What hiring managers really want to know

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Hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing each resume. So you don’t have long to make a good first impression that will keep them reading.

We’ve talked to recruiters and hiring managers across industries—warehouse operations, trucking, skilled trades, production, and more—to understand exactly what questions they ask when reviewing an application, so you can put your best foot forward and land the interview.

  1. “Is this person qualified?”

At first glance, this one might seem straightforward: either you have the experience or you don’t. But job responsibilities vary across different companies and areas. So sometimes listing your title and the company you worked for aren’t enough to give hiring managers a clear idea of your skills and responsibilities.

Did you use a forklift? If so, what type? What kind of cargo did you move? What type of facility did you work in? Be as detailed as possible about your experience, skills, and certifications when filling out your profile. This will give you an edge over a candidate that leaves a hiring manager guessing.

2. “Will this person stick around?”

Reviewing an application, conducting an interview, training a candidate—these all require an investment of time and resources from a company. So hiring managers don’t want to hire someone who’s going to quit in three weeks.

Applicants with long-term positions (anything over 1 year) are often given preference. So if you have a number of short jobs or gaps in your employment, add some explanation into your profile. Maybe you moved or took time off to get training.

Hiring managers don’t want to penalize you unfairly, they just want to know you’re someone who is going to show up and stick around.

3. “Do I trust the story this person is telling?”

Like any relationship, the one between employer and employee is built on trust. After all, a hiring manager is the one responsible for bringing you on. This is especially true in industries like warehouse operations where turnover in some jobs is high.

So it’s important that your profile tells a complete story about you. If you say you have 3 years experience working in a warehouse, but then don’t list any jobs in the work experience section this will count against you. Hiring managers will assume you either lack qualifications or attention to detail.

Gaps in your work history can raise red flags for a hiring manager, even if there’s usually a very simple explanation. So make sure that your profile tells a cohesive story.

4. “Has this person put effort into the application?”

Basic spelling errors, fields left blank, lack of detail—these things can count against an applicant. Some hiring managers will use this as a way to screen out applicants they assume aren’t serious about the job or lack attention to detail. (Read about other common mistakes job applicants make, so you can avoid them).

At WorkStep, you only have to fill out your profile once and then you can use it to apply to as many jobs as you want. And every time you update it, it gets changed in every job application (even the ones you’ve already submitted).

So it’s worth spending a little extra time to make a good first impression. Get started now.