hire:

1.  Be honest

Your resume, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, etc all must correctly state your qualifications, experience, strengths and accomplishments. While these are admittedly all marketing documents, they are not places to fabricate a better you. I believe you should not fudge anything on a resume. It will come back to bite you. And anyone who has promoted you to their friends , co-workers or fellow executives will feel the bite as well.

2.  Network like crazy

I know many are feeling a bit of networking burnout these days. Sometimes it feels like a long run for a short slide. But one big way to reduce risk is to get a third-party endorsement from someone trusted by the decision maker or gatekeeper. Especially if you are not a perfect fit for the job skills.  Or if you have light industry experience for the job. Unless someone hits the hiring manager or recruiter with a 2×4 named “your name”, your resume may get a life of less than 5 seconds. Before being quietly disposed.

3.  Be Social Media Savvy

Let people find you online in advance of or during the process. Create a full LinkedIn profile with a nice picture, well-written career summary, strong set of key strengths and a minimum of 10 recommendations (good ones from a variety of people in your past). If you are on Twitter and Facebook, make your presence count. Become a person of influence within your industry.

4.  Apply for the right jobs

I’ve said it before. If you are not qualified for the job, don’t apply. Or at least don’t do it the traditional way. Because you just throw a wrench in the system for everyone else.  Of course this advice is not universal. And I don’t want you to feel totally constrained. But when I see a candidate who is completely unqualified resting in the stack of paper. Not only do I see significant risk. I see a lack of thought. However, when your resume shows up in the right pile and I can clearly see a match, the risk falls away.

5.  Interview with confidence and smarts

Job seekers come in all shapes and sizes. And in variety of temperaments. I recently wrote about some job seeker interview styles that scream risk. Did you see yourself in any of those styles? Your ability to send the right signals in the first 5 minutes of an interview allows an interviewer the opportunity to relax, listen and begin to imagine you contributing to their team.

So, are you a risky hire?

Now, after you read this article, take out a piece of paper.  On the top of the page, write:  “The Risks In Me” at the top of the page. Below that, identify five things that make you a risky hire for the most recent position you’ve applied for. Or one for which you are planning to apply. And then use my five suggested ways to see if you can reduce the risk in you.

And make your candidacy one that someone can push with confidence. Since you have made it easier for them to do so.

What are your ideas to reduce risk?  How can a job seeker make their resume or pitch one that is easy to like and endorse? How can you become a less risky hire?

I’d love to hear from you!

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes

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