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Posted December 04, 2014

Without taking psychic abilities into account, it is nearly impossible to know what hiring managers are looking for in potential candidates. However, if you really want to put your best foot forward when job seeking all you have to do is think like the person who is hiring you.

There are a lot of reasons people land really great jobs and these start with good impressions. Here are a few things hiring managers are looking at and how you can put yourself on the top of the stack more often than not.

1. Great Resume

Your resume is like your ticket to the show; without it you can’t get in the door. While there is so much more to nailing a job than the resume, it really is the first thing you need to invest in in order to give yourself a good chance of moving on to the next step of the hiring process.

2. Reputation Building Online

Your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and Instagram account are likely easily findable to the curious hiring manager. If there is any shred of evidence that makes your personal online brand look like it is immature, untrustworthy, unethical or out of line, you can be sure a potential hiring manager will find it. Make sure you set your Facebook and Instagram settings to private before you start posting your resume and update your LinkedIn profile to be as up to date and professional-looking as possible.

3. Right Skills and Experience

More employers are utilizing skills assessments than ever before. If you bend the truth about what you can and can’t do, eventually your manager will find out. On the other hand, it is important to try to communicate all of your skills and experience so that you give yourself the greatest chance of standing out to a company that values these accomplishments.

4. Flexibility and Cultural Fit

Independent of your skills and resume, are you able to get along with everyone else at the company? Do your experiences lend themselves well to the team environment you will be joining or do they get in the way of the company culture that has been built?

5. Do Your Values Match Up?

Employers are looking for candidates who value the same type of work environment that they already have in place or that they are trying to build. If you value autonomy in a team environment you probably have a lesser chance of getting hired than someone who likes working with a group.

Will You Land the Job?

When preparing yourself for the job world there are things you can do proactively to make yourself shine a bit more than the next guy. However, if your skills, experience, cultural fit and values are misaligned it may be best for the company, and for you, to continue the search.