HOW TO: Identify a Job’s Key Deliverables Before You Apply

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by Donna Svei on September 28, 2010

Recruiters and hiring managers want to hire people who are willing and able to do the job. They want people who deliver. “Deliver what?” you ask. That is what you, the job seeker, have to figure out, and convince the hiring manager you can do, to get a job offer.

Do this to identify a job’s big deliverables:

First, most hiring managers want to hire someone who works well with others. That’s Deliverable #1 in most jobs. Even if they say it isn’t.

Beyond interpersonal skills, I ask hiring managers the following questions in order to understand the big deliverables of any job:

  1. What would your new hire have to accomplish in the first six to 24 months on the job for you to feel as though you had made a great hiring decision?
  2. What’s keeping you up at night? What do want your new hire to contribute to that problem/challenge/opportunity, etc.?
  3. What are your first, second, and third priorities for what you want this person to deliver?

As a job seeker, before you have direct access to the hiring manager, how do you identify a job’s deliverables so that you can address them in your resume?

  1. Get a copy of the full job description before you submit your resume. Reach out to the hiring manager, someone in the department, someone in HR, or anyone you know at the company. Tell them you want to apply for the job and that you want to read the job description first so you can be sure that your resume addresses the hiring manager’s needs.
  2. If the job description does not answer the questions above, then reach out to the person who sent it to you. Ask for 10 minutes of their time. Then ask them to share their insights on the questions listed above. Be sure to stick with your 10 minute limit unless they want to keep talking.
  3. In addition, reach out to your network. Look for people who are doing, or have done, the hiring manager’s job. Ask them for 10 minutes of their time. Then ask them to share their insights on the questions listed above. Be sure to stick with your 10 minute limit unless they want to keep talking.
  4. Finally, ask your question in a relevant LinkedIn group(s) . It might sound like this: I’m applying for an entry-level accounting position with a public accounting firm. I would appreciate any insight that people who have worked in the industry might offer me on what a new accountant has to accomplish for their boss to think that they made a great hire.

That’s it. The more you understand about a job’s deliverables, the better you can prepare yourself to apply, interview, and be reference checked for the job.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at donnasvei@gmail.com or call me at (208) 721-0131.

Image: Nguyen Vu Hung

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