Last week I bared it all and
told the entire internet told the like 4 people who read my posts and that I lost my job.
While my post was meant to help Millennials stay on track and be productive during unemployment, I received some questions and comments (you know, from the 4 people that read my posts) about what I am doing on my actual job hunt to make it successful.
Because apparently lifestyle hacks are not what my readers want. And I gotta give the people what they want! So here’s a little update on #LaurensJobHunt2016 for all 4 of you that are interested.
(And yes, I did create a hashtag for this experience. And yes, I do use it often.)
Since being let go, my job hunt has been fairly successful in my opinion.
Within 10 business days I had applied to over 50 positions, completed 12 phone interviews, and had 7 second-round interviews scheduled for the following week (AKA this week).
Along with following my lifestyle tips for living my best ~unemployed life,~ I credit a lot of my success to the way I present myself to potential employers and my understanding of how to tailor my approach at each new stage of the interview process: application, phone screen, and interview.
Applying for jobs can be intimidating. The first step is knowing exactly what type of role you are looking for and tailoring your resume to suit that niche.
For example, I have experience in both marketing/content creation and recruiting. I decided I would apply to roles in both sectors, so I created different resumes for both types of positions. The resumes are only slightly different- highlighting my major accomplishments in that specific field and providing less information on my experience in other areas.
As a recruiter myself, I know the average resume gets a 15 second glance at most before the recruiter makes a decision to call the candidate or not, so it’s important that any relevant accomplishments are easy to find and grab their attention.
Another tactic I’ve used to make myself stand out among other candidates is to link my social media profiles in my resume/cover letter. Recruiters are much more likely to buy into you as a candidate if they feel like they have a good sense of who you are and what you’re all about.
I know this can be a scary idea for many Millennials, but I assure you that the spring break pics from your senior year will not haunt you forever.
And I can also assure you that those recruiters have been drunk on a beach before, too.
The point of a phone screen is so the recruiter can get a sense of who you are and more importantly, how interested you are in the role.
Chances are the recruiter you are speaking with has 0 experience in whatever field or role you are interviewing for, and considering they can just look at your resume to see your qualifications, the phone screen is all about assessing cultural fit, communication skills, personality, and passion.
As someone who did phone screens everyday all day as the primary function of my role for the last 2+ years, I can tell you that most recruiters will choose passion over qualifications any day, so really let your inner Sasha Fierce ~shine~ during this stage.
When prepping for phone interviews, I typically do research on both the company and the role itself. I keep the questions very high-level at this stage, because as a recruiter myself, I know that many times they may not be able to answer more detailed or in-depth questions. Examples of high-level questions would be specifics about the role, hiring timeline, next steps, office culture etc.
I ensure I develop a really strong rapport with the recruiter (laugh at their jokes, make jokes back, show my true personality, be bubbly AF, etc.), because the whole point of the phone screen is to basically convince them to send you along to the next step.
If you have a friendly relationship with the recruiter they are more likely to feel positively about your candidacy, regardless of how qualified you are.
The interview is your last chance to show the company everything you have to offer. You will likely be interviewing with the hiring manager and not the recruiter who screened you, so you will be starting from somewhat of a clean slate.
When I go into an interview, I ensure to bring the same enthusiasm and develop a similar type of rapport with the hiring manager as I did the recruiter. The recruiter probably sent notes to the hiring manager prior to your interview, so it’s important to stay consistent and prove why the recruiter felt strongly enough about you to send you in.
The hiring manager will probably probe you on qualifications and skill-set relevant to the role more than the recruiter, so be prepared for this. Now is also the time when you can ask deeper questions about the opportunity.
One key question that I think all candidates should ask any hiring manager interviewing them is,
“What does success look like in this role?”
This question will force the HM to think about and explain to you exactly what you would be doing in the role and what they would expect from you from a performance standpoint, as opposed to focusing on what skills or education or experience you need to bring to the table.
It will also give you an idea of the type of manager they would be and help you gauge if that would suit you.
And please, to all job-hunters out there, never filter your personality or change who you are in an interview. If you do get hired, they will discover your true personality very quickly anyways, and you want to ensure you are being hired by a company and a manager who actually like your personality and feels it would be a fit for their team.
Now get out there and…