Before discussing the 5 Ways, let’s delve into the why -you- someone with a background snag, must make not just a lasting first impression, but a great one. Simply put, you must because the one made by the paper or digital you, is probably counterproductive.
“Wait a minute,” you might think if you’re an ex-offender, “what about Ban the Box? I know making a good impression is important, but they won’t be asking me about my record on the initial application, so there’s no paper or digital 'me' to automatically dislike, right?”
Anything about you that’s somehow perceived as “off,” incongruent, or not completely likable, will be magnified when your background problem is discovered later in the hiring process. This will practically guarantee you won’t be the first choice.
Regardless of whether or not you are pursuing a position covered by Ban the Box, keep these 5 important considerations in mind.
Make sure there’s alignment between you, your Job Search Objective, and the position you hope to get. This means that you and what you are out to accomplish, must line up in a practical and common sense manner.
Be prepared to appeal to those tasked with vetting you for the available position. Avoid blowing past this, especially if you’ve been off the market for a while. They must see you as “a fit” for you to succeed.
Don’t over-do it or under-do it. Be polite, professional, and authentic every time you interact.
You must be the same and act the same, each and every time. No off days or “winging it.” None. Always the same; in dress, demeanor, and detail.
Being appropriately persistent produces its own reward. However, persistence also shows your interest and desire. Job search is just like writing fiction, don’t tell me, show me!
One more thing; think of each face-to-face first impression as setting the stage and tone for each relationship developed as you re-enter the workforce. And make no mistake, your success may ultimately depend on the first impressions you make. Never allow these crucial interactions to “just happen.” It’s your show and the whole thing should be proactively orchestrated, just like a theatrical event.