Why a company’s values should be important to job applicants

As I’ve been preparing for multiple interviews this past week, I had the opportunity to speak with a hiring recruiter regarding a potential position. While it’s standard practice to discuss your qualifications and what you can offer to the company, the recruiter gave me a piece of advice that I had never considered before: imagine yourself as a potential client for the company and make sure their company values align with your own.

It might seem simple, but until now I had never put on a persona when doing research about an organization that I have the potential to work with. A few aspects the recruiter recommended that I consider included turnover rate, management style of your supervisor, how many levels of management there are, the revenue and growth of the company, significant accomplishments and anything that would come to the mind of a consumer wanting to purchase their goods and services.

A lot of recruiters will also give candidates a summary about the company and the kinds of values that they uphold as an organization. I do my best to ensure that a company espouses certain qualities and traits that I deem important, but most recent graduates might not even care about company values because they are applying for a job that pays decently. Engaging in this kind of behavior is detrimental to both yourself and the company, as I don’t feel as though I could be entirely happy working at an organization that holds values that conflict with my own.

You should always strive to have a synergistic relationship with your employer; I personally look to for passion, collaboration and the ability to learn new things all the time when gauging if an organization is the right fit for me. Inversely, I try to make sure that I’m the right fit for a company and that I can add something to the team I’m working with, whether it’s through my skill set, innovation, passion or a fresh perspective.

In short, job searching shouldn’t be a soulless, painful endeavor. You should be excited about the company, their values and culture, as well as all the great things that they’re accomplishing in their industry. It shouldn’t be a number game in hopes of landing a position at a place that you hardly know about.

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