A company’s culture is like a puzzle – it’s either you “fit” into it or you don’t. A candidate’s alignment with the company’s values, habits, and even communication styles is both beneficial for themselves and the employer. It can allow for easier management, engagement, and increased satisfaction over time.
Even when you’re qualified in every way for a position, if employers can’t envision you fitting in, it’s enough to consider someone else.
“More than showing what you can do for the employer, showing how you’ll be able to easily work alongside them is a make-or-break factor for getting the job,” says Josh Tolan, CEO of Spark Hire. “Most employers won’t directly ask ‘Can we tolerate working with you?’ Instead, answer it for them during the interview stage.”
Once you’ve found a company that you identify with and applied for that open position, how can you communicate your fit with them?
How to “fit” the puzzle
Here are Tolan’s ways for approaching just that in your personal brand:
In Your Video Pitch. Video pitches are great for showcasing those “soft skills” employers won’t see on your resume. It’s also the best way for employers to see how you present yourself and if it’s fits for what they expect in an employee.
Through Social Media. Employers want to know what you think about. Your Twitter or Facebook are already designed to share and spread your ideas and knowledge around – so don’t be hesitant to showcase your expertise on a trend or topic. Just be sure to keep it professional.
On Your Blog. Here you can talk about your professional goals, expectations, and how your values align with the company. If you want to work for an alternative energy company, talk about your love for “green” environmentally friendly initiatives, or how you personally saved more paper in your last position. Employers will see it, and take note of your alignment with their mission.
Remember that you don’t have to mold yourself to be the right fit for every company. In doing so, you could be setting yourself up for an eventual negative experience. But when you do find a match between you and a company, be sure to show, not just tell, how you fit into their culture.
How would you define company culture? What are other ways to show your “fit” within a company?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiringCome Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.