Kara Dennison Contributor
In a competitive market, hiring managers are looking for authenticity in the application pool, which sets candidates apart from all the other talent. Qualified candidates who can be authentic are more likely to connect with the company in more meaningful ways, especially when their values align.
Bringing authenticity into the job search means being true to yourself and your goals. For job seekers, the authentic job search starts with finding a company that aligns with your values.
Re-Defining Values for the Workplace
Everyone has values. Values are the principles that guide actions and behavior. Because values help shape everyone’s worldviews, they have a significant impact in the workplace and in shaping work culture.
That’s why understanding your values is vital to bringing authenticity into your job search. It means you stand for what you believe in and that your actions and decisions align with your principles.
What is the core belief that motivates you? It also helps to prioritize your values according to what’s non-negotiable or less critical. For example, a candidate with a growth mindset would probably thrive in a company that offers rare career opportunities. In that case, the company demonstrates an investment in their employees, a core value that might align with yours.
Researching a Company’s Values
Once you have a clear understanding of how your values translate to the office, it’s time to research companies of interest. How can you find a company’s values and see how those values are reflected?
Pay attention to each company’s website, reading through its mission statement, core values, and any other information about its history. Do they have life-balance policies? Diversity and inclusion initiatives? What are their employee benefits?
You should also familiarize yourself with their social media accounts, scoping out how they engage with their audiences and vice versa. Don’t forget to read reviews from clients and customers and any news articles with relevant and recently updated information about the company. Research all the ways that the company has engaged with the public, paying attention to the company’s leadership and communication styles.
Pay attention to what you like and don’t like, finding commonalities between the company’s values and your own. More importantly, consider how your values can contribute to theirs, helping to build toward a shared mission.
Reading Between the Lines: How Actions Align With Words
As you scope a company out, what does your gut say? Like everything else, there’s usually a good reason if something doesn’t feel right.
In the authentic job search, your gut instinct could be a sign that the company’s values do not align with yours. On the other hand, if you feel excited and energized by the company’s values and culture, it could be a sign that you may be aligned.
Take note of anything that stands out and makes you feel uneasy, and reflect on why. Your intuition can be a powerful tool when envisioning how you may or may not fit into the company’s bigger picture.