Ask M+P: Job Hunting
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Welcome to Ask M+P, an advice column for creative professionals (and all professionals!)! Our Marketing Coordinator Jaade has thoughts, but so does our larger team. C’mon, it’ll be fun! (have a question? ask us!)
Looking for work is practically a sport these days. It’s as if you’re sprinting to apply for a job before it has 200 applicants, hoping it wasn’t closed by the time you submit your information. Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile with a #opentoworkbanner that way, everyone knows you’re on the market. Another thing, make sure to send a thank you note to the hiring manager – that is if you get an interview. There are so many unspoken rules when it comes to job hunting. It can feel like a circus.
But what about other people’s success? You know, the posts on LinkedIn that go viral because they’re so inspiring that they incite hope in even the most cynical of candidates. After hundreds of application submissions, a couple of interviews, and multiple sleepless nights questioning when it’ll be your turn to share your heartwarming update, is there a chance you’re going about this all wrong?
I turned to our team of experts to help me fill in the gaps. I talked to Tamara Fakhoury, Katy Byrtus, and Kristen Barleen for tips on how to present yourself in the best possible light to hiring managers in a work climate that some might describe as volatile. I had to ask, when it comes to the job hunt, how do you know what’s worth your time?
- Build Your Network
Before you throw a chair at me for stating the obvious, let’s unpack this. Your network is your net worth. Building a list of cheerleaders, supporters, and people who will champion you when you’re in the room will be an enormous help while navigating this hybrid world.
- Update Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the widest used platform for recruiters and industry professionals looking for talent. The key here is showing you’re looking for work! This includes details about job titles, location, contract or FTE, which is the first place we look. Having an updated profile helps you build your network and communicates to us what kind of work you’re looking for! Talk about a win, win for both of us.
- Tailor Your Resume
The days of applying to every job with identical resumes are over. It’s okay to have multiple resumes. In fact, you should have multiple resumes. And while we know most of y’all are designers, this is a friendly reminder to double-check your resume is clean, easy to read, and properly formatted. We suggest you lose the photo, triple-check your grammar, and utilize the summary section at the top of the first page to explain who you are and how much of a good fit you’d be for the role. Your best bet is to personalize each resume for each job you’re applying for.
- Solid Portfolio > Generic Cover Letter
It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer, copywriter, producer, or merchandiser, it pays to have a quality portfolio. This is where you flex your creative muscles to show off what you’ve worked on, but it’s also a place to clue us in on the kind of work you’re looking for. Want to work for a specific brand? Make it look like you have! It should contain your A+ work with examples from past projects and write-ups of your previous responsibilities. Keep it neat, clean, and accessible. We mean it. If there’s anything you take from this blog let it be this – make sure your link works before sending it. Bonus tip, add it to your LinkedIn!
- Interview Prep
When it comes to interviewing, this is your time to shine. Granted, not everyone interviews well. We get it, and we have a few tips to help. First things first, you want to make sure to dress to impress. Meeting the hiring manager can be daunting, but when you show up looking your best, it’s a bit easier to give it your all. Next, have all materials ready for review. This means your resume, portfolio, personal pitch, and job description at the ready! This reassures the interviewer you’re prepared and serious about the next steps. Last (but certainly not least), ask questions. You’re not the only one being interviewed. Make it clear that you’re interested in the role and take this opportunity to get to know your potential team.
- Go To Events
Seriously! You can only do so much behind your computer. Get out in the world and connect with real humans. Check out our events page to stay up to date with your creative community, professional development and networking opportunities happening near you. It’s your go-to guide for cool things to do, and who knows, it could lead you to your next gig.
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