Keeping your resume updated and your interview skills sharp are essential. In a pandemic world of layoffs and uncertainty, it’s more critical than ever to be prepared. For a recent virtual event, we partnered with Creative Circle, one of the industry’s most successful recruiting firms, to offer timely guidance on job hunting. Here are some key takeaways from the event.
Getting in the Virtual Door
“Give the recruiter a backstage pass to what you’ve been doing.”
– Lauren Christiansen, Creative Circle
- Cover letters are not dead. Even though you’re not mailing off your resume like the old days, you still need to entice the recruiter or hiring manager to read your resume. Personalize it to the company and, if possible, the hiring manager. Concisely tell your professional story and why you’d be a great fit for the role, company, and culture.
- Customize for the job. Align your resume to the position and company you’re targeting by highlighting relevant experiences and skills that match directly with the job. Get specific and showcase the hard skills, big projects, and campaign success metrics that collectively show you will be an asset. And don’t forget top keywords from the job description to avoid being filtered out.
“Only when you’re seasoned does having two pages make sense.” – Julia Buck, Creative Circle
- Size matters. Candidates with less than 10 years of experience should keep their resume to one page, those with more than a decade should not be more than two pages. Using online templates or tools such as Canva will help you highlight your experiences and skills in a visually appealing and concise format. Of course, ensure that all your contact info is there, including email, phone, and your LinkedIn profile link. Some companies prefer local candidates, so include your location. Headshots are not recommended, as they have been shown to trigger biases – unconscious or otherwise.
“Put together 4-5 slides or page, organize it by your campaign, save it as a PD and upload it along with your resume.” – Lauren Christiansen
Nail the Interview in the New Normal
Meeting your potential employer face-to-face is next to impossible these days. To make the remote interview experience easier, here are a few tips on nailing the interview from a distance:
Preparation, preparation, preparation.
- Practice answering and asking questions and be sure to assemble all the relevant documents in front of you.
- Consider your strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to the job you’re seeking.
- Know who you’re talking to by researching your interviewer, having things in common or asking about something they accomplished could be a great conversation starter.
- Study what your target company is looking to hear, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other platforms often offer insights into interview questions.
“Don’t look like you’re in a cave…” – Lauren Christiansen, Creative Circle
Getting Ahead of Technical Issues is easy as 1-2-3
- Start by choosing a space that is comfortable, quiet, and has high internet speed.
- Make sure your background isn’t cluttered; it’s best to use a simple background.
- Familiarize yourself with the platform the interview will be conducted on. Do a test run with Zoom, WebEx, etc., in advance and have a backup plan and call in phone number handy, in case your connection or computer falters.
Master the Interview
Learn the S.T.A.R. Method (https://www.creativecircle.com/blog/star-prepare-interview) to make answering tough questions automatic:
- Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
- Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
- Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
- Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
“I interview a significant number of people a year and I can count on one hand the number of people who send thank you notes. I’ll tell you – I remember it.” – Adam Bleibtreu, Creative Circle
Famed champion golfer Arnold Palmer once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” In searching for a job and interviewing, practicing the skills above and customizing your resume will bring you more interviews and likely a little luck too.
Miss the event with Creative Circle? Watch the playback here ->> Lunch & Learn Playback