By Tara Doubiago
The past year has been a whirlwind for many of us, especially jobseekers. With most jobs going virtual, the job-hunting landscape is more ambiguous than ever. LinkedIn profiles are now just as important as resumes and your professional online footprint is your best friend. For social media professionals, the virtual world is home and, according to our panelists, social media and marketing jobs are in demand.
So, where do you start?
What job recruiting resources are there? What are organizations looking for on a resume? What can you do to make yourself stand out to potential employers? How can you network with individuals on social media to better your chances of landing a job?
On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Social Media Charlotte held its annual Resumes and Recruiters event to answer these very questions. Moderator Carmen Thomas, Division Director att AccruePartners, was joined by panelists Amy Stein, Founder and Chief Talent Officer of Market Hero, De’Trice Fox, Adult Services Librarian at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and Kristen Rosselli, Branch Manager & Business Development at Creative Circle, for a virtual conversation about the components of recruiting and tips and tricks for finding a job in the social and digital industry.
What are some hiring trends that you’re seeing amid the pandemic?
Zoom has become an exceedingly popular trend during the pandemic and employers have utilized the platform to navigate the interview process. “In a virtual environment it’s a little easier to get three hiring managers on a Zoom call,” said Stein.
Another trend has been the rise in social and digital opportunities, according to Kristen Rosselli.
What is the difference between a job coach, agency recruiter, and corporate recruiter?
How do you find the right local job in a remote market?
Connecting and networking with professionals in your field of interest can be an important asset when looking for the right job. “I suggest that they do a deep dive into what it is that they really want to do, what type of work you’re looking for, and then we strategize around how to find those jobs because it’s not about what you’re finding online but about who you’re connected to in an effort to find that work,” said Fox.
Utilizing resources such as Glassdoor can be a great way to discover a company’s culture, salary requirements, and reviews from former employees. Stein added, “Glassdoor is a really great resource and tool for jobseekers to also get an insight into a company’s, not only culture, but also the positions that the companies have open.”
Making sure that you are the right fit for a role by digging through the job description can help you avoid applying for positions that you may not qualify for. “Just reading the description is a really important thing. When we’re talking about the right level job in the job market, in any market, if it says a junior [fill in the blank] and you have many years of experience, chances are you’re not going to be looked at for that role,” said Kristen Rosselli.
What are some strategies that work and what should you not do when changing careers later in life?
Applying for jobs with similar titles to positions you have held before and emphasizing related experience in those jobs that align with the job description can help you get a foot in the door. Rosselli added, “If you are changing careers, just call it out.” Highlighting the skills obtained from former positions that relate to the job you are applying for, even in unrelated industries, can improve your chances of becoming a qualified candidate.
Panelists also agree that an e-portfolio is another important element to showcasing your capabilities within the industry. “If you are coming from an industry outside of digital, marketing or social media, and it’s a completely different world for you but you have volunteer experience or you’ve been helping a friend, a strong digital portfolio with work samples is going to definitely put you over the edge,” said Thomas.
According to the panelists, another way to showcase your skills in the digital landscape is to do a spec project to gain experience. Simulations with hypothetical data sets are also great resources for testing and improving your skills.
How much time should you spend between applying and networking?
Panelists agree that efforts should be split equally. “I think you really do need to spend equal parts reaching out to your network as well as being on the job force,” says Stein.
Talking to recruiters and networking should also be a part of your strategy. Recruiters work with many different organizations and are great resources to have.
How do you maximize a video interview?
Your environment can be an important part of the impression you make during an interview. Fox suggests to, “Make sure that your environment is quiet, and you have a good setting for your interview,” to eliminate distractions. Kristen Rosselli adds that if a distraction arises, acknowledge it and move on.
“Do research on the company’s culture that you’re interviewing for so you really can get an understanding of what they’re hiring for as well,” said Stein. Since in-person interviews are less common presently, doing research beforehand can help you position yourself as a good fit for the company.
Are you seeing an increase in requests for career assessments?
The panelists have not seen an unusual increase in career assessments. Career assessments can help employers locate a candidate that aligns with company values or possesses the required skills for the job. Amy Stein has seen more companies including competency-based questions in their assessments to determine if a candidate has the necessary knowledge for the job.
Thomas added that personality and critical thinking assessments are among those that you cannot prepare for beforehand. “When companies involve them in the interview process, it’s typically because everyone else that’s already there, or all candidates moving forward, are all going to take the same personality assessment, and best practice is that they give it to their top-performers internally first and use their results to create a baseline,” she added.
How can you maximize your LinkedIn profile?
Networking is a large component of LinkedIn and can help candidates maximize their job-hunting efforts. Rosselli stated that time should be carved out for networking on LinkedIn specifically. She also encourages jobseekers to change up their LinkedIn profiles if it is not helping them land a job.
Stein mentioned that LinkedIn features such as “Open to Work” and your headline are great ways to get recognized by employers and recruiters. She stated, “Utilize your LinkedIn profile as your personal brand.”
Another way to maximize your LinkedIn profile is to tailor it for the kinds of jobs you are looking for. “Much like your resume, you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is rich in keywords from the industry in which you’d like to be involved in,” said Fox. She adds that engaging with connections is another way to improve your chances of getting noticed.
What are tips to develop applicable skills if you experience a layoff or rejection in the workforce?
There are multiple opportunities for expanding your skills in the industry when you are in-between jobs or starting out in the industry. The panelists named a few ways to grow your experience:
What should you be avoiding? What are red flags for those interviewing candidates?
Each of the panelists agree that resumes should be tailored for the job you are applying to. Amy Stein added that resumes should be concise and easy-to-read.
Some panelists mentioned that removing photos of yourself from your resume can help to avoid any unconscious bias and let your skills speak for themselves. Also included in the discussion, pictures could slow down an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and make your resume hard to find or open.
How do employers look at a candidate’s social media?
Some recruiters utilize applicant’s LinkedIn profiles during the interview process. “Social media and how we look at it when hiring is very different across the board,” stated Rosselli. Employers may avoid interviewing a candidate based on their perception of the applicant’s social media accounts.
Volunteer work, online courses, and networking are some of the ways you can make yourself more qualified for a position. Tailoring your resume to specific jobs and including keywords that an employer might be looking for can help you stand out. Remember, recruiters and job coaches are valuable resources for helping you find the perfect job fit.
Your online presence is your personal brand and there are many resources for building your brand and gaining or enhancing skills within the digital landscape.
Be persistent, stay connected, and happy hunting!
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