You Are More Than Your Resume: The Importance of Matching Company Culture
Successful job seekers take the time to tailor each application and resume to the jobs they’re applying for, providing examples that show their skills match the job description.
While the right experience and skills are essential, finding a matching company culture, and proving that your values match with the organization you wish to be a part of, are equally as important. In this article, we’ll take a look at why your resume should include soft skills and personality traits.
Why Culture Fit Matters
Finding a great company expands beyond finding a position that matches your skills. When an interviewer sits down with a potential employee, they gain insight into what type of worker they’ll be.
At the same time, job seekers have the opportunity to assess an employer’s beliefs.
Since employers see hundreds of candidates with the same qualifications, they often choose the person who fits their culture the most, even if they aren’t necessarily as skilled.
Why? Interviewers that hire based on skills alone quickly find themselves in a revolving door of ex-employees who felt dissatisfied and unfulfilled in their position.
Focusing on culture fit improves the likelihood an employee will stay or be hired quicker than expected.
How to Figure Out if You’re a Culture Fit
Identifying your core values as an employee is incredibly important when finding the best company to work for. However, searching for a company that offers the type of culture you’re looking for can be tough for you unless you have a friend that already works there.
Conduct Employer Research
To start, use JobSage to search businesses based on metrics like inclusion, purpose, and feedback, so you can find matches based on culture, not just experience. There are plenty of employer review sites you can use, it all depends on what you look for and how transparent you feel the reviews are. Yes, reviews that are certified are a plus, and a game-changer if you may.
Be sure to Google potential employers before applying for a job. You can learn a lot about a company based on how they interact with their customers on social media, their website, and pictures on company pages.
Search for press articles about team building, charity work, and work satisfaction. All of this information will help you write your cover letter, so stay diligent.
Conduct Employee Research
It’s never a good idea to focus solely on what your potential employers say about their own company because they tend to be a little biased, so check in with current and past employees.
Websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor can give you an insider’s look at what it might be like to work for a company. If most employees are saying positive things, that’s a good sign. However, if the company is suffering from a high turnover rate and negative reviews, run for the hills.
How to Demonstrate Culture Fit
We established that your resume could show more than just your skills, but presenting culture fit on your resume naturally can pose a challenge. Here’s how you do it:
- On cover letters, try being honest and conversational. Tell your story from your point of view. Say, “loves to find opportunity in adversity” instead of using buzzwords.
- Create context around your career accomplishments. If you led a team of 10 through a successful marketing project, explain how that helped your team and the client.
- Establish your interest in charities, organizations, and causes by placing it at the end of your resume. It shows that you’re a team player, empathetic, and love to help others.
- Mention projects that align with the company’s values. Use a bulleted list to add context to your project and how the experience you gained will help you succeed elsewhere.
- Match your cover letter and resume’s tone with what the employer values utmost. For example, if employees mention movies in their bios, share your own picks.
Make sure you can back up what you state on your resume. If you say that you volunteered with an organization and it turns out you didn’t, you’ll miss out on a job opportunity.
How to Determine if the Culture Fits You
Getting an interview is a good sign the hiring manager thinks you’re a good fit, but that doesn’t guarantee you the position.
Still, the interview gives you the opportunity to check if the culture fits you, as well. Be sure to ask the following questions at the time of the interview:
- How does the company support professional development and career growth?
- How is feedback given to employees/managers?
- Does your company encourage risk-taking?
- How does your company measure success?
- What do you like the most about working here?
Don’t be tempted by perks because they won’t necessarily determine a company’s culture.
Sure, unlimited vacations and free food are a great perk, but if you hate coming to work every day, no in-work yoga sessions are going to improve your mental health or quality of life.
If you want to work for a place that cares about your career growth, health, performance, and happiness, only accept job offers from employers that seek to inspire and motivate you.