CMO AT RAINMAKING INNOVATION, EX MARKETING MANAGER AT ACCENTURE – FOUNDER AT THE SPARKSIDE, EX FOUNDER AT THEQ CAMERA EX ADMAN, MILLENNIAL.
In March this year, I had the honour to speak at a technology job conference on the future of work and I gave out some insider tips on bridging the gap in between talent and companies. To give you a bit of context, the future is bright for talent, but competition is on the rise, big time. Software developers, for example, have increased 50% and the growth is expected to continue . Remote work is also facilitating cross-country competition; India is expected to surpass the US in number of developers this year!
So, finding a job is a job, it takes time, efforts and unfortunately, you still need experience and a good resume. But over the years, I learned some techniques that eventually got me interviews with Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Accenture, Twitter, Ogilvy & Mathers and others. So, I thought I could share some of those to anyone in need our there.
On a strategic level, thinking of myself as a company helped me a lot and acting like a company, even more. I was the product, my CV was my marketing, the way I sold myself in the interview was sales and how good I was at finding jobs was my operations.
So this perspective could help you break down your efforts and improve where you need it the most. In example, you might find out that you rarely pass the CV screening so you might want to improve the content of your resume and test some ideas other than just sending it ( like calling recruiters when you send it! ).
Most of these Sales and Marketing skills are outside anyone's area of competence. But you don’t need to be a great salesman or marketer, you just need to act like one. As if you’re acting in a play, you’re giving a performance where the goal is to simply deliver the product: YOURSELF. This is something I learnt from others, and through my experience, I learned to overcome fears and reach the confidence needed for an interview.
In marketing, the more personalised and targeted the message to your audience, the higher the result s. However, being personal is usually hard for many people as they're in a tough spot when looking for a job. You've been looking at hundreds of positions from a dozen of companies so how can you be personal for each one of them? You don't need to, you just need to act personal:
Recruiters spend on average 6 seconds on your CV so you only have 6 seconds to pass the test. This is why you need to PRIORITISE, therefor TAILOR your CV. But Tailoring doesn’t need re-writing your CV; it simply means putting more focus on some things and taking off some others that are not relevant to that role, regardless of how much you think they look good.
A very simple process that you can take is looking for keywords in the Job Description and making sure they're all covered in your CV.
The Cover letter is the part we hate the most because it requires applicants to be creative writers. 55% of hiring managers consider cover letters unimportant in their search process and only 18% rank the cover letter as an important. Yet, companies say they hate generic and impersonal cover letters so that means that you need to do it, and you need to do it right.
My recommendation would be to use the cover letter as an opportunity to tell more about yourself, with information that would not be otherwise relevant for your CV ( that stuff you took off when tailoring it, for example! ). Be brief, maximum 3 paragraphs and use a framework so that your cover letter is always personalised without having to re-invent it every time. Here's a good framework:
A great example that I love comes from this guy in the advertising world. He literally put up an ad with his own online landing page. What more relevant than an actual billboard and website?
The point is; you don’t have to be a creative genius all the time. you simply have the opportunity to use and show your skills in the application process. If you're a developer, it could be your own online interactive CV , if you do sales it could be a great pitch deck with your resume in it, if you're a marketing person it could be a great landing page and if you're a designer it could be a website redesign for the company you want to work for. What can you do for me? Don't tell me, Show me!
This should be a no-brainer in 2018. However, I still see a lot of incomplete LinkedIn CV's and people telling me that's because they're not social media people. Just to put things into perspective, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to check candidates. For them, It’s much quicker, more productive as it has the same format across the board.
So, it's not much about you being a social media person, again, you just need to act like one. This one is simple: go to LinkedIn and make it look nice. Period.
Many would call this technique "Stalking", but I just needed a definition that sounded better than its original name: prospect research. In sales, people find out what their clients are interested in, what they are afraid of and they use this information to improve and align their pitch & their interpersonal approach. Social media today has helped us with this technique a lot. Spend 10 minutes online and you'll find out most information about anyone. You can take me as an example, you can easily spend 10 minutes on Instagram, Twitter and this blog to find out what I like and what I don’t like.
You can use this technique when looking for a job and Do a genuine research on the recruiter or person who's going to make a decision on your profile. You can usually find their email at the bottom of job descriptions. Your findings will become invaluable information that you can use in the cover letter, in the email you’re sending out, and mostly, in the interview!
Sending CV and Cover Letter is not enough. Because that’s what everyone else is doing! What you want, ultimately, is to be noticed out of a lot of other applications. Engagement is how you can make that difference. Engagement is something we use a lot in marketing to make customers trust our brands more, and in our case, we need the hiring manager or recruiter to trust our brand, to trust ourselves for an interview. How do we do that? Simple, ask smart questions.
Because hiring managers and recruiters have the responsibility of getting back to your questions and they will remember you more because you asked those SMART QUESTIONS. It’s like you’re getting a foot in the interview already, so reach out, send emails or call the hiring manager with good questions before or after you apply for a job. There are always smart, genuine questions you can ask regarding the position: read the job description and find points that could need some clarity, for example:
- Regarding team structure, how many people are you going to work with?
- Who you’d be reporting to and who will you be able to learn from.
- Is this a new position or is it replacing a pre-existing position?
- How does the company review performance?
Of course, none of these ideas will beat a great skilled person. However, they can make the difference when you're equally skilled to your competitors and I hope I could give you some advantage in your job search!
See below some resources and tools that could help you out in the process:
Ask Stacey — General overview on Recruitment
Ceev.io — use your LinkedIn to create a CV!
StandardResume.co — Resume creators.
Resume.io — resume templates.
Visualcv.com — Visual resume builder.
Resume-builder.qwilr.com — Easy resume builder.
Resumeworded.com — Having problems with writing a resume? Here you go.
Jsonresume.org — open source Json standard for resumes.
Cakeresume.com — beautiful resumes in no time.
Resumonk.com — create a resume in minutes.
Semplice.com — for designers! My site uses Semplice.
Squarespace.com — Build a whole website without writing any code.
About.me — A single page about you!
Wix.com — Another website builder.
WordPress.com — The best CMS, my website uses it.
Coverletter.io — Instant feedback for your cover letter.
Grammarly.com — No more spelling mistakes!
EMAIL REACH OUT
Hunter.io — Find anyone's email.
Anymailfinder.com — Find emails from companies.
Keyvalues.com/culture-queries — Smart questions ideas!
Polymail.io — My favourite, see who reads your emails.
Followup.cc — Engage and remember to follow up!
Followupthen.com — Your email reminders.
Thepminterview.com — A virtual interview!
Interview.ueno.co — Interactive interview game.
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