How can professionals stand out from the crowd and score a job this year? According to a new survey, senior managers are most impressed when candidates network on social media with employees at the company of interest (49%) and provide access to an online portfolio or personal website (47%). The tactics that hurt workers’ chances most are including cartoon images like Bitmojis or caricatures (35%) and using colorful fonts or backgrounds (25%) on application materials.
The research also suggests professionals shouldn’t overlook writing cover letters: 58% of senior managers said it’s very helpful to receive these documents.
- Four in 10 senior managers said highlighting accomplishments in an infographic can tip the scales in a candidate’s favor.
- While managers, in general, identified including cartoon images on application materials as the biggest deterrent when deciding whether to move forward with a candidate, respondents in Denver and Tampa pointed to excessive color as the leading no-no.
- Charlotte tops the list of cities where executives are most critical of the use of cartoon graphics (53%) and colorful fonts or backgrounds (33%).
- Austin and San Diego (66% each) have the highest percentage of managers who find cover letters valuable.
About the Research
The online survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,400 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in 28 major U.S. cities.