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Crack the Applicant Tracking System Code


Get your resume in front of recruiters every time.

“You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust the sails to reach your destination.” The meaning is obvious in Jimmy Dean’s famous quote and hugely

relevant for job seekers in the marketplace today. There are some things you just
can’t change and, when you come across a challenge, you simply need to make a few
adjustments in order to reach your objectives.

With the sheer volume of resumes that recruiters receive each day, many of them
today must first make it past the Applicant Tracking System [ATS] before a live
person even looks at them. An ATS is a specialized software highly favoured by
employers, which literally filters through thousands of resumes before it submits
the top most recommended resumes to the employers.

ATS make recruiters’ lives easier, saving them hours and days’ worth of time by
performing the initial evaluation and by narrowing down the candidate pool from
100s of resumes to the top 10 candidates. This means that the more the employers
depend on the ATS, the more the chances that qualified candidates may get filtered
out. And your only hope for breaking through the ATS barrier is to understand
exactly how the system works and effectively format your resume to get through.

How Applicant Tracking Systems filter your resume

Regardless of your stellar qualifications, if the resume isn’t formatted in the right
way, which means if the right keywords and phrases are missing, the Applicant
Tracking System will simply misread your resume and rank it as a bad match with
the job opening.

The most important criteria used by the ATS to determine a match includes the
appearance of a keyword or phrase that can be measured by its presence in the
document, as well as the number of times the keyword or phrase appears.

Plus, the ATS contains different database fields for information on a resume, such as
an applicant’s name, contact details, work experience, job titles, education, employer names and periods of employment. These systems try to identify this information on a job seeker’s resume, so it’s essential that you format your resume to fit these criteria. And thus, the higher your resume ranking by the ATS, the more likely the application will end up being reviewed by a human reader.

How to format ATS-friendly Resumes:

  • Always submit your resume in an ATS approved format [.doc, .docx, or .txt.].
  • Remember, PDF, RTF and Jpeg formatted resumes may not be ATS-friendly.
  • List your contact information at the top of the document, with each piece of information labelled, “Phone”, “Email” and “LinkedIn.”
  • Simplify and streamline section headings “Qualifications”, “Summary,” “Work Experience,” and “Education.”
  • Avoid the temptation to use fancy dingbats, design templates, shading and borders and opt for simple bullets instead.
  • Ensure that the content is set in a simple single column format by minimizing the use of tables, multiple columns and text boxes.
  • Write your resume using safe, ATS-accepted fonts like Verdana or Arial.
  • Do not include images or graphics because the ATS can’t read them anyway and worse, they could clog the system.
  • As always, thoroughly check for spelling errors as the ATS may not recognize misspelled words.
  • If you are using abbreviations, like “PM”, make sure you also spell out the full version – “Project Management”.
  • Customize your resume for the individual job using keywords from the job position itself. If you are formatting a new resume, look up a few job postings from sites like and cut and paste relevant keywords and add them in your resume strategically.
  • Keep the section around your name clean. If you intend to add your credentials like PhD, CPA etc, make sure that you list them separately but not along with your name as that may confuse the ATS.

In summary, the ATS can be a very powerful ally if you understand how to make it work in your favour. If you can research jobs and optimize your resume wisely with the right keywords and in accepted layout and design formats, in no time you can be sitting face to face across the table with your potential employers.

Here’s wishing you all the luck in cracking the ATS code.

Mission Possible! Jobhunting over 40? Beat age discrimination with four strong counter points

Top Ten Twitter Tips to enhance your job search


Twitter – A tremendous tool for job success

According to the latest Jobvite survey over 55% of recruiters and 40% of job seekers have actively engaged in Twitter for job search. How about you? Twitter is one of the most popular, social networking websites with more than 20 million active users. These also include the very recruiters, hiring managers and the CEOs of the companies that you wish to work for. With its popularity continuing to rise, here are ten creative ways Twitter can help you with your job search strategy and online branding.

1. Build.
Getting started is easy. Set up a free profile on Write a compelling, keyword rich introduction, with preferably the same professional image that’s on LinkedIn, for consistency. And, add a link to your resume, portfolio or blog on your Twitter profile.

2. Connect. 
Shortlist the top five to ten companies that you wish to work for. Follow them and also follow influencers and key people working for each target company. You can also try to search “their name + Twitter” in Google for effective results. As a next step, you can begin to share what they say through re-tweets.

3. Engage. 
Pay attention to what those influencers are saying and what they’re sharing. Brush up on tips about why people follow on Twitter to improve your odds of them following you back. Now get in conversations with the influencers, ask intelligent questions, follow up with links to your best work., offer help and re-tweet the good information you see.

4. Tweet. 
Post intelligent, industry-relevant Tweets to demonstrate your skills, abilities, knowledge, and separate yourself from the competition. Don’t just re-tweet what others are saying; create meaningful content that people care about. Be a thought leader. Similar to how Google indexes your Tweets in the same way indexes your LinkedIn profile and Blogs.

5. Share. 
Share content that is valuable. The more relevant contributions you make, the more others will want to continue to follow you. Show what you are passionate about to give recruiters an idea of your personality. Keep your conversations focused on your area of expertise, or job search topics. Participate by joining hashtag discussions related to your field.

6. Search. 
With recruiters and hiring managers across the globe posting jobs on Twitter, it is now serving as a mini job board. You can go to the Twitter search box and search for the roles you are interested in, find the relevant Tweets and then follow the links provided to learn more about the open positions.

7: Read. 
Hundreds of Career Experts regularly post advice and links to job search resources on Twitter. The quickest way to find these experts is to use the Twitter Search function and enter the hashtag #jobsearch, #career or #jobseeker. The amount of excellent ideas, tips, leads, news, informative articles, and best practices going by all day long is amazing.

8. Absorb. 
Directly connect with companies and people that you want to work for. Find companies and people using Tweepsearch and follow them. Read their Tweets, respond and share. Many companies have job-related Twitter handles and following those is a great way to keep tabs on job openings.

9. Comprehend. 
Knowledge is power. Regularly follow the news items, trends and industry chatter on Twitter. You can become much better versed in your field and with the new and valuable information. And when you eventually get an interview with one of the companies that you are following, you will be much more prepared in the interview conversations.

10: Excel. 
Take advantage of Twitter’s unique open platform. Twitter’s openness makes it a useful platform for showcasing your talents, personality and interests. Recruiters can get an idea of who you are, and if you would be a good fit at their company. It’s not just about the transparency of candidates but companies as well.

Twitter can be a tremendous tool to build social credibility during a job search and help you establish a strong online reputation. The reputation you build on Twitter, just like the any other site will greatly aid your chances of finding the right position. Go on, have fun and start making your mark online in less than 140 characters.

Volunteering – The Perfect Springboard to Launch Your Career

“OK WIFM — ‘What’s in It For Me’”? If that’s your immediate reaction on reading the title of this article, read the following statements and see if any of them apply to you: 

  • I am looking for a job, but don’t have the relevant Canadian experience.
  • (Or vice versa) I am unable to get experience because I don’t have a job.
  • I wish I could improve my skills to get better at my job.
  • I wish I could make a career change, but am unable to decide what I want to do.
  • I am interested in a new profession, but am unsure of how to get in or what to do once in.

 If even one of these statements applies to you, then volunteering could be just the boost your career needs. Here are a few proven ways volunteering can help you reach your goals.

Valuable Canadian Experience
More than 65 per cent of hiring managers value volunteering experience to be “important” when selecting candidates, immigrant or Canadian-born. Volunteering also gives you, as a newcomer, a great chance to build your experience in a real workplace. Hiring managers always prefer candidates with local workplace experience.

Flexibility and Adaptability
Volunteering helps you to meet and work with people from diverse backgrounds, multiple attitudes and different views. This kind of flexibility and adaptability are strong must-have skills on your resumé.

Skills Enhancement
Embrace the chance to hone your existing skills and learn and develop new ones — like learning a new language or understanding new software — in a real-life setting. If you are looking for a career change, you can fortify the skills you possess, but are not currently using in your work.

Network Expansion
Volunteering is one of the fastest and most natural forms of networking when you are exploring job opportunities. Leverage the chance to meet new people and through them expand your network. Every new person you meet becomes part of your network and may potentially connect you with other contacts and career opportunities.

Career Exploration
If a career change is on your mind, this is your chance to explore different occupations and industry sectors. Get to know the key people and learn more about the challenges and rewards involved and gain a better understanding of the jobs available. Volunteering in a specific field can make your candidature stand out in any competitive scenario.

Confidence Booster
The potential to develop your technical skills and interpersonal abilities are perhaps the most obvious ways in which volunteering can help with career development. Competence leads to confidence and volunteering can help you feel active, useful and productive — especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while.

In The End, Everyone Wins

And here’s a last piece of news to bolster the argument: volunteering is a great way to learn responsibility and give back to the community. This is also the reason, why schools across Ontario require students to complete 40 hours of volunteer and community service work in order to get their diploma.

A few years ago, I, too, began volunteering with the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP). Today, I have a great time helping established professionals and new Canadians integrate into the job market effectively. The CAMP organization has grown to more than 1,000 members, with everything being accomplished by a handful of us, volunteering for a cause we believe in, and may I add, enjoying every bit of it.

Volunteering is a win-win situation. By helping others, you also get the opportunity to enhance your professional credentials. You will find that giving some of your time and expertise will pay off in more ways than one.

6 Effective Ways to Search and Find Jobs with Facebook

And you thought Facebook was just one giant social networking site that is growing out of proportion. Did you know Facebook has silently transformed into a robust career express and its job searching engines are growing at an alarming rate. Many companies now list jobs on Facebook and also allow candidates to apply via Facebook. It can be a vital social tool that can help you attract attention, connect with multiple professional contacts and land a new job, quicker than you think. Here are some easy, simple things you can do on Facebook every day to find the job you want.

1. ”Like” Companies
Your favorite companies are all on Facebook. Now you can be part of their community and engage with them. “Like” Company Pages and Recruitment Agency Pages to follow news about new job openings. Respond to comments and questions. When a position is open at the company that you want to apply to, write a wall comment on their page and ask who you should email if you have a question. Once you get the email ID, tell the person that you’re interested in the position, and ask for the best way to apply.

2. Connect With Recruiters
Recruiters are looking at Facebook as a talent source and using the site just as much, if not more than you are. Find recruiters in your industry and add them as “friends”. Add a personalized message with your request and explain why you’re adding them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of recruiters who will accept your request.

3. Create a ‘Job-Ready’ Business Page
Did you know Facebook business pages are searchable on Google. Go ahead and create a “pick me” Facebook business page. If you do it right, it will help you gain targeted exposure to your dream/target companies.

4. Post Intelligent Updates
There is no harm in sharing a couple of job search related status updates per week, as long as you don’t spam your target groups. Your updates can be direct links to your online resume or your Linkedin profile, or you many even post just a simple “I’m looking for a job” update.

5. Use Job Search Apps
More and more Facebook apps are being developed for networking and the job search. Some of the big apps are BeKnown, BranchOut, Hire My Friend and InCircle. Use these job searching apps on Facebook.

6. Use Facebook Graph Search
Use this brilliant tool to ‘friend’ former employers, coworkers, college friends and others. Keeping your network wide can work in your favour. You never know who might post a status about a job opening. Similarly, you can join alumni groups, job searching groups, and any common interest group that might post job openings.

Lastly, an equal number of tips to clean up your Facebook page and put your best foot forward.

1. Posts: Keep your Facebook pages clean of embarrassing content, pictures and videos. Before posting anything on Facebook, consider if it is anything that would make your future employer reconsider you as a candidate.

2. Wall Comments: Keep Wall Comments in check, make sure that your Facebook wall is free of any comments that don’t feature you in a positive light.

3. Likes & Interests: Be selective when you respond to requests and keep your ‘Likes’ as neutral as possible and you will not offend anyone.

4. Profile Picture: Post a suitable profile picture. It needn’t be a boring headshot, you can keep it casual but make sure it isn’t inoffensive.

5. Photo Albums: A picture tells a thousand words. Watch out. You will be judged by whatever you’re putting out there. When in doubt, delete the photo.

6. Religion/Politics: Don’t risk raising unnecessary red flags by sharing your views on topics, discussions, images and anything related to religion and politics. It is better to curb the temptation and leave it blank.

Facebook can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Don’t give recruiters and hiring managers the option to dig for dirt online. Stay on top of your personal brand, control the information you put out there and give them every reason to like you, recommend you and hire you.

Network to Get Work – Formal, Informal and Digital Tips to Power Up Your Networking Skills

By now, you have heard this a hundred times that networking is one of the most important components of job searching. According to statistics, at least 60% or higher number of jobs are found only by networking. Even though the process of landing your dream job through smart networking is proven and successful, it can sound intimidating and sometimes seems a little bit scary. The good news – it doesn’t have to be.

When You Absorb:
Networking has the ability to open many doors at every stage of your career. Meeting and talking to the right people can earn you free advice, an awareness of your skills, positive word-of-mouth and more. It also the potential to gain you credibility, trust and, added knowledge and expertise.

What You Comprehend:
Networking when done right gradually gets you into the inner circle of various influencers – recruiters, HR teams, company heads and business groups. Plus in today’s day and age, your virtual profile and social media activities can open up exciting new opportunities to connect.

How You Can Excel:

The Informal Way: Make it a habit to constantly shake new hands – develop contacts with neighbours, college peers, people in associations – anyone who might help generate information. You can be direct and ask for job leads or be informal and ask for information and advice. Simply approach everyone you know. You may be surprised by the people they know.

The Formal Approach: Formal networking works too – keep your eyes open and attend all business gatherings and meetings. You’ll find that most of the participants have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange business cards.

Prepare well before you attend. This includes doing your homework on what companies and what kinds of people will be attending and planning your agenda. Your appearance matters so dress professionally and be well-groomed.

Volunteer to work at the registration table where you can greet people as they come in or bring a friend to walk around the room with you – there’s security in numbers.

Conduct informational interviews with your contacts and ask for referrals for additional meetings. Follow through with referrals, and always thank people with a personal note or email.

Practice your ‘elevator pitch’. Be quick, concise and accurate when describing the strengths you can bring to the table. Ensure you engage your listener from the get-go and make it memorable.

Bring ample business cards. Make sure your card has all contact details and you have more than enough with you as they are a great way to exchange details, as well as allowing you a way of reconnecting the following day. One great little tip is to jot on the back of your card the time and place you met, so your new business contact remembers.

Listen more – there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. When you are open to listening, you will hear others share their needs and pain points, enabling you to tailor and pitch your skills as the solution to their concerns.

And finally, follow up within 48 hours. Don’t let those business cards lie idle. Act on making the most of your new connections and do so within 48 hours of attending the event. Even if you are super busy, make sure you make a phone call or send out a short individual email to everyone.

The Digital Approach – Social Media Networking
As well as networking the old fashioned way, use the internet to network. Social media career networking is still the top way people find new jobs in today’s economy.

Visit discussion boards like Job Search Forums to network with career professionals and job seekers. Visit sites like LinkedIn, Monster and the like that focus on online job search and career networking. Keep track of who you’ve emailed and where you have posted so you can follow up.

Clean up your profile and make sure it is consistent across all channels: review your description, background and experience on all the channels you use and make sure they are all up-to-date.

Expand your network by gradually adding people. Send friend requests to peers form college, previous employers and even acquaintances. The more people in your network, the better. Especially on LinkedIn, make sure that you are well connected with recruiters in your field.

When it comes to recommendation requests, approach former colleagues or your ex-managers carefully. Make sure to customize each request with a professional introduction – don’t send out mass letters to all. Also, do remember to follow up with a thank you note to the people who send you their recommendations.

Actively participate in conversations, join discussions and regularly “Like” or comment on others’ status updates or links. Be conscious of the tone and character of your messages on Facebook and other social media sites. Ensure that your posts and responses exude positivity.

Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to being more connected, more plugged in, and more efficient in your job hunt.

The Perfect Follow-up Can Land the Perfect Job

Top 10 Secrets to Master your Post-interview skills

By Murali Murthy


The interview may be over, but your chance to make an impression is still wide open.

In today’s super competitive job market, effective follow-up after the interview is vital for success. Indeed, knowing what to do after an interview is as important if not more than nailing the interview itself. Here are the top ten recommendations to maximize your post-interview potential and impress your prospective employer.

1: Find out the next step
Once the interview is over, get a clear idea of what will happen next. In most cases the interviewing team will indicate when they will contact you. If this is not conveyed, be sure to ask them to get an idea of when they will let you know, and make sure you only call the employer if that date has passed.

Also find out if there will be a second interview, will you be invited back to meet other people and by what date do they hope to fill the position? Questions like these convey your eagerness for the job.

2: Send out a thank you email
It’s almost expected and standard procedure to follow up each interview with a “thank you” email.

But a savvy candidate can also use this opportunity to communicate something beyond just the customary ‘thank you’.  An effective follow-up email can convey three things: Your appreciation for their time, your interest in the position and a few pointers on what makes you the ideal candidate.

3: Be prompt in your response.
Irrespective of the industry you are in, promptness is a universally appreciated trait. Send the thank you email no less than 24 hours after the interview to leave an impression that you’re responsible. Being prompt demonstrates your professionalism and enthusiasm while a delayed follow-up or a lack of any email can be misconstrued as disinterest or lethargy.

4: Offer a solution to one of the organization’s needs.
Here’s a tip to write a powerful thank you/after-interview letter. Simply mirror and repeat back a summary of key points that were discussed in the interview. Make sure, you memorize or even take short notes during the actual interview itself. If you pick up points related to their immediate challenges or their expansion plans, you can strengthen the follow-up email with your recommended solutions for their challenges.

5:  Offer a complimentary proposal or a 30-60-90 day plan.
Act more like a consultant than an applicant by providing supporting documentation that demonstrates your expertise. Consider creating a proposal on how you would address one of the company’s expansion plans or anything you learnt during the interview. Or you could simply email them a structured 30-60-90 day plan on what you would in the first three months if selected. Doing so will demonstrate that you have the skills, the knowledge and also the enthusiasm to make a significant contribution.


Hope you enjoyed it so far. You can read the rest of the article at:

Your First Job in Canada – No Canadian Experience? No Problem!


No-Canadian -Experience

5 Smart Steps to Tackle Employment Barriers and Embark on a Strong Career.

By Murali Murthy

Welcome to Canada – a wonderful country abounding with opportunity yet not without its set of unique challenges. As you begin the process of settling down, there are different types of barriers you may face and you can overcome each one of them with the right focus, resources and support. For a new immigrant, finding a job easily ranks right on top of the list. Achieving employment success can be challenging for anyone, regardless of where they come from.

Let’s tackle the good old Catch-22: “You can’t get a job without Canadian experience, but you need a job to get Canadian experience”. You may be surprised to learn that this barrier is faced by not just new immigrants but also fresh graduates, career changers or simply those entering the workforce after a long absence.

You can curse the darkness or light a candle. At this point, we can a lament the situation or figure out a way to work around it. After all, countless new immigrants including yours truly, have successfully overcome these very barriers and have landed themselves dream jobs in their chosen field within days of landing.

Your job too is to identify the most potent barriers and then implement a plan for overcoming them. Here are five of the many proven, successful strategies to help you triumph over the experience gap, which you can implement at various stages of the job search process, from the initial resume writing, all the way to the interview.

1. Highlight Transferable Skills.

Smart candidates take the challenge head-on and demonstrate that though they may lack the required Canadian experience they can bring to the table a whole set of transferable skills such as adaptability to the Canadian context, communication acumen, interpersonal mastery, self-management and relationship management.

How you can excel:

  • Adapt your communication skills to suit Canadian audiences and use more Canadian terminologies in your resumé and LinkedIn profiles.
  • Translate your work experience into the Canadian context, so employers can understand how your knowledge and global experience will be useful.
  • Master the art of describing your skills in transferable terms, allowing employers to visualize how your strengths can add value to the team.
  • Pre-empt the recruiter. Before they can pop the ‘No Experience’ question, show how you plan to get the experience – and training on your own accord.
  • Demonstrate how you plan to or are already improving your language abilities by taking English and French workplace language courses.
  • Research and join specific immigrant-serving organizations that offer training on industry-specific workplace skills.

2. Demonstrate Initiative.

Keep in mind that at its best, your resume is just something that says what you did in the past. The recruiter or CEO wants to know how your skills can contribute to the organization now. Always focus on what you can offer, not what you don’t have. Be ready with some ideas on how you can contribute to the organization.

How you can excel:

  • Research the companies beforehand – look up its website and use that information to share what you would do to effect a certain positive change.
  • Take a mock project with you if you can.  This will help the recruiter see how eager you are, how you can add value and how you could fit in.
  • Prepare a tentative 30-60-90 day action plan that you would pursue if you join the organization.
  • Notice industry achievements mentioned on the website and bring them into the conversation to demonstrate eagerness and a ‘good cultural fit’. 

3. Network, Network, Network.

By now, you have heard this a hundred times that networking is one of the most important components of job searching. According to statistics, at least 60% or higher number of jobs are found only by networking. When done right gradually, it can open many doors and get you into the “hidden job market” – the  inner circle of various influencers – recruiters, HR teams, company heads and business groups.

How you can excel:

  • Shake new hands more often – develop new contacts with neighbours, peers, and people in associations – anyone who might help generate information.
  • Prepare well before you attend network meetings.  This includes doing your homework on what companies and what kinds of people will be attending.
  • Dress to impress. Your appearance matters so dress professionally and be well-groomed.
  • Volunteer to work at the registration table where you can greet people as they come in to meet more people.
  • Conduct informational interviews with your contacts and ask for referrals. Follow through, and always thank people with a personal note or email.
  • Practice your ‘elevator pitch’. Be quick, concise and accurate when describing the strengths you bring. 


Hope you enjoyed it so far. You can read the rest of the article at:


8 Steps to Embrace Life Long Learning

Lifelong learning

I have an advertising background and when I came to Canada I realized quickly how important it is to evolve, to unlearn old things and learn new things. It was easy to criticize the way things are done here and compare it with how it was in the old country. Over the years I have transformed the way I think, live and learn and for all those who ask me how not to simply survive but thrive in this tough job market, here are 8 simple yet effective tips.

1. Be Yourself
Your online profiles, posts and tweets are a dynamic résumé –  your personal brand. They reveal your interests, personality and expertise. Whatever the medium, be yourself, and you’ll make your best impression when there’s a real human behind your online identity.

2. Be Focused
Effectively brand your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles with a clear understanding of what position or role you are seeking. Include keywords for which recruiters are likely to search.

3. Be Professional
What goes online stays online. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see. Replace uncharacteristic comments, insensitive language, bad jokes or risqué pictures with keyword-rich posts that reveal your insights and understanding of your market and target audiences.

4. Be Vigilant
Protect your reputation online. Don’t let social networking jeopardize your career opportunities. Other people can tag you, so if a post doesn’t feel right,  un-tag yourself. Check your profile regularly and adjust your privacy settings to block or hide comments from others who may not practice the same level of discretion.

5. Be Appreciative
“Like” companies, blogs and articles on the web. Interact on a company’s page’s wall to highlight your interest in the products and services. When you “Like” interesting stuff, others may want to connect back with you as a resource, and you will attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

6. Be Giving
Actively participate in conversations, join discussions and value-add by offering your insights. Help others by providing positive recommendations and endorsements. Be conscious of the tone and character of your messages. Ensure that your posts and responses exude positivity.

7. Be Active
Follow influencers and channels that interest you and tap into cutting-edge trends from industry leaders, and stay on top of news and events. Be among the first to have a point of view and share relevant posts and articles.  Establish yourself as the go-to-person – connect your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to for more visibility.

8. Be Evolving
Always stay on the cutting edge.  Keep your network growing by adding at least one new person to your network a week. Update your status regularly for the benefit of employers and recruiters. And lastly. seek out a mentor who can help and support you in your online journey.

I Like You, You’re Hired! – 6 Secrets to Ramp Up Your Likeability Factor

 Likeable candidate

So you brushed up your resumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, and they even successfully landed you that interview call. Excellent. But remember that these three things alone can only take you so far.  You have to acknowledge that, at this point, you’re still going to appear the same as a few others, at least on paper.  And the only way to get hired from here on will depend a lot on your personality.

Before you get all nervous at the prospect of sitting across a desk and answering tough questions, remember that an interview is just a personal interaction between two individuals and depends a lot on how well you connect. Ask any number of recruiters what really made them choose one candidate over the other, especially when they all had very similar qualifications, and the most common answer is: “There was a good cultural fit,” or a more honest, “Well, we liked that candidate better.”

And so here are some proven insider tips to ramp up your appeal and make you more likeable during the interview.

 1. Be Friendly Smile Often
Friendliness is the first and most basic element of likeability. Effortlessly smile when you first meet the interviewer.  An endearing smile quickly breaks the ice, makes you seem attractive and confident, and transmits positive feelings. As a matter of fact, people who smile more are more likely to get hired and promoted. A good handshake immediately following a smile helps to make a great first impression. The firm but not aggressive handshake will convey that you are confident, social and professional — even before you utter your first word.

2. Be Enthusiastic Express Passion
Maintain a pleasant expression and an open attitude that tells the recruiter you are happy to be there. Enthusiasm means sitting up straight and making eye contact with the person whose questions you are answering and leaning forward in your chair with your feet firmly on the floor.  Remember to keep your arms at your sides, or use them to make friendly, conversational gestures.  And project your passion in your voice when conversing.

 3. Be Prepared Demonstrate That You Are Ready
Preparation is key. Research the company beforehand, look up its website and use that information to prove that you really do know something about the company and employer. Your goal is to show the employer how you’re unique and how that uniqueness will provide the greatest return on his or her investment. Notice industry awards or achievements mentioned on the website and bring them into the conversation. Employers like to hire someone who is a good fit culturally just as much, if not more, than someone with the right qualifications, so this will make it easier to show why you’re a great cultural fit.

4. Be Giving Share How You Can Add Value
Find out as much as you can about the job and the kind of job you are expected to do before you go to interview. This will help you frame your answers on what you can do for the company. Be ready with some ideas on how you can contribute to the organization and even take a mock project with you if you can.  This will help the recruiter see how eager you are, how you can add value and how you can fit in. Always focus on what you can give.

5. Be Humble Project Confidence Without Going Overboard on Arrogance
The secret to being likable in interviews is to find that fine balance of confidence and humility. Initiate the discussion using quantifiable accomplishments from the past to explain your vantage point. Back up every statement with facts and statistics to validate what you are saying. By staying humble you can turn the interview into a pleasant dialogue between two interesting people. Employers like to hire someone whose company they enjoy.

6. Be Honest Exude Trust
Be sure that what you say is based on facts and do not add on skills you may not possess and duties you may not have handled. If you are asked a question that you do not have an answer to, admit your lack of knowledge honestly. At the same time expressing that you are keen to learn more on the subject will help to build trust.

If you are sincere in what you say, it will reflect in your conduct and tone of voice.

Better With Practice
Candidate likeability is a critical interpersonal skill that gets better with practice. You may find it hard to believe, but there are instances of people getting hired even without having many of the desired qualifications, just because they appealed to the employer more. And so, becoming more likeable is the real secret to getting noticed and getting hired.