Shopify’s Harley Finkelstein moderated an OCRI event entitled “Landing your Dream Job 2.0”. The Mercury Lounge hosted members of OCRI as well as guests from all over the city who wanted to network and gain tips to ensure they stand out in the application process.
As a student with little experience in the job search scene, this panel was of particular interest to me.
The four panelists came together to give their words of wisdom and professional advice for those in the search of their dream job. Luc Levesque, founder and GM of TravelPod, Doug Tetzner of Odgers Berndtson and Shopify’s own Brittany Forsyth and Mike Freeman all brought their list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to the application process.
Here are just a few of the useful tips these 4 experienced panelists brought to the table…
1. Think to yourself, can I add value to this company?
- Find out how and demonstrate that.
2. Justify your claims:
- Don’t just tell your potential employer what you can do, show them ie. send them your code, a link to your blog, a design or business pitch.
3. Think outside the box:
- Create a video resume, a landing page or a custom website to set yourself apart from other applicants.
4. Reduce the risk:
- Hiring a new employee is a risk for an employer. Reduce that risk factor by using your networking skills. Find your Trump Card — An individual who can attest to your excellent work habits/skills and who is trusted and respected by your potential employer. Have them make the intro.
5. Get your name out there:
- Attend networking events and make connections with people from the company. Engage in conversation, show interests and maybe they will put in a good word on your behalf.
6. Know your audience:
- Check out what the company’s culture is like and tailor your cover letter, resume and interview to that culture. If you find your personality does not bode well with that culture, then perhaps this is not your dream job.
7. Do your research and get your facts straight:
- Find out everything you can about the company and about individuals within the company. Show your interest and creativity in your cover letter or application and prepare questions for the interview that demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
8. Form a relationship:
- An interview is like a first date. Both you and the employer are deciding if your personalities click. If you standout as an individual capable of being efficient and compatible with the company then your rock-star attitude could put you above people with even a greater skill set. Note: Don’t talk salary unless it’s brought up by the employer.
9. Use social media tools to your advantage:
- Represent yourself in the positive way that you want to be perceived. Social media tools are used to verify information and check out applicants representation of themselves. *Include on your Linkedin and Facebook pages your github, design page or blog.
The proof is in the pudding… so it better be delicious.
10. Never use the infamous… “To Whom it May Concern”.
- Doug pointed out various pet peeves from his stack of sticky notes- one that stood out to me was the overuse of TWIMC. He added, it’s impersonal, it lacks creativity and let’s be real, when is the last time you heard anyone under the age of 70 use “whom”.
- If you wanna play the game, find out a name!