Friday Professional Group


gimmicks

The Foot in the Door is Your Resume

Emily, our superstar Client and Candidate Engagement Coordinator, and I were lucky enough to attend Session One of the first-ever Social Summit YYC this week. There was about a hundred other Calgarians there – everyone from a consignment boutique owner to members of a rock band to PR professionals – all coming together to learn more about marketing and social media.

There are a million things I could talk about that we learned from the summit, but one thing mentioned by the media panel really stuck with me. The panel, made up of some of the biggest influencers and hardest workers in Calgary’s print, radio and TV, answered some very interesting questions including the usefulness of sending ‘swag’ to producers and editors. The panel agreed that sending something smart and related to your pitch or story could be very useful to get yourself noticed, as long as you understand that sending a product or gift does not guarantee you coverage from the outlet you’re approaching.

This was great for me to hear and learn as someone involved in communications, but the first thing that popped into my head – and that I immediately leaned over to whisper to Emily – was “but never do this to a hiring manager!” Emily nodded in agreement.

We’ve all heard about the job seeker who sent their resume attached to a shoe “to get a foot in the door”, and one of the media professionals on the panel even shared a story about sending his application materials with socks and then, in a follow-up call, telling the hiring manager he’d sent something “in case I knocked your socks off.” While this is a great story, and worked for him (maybe because he was applying in a creative industry), it’s not something we could in good conscience recommend for any job seeker.As Alison Green, author of my favourite career website Ask a Manager, says: “If you ever find yourself thinking that you’ll try XYZ to help you “stand out” when applying for a job, XYZ had better be one of the following: being highly qualified for the job, writing a great cover letter, having a resume that shows that you’d excel at what the job involves, or being friendly, responsive, thoughtful, and enthusiastic.” Those are, by far, what interviewers look for when you’re applying for a role, and by extension, should be the things you’re most focused on when you’re looking for a new job.

Alison Green has a whole section on her website called “gimmicks won’t get you a job,” and it makes for hilarious and thought-provoking reading. It’s easy to laugh at the jobseeker who sent a framed glamour shot of themselves to an interviewer, but it’s also worth examining why one could think this is a good idea – and using the reminder as a good opportunity, if you’re a job seeker, to reexamine your resume and cover letter to make sure you’re highlighting the things that really land you a job. We have a career tools section on our website that I encourage you to look at; additionally, we are always happy to have a recruiter answer your questions at Ask a Recruiter.

Emily and I are going back to the Social Summit next week, and I can’t wait to share more about it. You can see a photo from the event, held at the gorgeous Parlour Room in The Commons, on our Instagram!

-Rae Sprung
Communications and Engagement Coordinator

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