Ugh…just the mere thought of an online job application can make you completely sick to your stomach. They always crash. Always. And they crash riiiiiight as you complete the Tell Us Something Amazingly Unique About Yourself box. Always.
These Online Job Applications reside within robust Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, that were typically used by larger corporations to track and house the thousands of applicants pounding on their door for a job. As competition has crept into the staffing and online recruiting space, all sizes of organizations are warming up to implementing these systems. While these systems allow for internal recruiters or human resources executives to safely house, store, and search candidate information they do yield a hands-off, less cozy application process for the job seeker.
Empowering yourself with reverse engineering these tools will allow you to raise above the competition. Check out this great article on Glassdoor (my opinions included!) for some great tips on circumventing this time-consuming, yet ever-important part of the job search process.
Meetups are awesome ways to stay connected and be visible in the design and marketing communities. They always are worth the time and if you meet one person or learn one new thing they are certainly of value.
I recently attended a Meetup sponsored by the folks at DigitalMarketer.com–a site and company that I was unfamiliar with until I attended the group. Their Meetup is still in its infancy stage which is always a wonderful time to join–you can really get to see the group expand and hopefully become an influence in the group as it evolves.
The topic of the Meetup was valuable enough covering effective social media. I found myself more intrigued by the whole concept of DigitalMarketer.com, however, and ended up googling news on its co-founder while also paying attention to the social media lessons. How had I not heard about Ryan Deiss before? He’s the co-founder and brainchild behind DigitalMarketer.com’s online-procured digital marketing certifications.
The certifications offered by Deiss’ company offer two interesting possibilities: the chance for individuals to learn digital marketing skills without a formal secondary education/college program along with the real possibility that hiring managers can use these certifications as a qualifier when reviewing digital marketing talent. Check out my blog post on The WunderBlog for additional reading of this interesting topic!
The job market is heating up in Chicago after a very odd and slow start to 2017. The election certainly had an impact in the job market. Direct Hire recruiting in February felt like a virtual Ghost Town…candidates were not interested in even having introductory conversations let alone leaving their current roles. “Safer to stay” was the general mode in the market for direct hire positions. The tide turned around mid-May and since then the market was been hot with candidates being more and more receptive and open to exploring new roles.
Salaries are UP! For the first time in 18 months I have noticed that salaries for marketing and creative positions seem to be normalizing and reaching more market-standard rates. Salaries over the past few months for creative and marketing positions have better reflected market demands which is very exciting!
Candidates are in Demand: Higher salaries and more elevated hourly rates mean competitive offers. As a result, candidates are flying off the market…it is typical for candidates to be fielding several, simultaneous offers. Some are notifying us that in between interviewing onsite and driving home they’ve already fielded (and accepted) a competing offer. Timing is of the essence—when you meet a candidate that fits your expectations any delay may cost you!
Job Seeker Interview Questions: The types of questions that you ask your interviewer are indicative of your engagement and level of interest as a candidate. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are – whether you’re a pro in your field, getting started, or getting a feel that an interview is more casual in nature…ask open ended, curious questions that illicit problems that your expertise can solve. Prepare 3-5 questions and bring them with you.
Make a Priorities List: What really matters to you in your life and career? Make a short list of those items: tucking your kids in bed most nights of the week? Being emotionally available for your family? Managing a team? Being able to bike to work? Become familiar with your motivators and take a few quiet moments to jot down your 3-4 priorities. Keep these notes in a spot that you can visit easily and frequently. I created a “note” on my phone, for example. Your list will evolve and change and you can reference the list to help ensure you’re on the right path. Also, this short list will help serve as a reference if you’re exploring a new career. Comparing the ins and outs of a new job to your Priorities List will help determine the fit of a new role.
Customize your LinkedIn URL: Your LinkedIn URL is a quick, easy hyperlink at the top of your resume where folks like me and hiring managers may quickly view who you are, see samples of your work, and quickly connect—all in one place! Follow these instructions to learn some quick tips about customizing your LinkedIn page.
Here is a short roadmap to help you navigate getting your career documents such as your resume, online portfolio, and LinkedIn profile updated.
First Thing First: Update Your Resume
Brainstorm what your overall responsibility is at your current role, i.e., why did the company hire you? What was/is your expectation at your current role?
- Dig deeper talking about your overall, everyday tasks. Don’t worry about making things “flow right” or sound impressive: just write. You can shape it into something professional later.
- Craft an overall paragraph at the top of your resume which is your “elevator pitch.” You can use this template paragraph for cover letters, introductory emails to potential hiring managers or recruiters, your LinkedIn overview, and/or can be easily customized to create specific resumes for specific opportunities.
- Ensure that your public profile URL on LinkedIn is added to your resume
- Transfer your resume into your LinkedIn profile.
Update your LinkedIn preferences to preserve your confidentiality if you don’t want your employer to know you’re looking for a job:
- Under your name in the right corner of the main LinkedIn page (after you’ve logged in) select “Settings”
- Under Privacy Controls, turn off activity broadcast and who can see your activity feed.
Start compiling samples. Think about the following:
- Password-protected samples can live on a website.
- Samples can be sent as a follow-up in a PDF format.
- Using “Slide-Share” you can weave your story visually (and for free) into your profile!
Be sure to have a current and up-to-date email address.
Email address such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org are not current. Creatives are either using their own domain OR using addresses such as email@example.com or even better, firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not use your company computer for any job-search related notes, email submissions, or searches.