5 Things Job Candidates Obsess Over—But Hiring Managers Don’t


stop obsessing job searchIt doesn’t matter how much work experience you have, or how many interviews you’ve knocked out of the park—job hunting is bound to make even the most confident candidates feel insecure.

And since so many factors are out of your control—like whether you’ll hear back about that perfect fit opportunity—it’s no wonder many people find themselves attempting to regain a little power by obsessing over what they can control.

But the truth is, not all job-search details are make-or-break.

To help you discern what’s worth your worry—and what’s definitely not—we chatted with two career experts to identify five easy-to-obsess-over details that hiring managers really don’t care about … and what to focus on instead.

1. How Fancy Your Resume Looks

In today’s competitive job market, it’s crucial to make your C.V. shine brighter than the hundreds of others on a hiring manager’s desk. Often, that pressure leads people to toil over the glossiest resume template—with fancy fonts, bold pops of color and custom sub-sections—in an effort to express their exceptional flair for style.

But unless you’re applying for a design position and need to showcase those skills, Alison Green, a former nonprofit chief of staff and author of the Ask a Manager blog, is giving you permission to quit obsessing.

“No employer is going to hire you just because you have a beautifully laid-out resume,” she says. “Plus, it makes it look like you don’t have a clear idea of what things really matter.”

What Does Matter … “Standing out is about the strength of your candidacy, which is something you can’t buy, fake or promote through even the most beautiful font choice,” Green says.

If you really want to prove you’re a strong candidate, create an easily readable document that prominently highlights your professional accomplishments.

For example, maybe you exceeded your sales targets for three years in a row, successfully serviced your company’s most difficult account, or were chosen to represent your department at a major industry conference—make sure these points stand out on your C.V.

One other thing to keep in mind? Stick to the facts, Green says, adding that hiring managers won’t give much weight to overly subjective descriptions and self-assessments you can’t substantiate, like “excellent management skills” or “creative communicator.”

RELATED: 9 Glaring Résumé Mistakes Not to Make

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  • D

    I would advise against resumes that are not chronological. If someone is quickly scanning and it looks like you have large unexplained gaps in employment you might get pushed to the no pile without a second look. But the principle of maximizing what matters is correct. Remember the purpose of a resume is to get an interview. Find the balance between saying everything and not saying enough and if it makes sense to have a 1 page resume (a must for junior/entry level candidates) consider that you have limited valuable space and only put what matters most… which is what is relevant for the job you are applying to; which means you may want to make small changes based on the position.
    I am not a big fan of cover letters. As I see it they are a leftover idea from when people would mail in resumes and it was required to understand why you sent your resume in, others may disagree.
    Being aggressive is always better than being passive, but don’t reach out in time frames that wouldn’t make sense. If you talk to someone on Tuesday, don’t call again Wednesday, You don’t have to let a full week go by, but calling back the same week (unless you at the end stage of a process and have a competing offer) is likely to be seen as pushy or desperate.

  • Sysa Ed

    Because of this obsession job seekers face some more trouble in their career. So only self confidence and some highlighting candidacy features can easily cover up this obsession. These candidacy features can easily glow the career explorations.