Resumes & Recruiters Panels Key Job Search Tips

May 22, 2019

Written by Catherine Dyer, 2019 SMCLT Vice President, Development


When it comes to job searching, you put in a lot of work only to interview with some companies that interest you and some that aren’t a fit. Whether or not you decide it’s a match, the situation is intimidating as you’re challenged to present your case and interview well. The good news, though? A tailored resume, research and practice will get you the job you’re looking to nail!


To provide tips to set us up for success, we hosted a panel of Charlotte recruiters:

This panel was expertly moderated by:

  • Britt Troy, Lead Creative Recruiter, The Creative Group

Here are the main takeaways from the panel:


Start with your resume first - it sets the foundation for a successful interview process. Make sure your resume checks the following boxes:


  1. Digestible (30 seconds or less)
    • Make it easy to scan
      • Recruiters discouraged paragraph format below job titles because it is simply too hard to read. Include a one sentence pitch, then start using bullet points
    • Use the same formatting throughout the entire document
      • This applies to grammar, dates and punctuation, especially bullets
  1. Portfolio Guidelines
    • Include your portfolio if applicable
    • Portfolios aren’t just for graphic designer positions anymore. If you’re applying for a social media position, it is strongly encouraged that you include your work
    • Two great formats for your portfolio - slideshow or presentation - are easy to put together by simply including screenshots of your work
  1. Return On Investment (ROI)
    • Always include ROI’s on your resume to show the impact of your work at a company
    • ROI’s are important because you want to show that you recognize and care about a company’s growth
  1. Tools and Technologies
    • It’s extremely important to add your skills at the top of your resume under its own heading
    • Include all tools or software you’ve utilized in this section, even Customer-Relationship Management (CRM) software
    • Recruiters often search for keywords alone and use programs that scan resumes for these words. “You don’t necessarily think of adding these to your profile,” panelist Shea Raff advises. “But you never know when a recruiter or a company is searching on three keywords alone and your platform experience is a fit just because a company doesn’t have time to ramp up a candidate with training (on a platform).”
    • Remember - whatever drives a company’s revenue is a skill they may need in a candidate. Research the company to understand how they operate and then make sure your resume includes the best-fit skills. For example, does the company rely on postcards to drive sales? If so, ask yourself what platforms you’ve worked in that are relevant and include them

Your career on paper is only one aspect a company looks at to get to know you. With emphasis on company culture growing, our panel dove into the in-person techniques needed to interview with confidence.


  1. Interview Do’s
  • Ask your recruiter for names of people that will interview you. Look them up on LinkedIn to get a better understanding of their background, company role and how you can engage with them
  • Think of the interview process as a funnel. In the first round, start out a bit more formal; then feel confident to be open and slightly more relaxed as you progress
  • Wrap up a first interview with “What does the rest of the interview process look like?” and a final interview with “Do you have any hesitations?” It’s okay to be candid with your contact at the company, especially to get a feel for the culture

2. Stand Out


  • Before an interview, look at the job description and get your 30-second pitch ready for THAT role. Our panelists all agreed you are guaranteed to get this question in your interview, and being ready with a response makes a great first impression
  • Get very specific about what you ask each person you interview with at a company. They often collaborate afterwards and you don’t want them to realize you asked the same question, instead of going the extra mile to be specific. How to successfully do this - research several facts about each person prior to the interview
  • Always write a thank you note afterwards and make sure that it’s personalized. Bring up something you got out of the conversation!
  • 3. Be Candid
  • Remember, your recruiter is the person with insight into the company process and decision makers, so be honest and they will steer you in the right direction
  • Be honest about how an interview went. If there was a section that didn’t go well, a recruiter appreciates when a candidate is self-reflective. Address the fact that you fumbled through a topic but you want to learn that skill or you thought of relevant experience after the fact. Give the recruiter the response you should have given your interviewer
  • If the interview went well, vocalize this! Communicate that you felt it was a match and be compassionate, asking about next steps

What else can you be doing to land your first job or transition careers smoothly? Take advantage of all opportunities to brand yourself, both in-person and online. How do you do this? Panelists suggested...


  1. Network
    • Our in-house recruiter, Savannah Barnes of Red Ventures, notes, “Show interaction on LinkedIn. I really like to see candidates who are sharing articles, commenting back on things and have a lot of connections - basically showing he or she cares a lot about professional growth. Being at Red Ventures, we care a lot about networking and growing professionally and personally.” Sarah also describes this as proving one is staying up-to-date on the industry and bettering oneself for the future. She also recommends to “show your passion for your profession - it’s super important!”
  1. Social Media Activity
    • Moderator Britt Troy of The Creative Group emphasizes LinkedIn Recruiter. TCG uses it to scout potential talent, so Britt recommends staying active on LinkedIn as well. Don’t fret - this can be done discreetly. LinkedIn is heavily investing in AI that should protect your activity from being seen by others
    • Customize your LinkedIn URL
    • On LinkedIn, it’s important to keep your Career Interests section updated. This was emphasized by our panelists, especially the ones using LinkedIn Recruiter
    • On Twitter, loop yourself into conversations by providing insight. Follow businesses and industry authorities to find opportunities where you can jump in with supportive data or experiences

To close out, the panelists shared a few more tips that you may find applicable in your journey...


  1. Learn
    • If you get turned down for a job due to lack of experience, take courses that prep you in this area and then go back to your recruiter and update him or her on your new skills. They will be happy to work with you again and even more impressed by your initiative
    • Don’t assume a position closed even if you didn’t get it. Once you’ve gained traction on the requirement, reach back out to find out the position status
  1. Resources
    • The following resources are all tips provided by local marketer, Rich Sausser, who also shared his industry expertise at the event:
      1. Namechk allows you to search for an available username or domain and secure your brand across the internet
      2. BrandYourself helps you manage your online reputation by monitoring online search reviews and more for your brand
      3. Vizualize.me converts your resume into an infographic
      4. RezScore grades your resume
      5. Jobscan optimizes your resume and LinkedIn for keywords
  1. Confidentiality
        • It’s okay to ask a recruiter if they’re sharing your information. If you’d like them to keep your name private, feel free to let them know. Our panel recognizes that Charlotte is a relatively small market and confidentiality is often necessary when making a move.

Now that you’re prepared, secure your career in one of the trending career fields below. If any of the following interest you, let us know and we’ll connect you with one of our recruiters from the panel.

  • Paid Search
  • SEO
  • Marketing Automation
  • Programming
  • UI Design
  • PR

A special thanks to our panelists for invaluable insight and our moderator, Britt Troy, for leading another great discussion for Social Media Charlotte.

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