Friday Professional Group


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

What To Expect When You're Walking In on Wednesday

One of our weekly events is our Walk-in Wednesday, a two-hour block of time where our Professional Recruiters speak with all comers about registering with Friday. After watching a year of WIW, I wanted to set the record straight on exactly what you’ll see if you join us for Walk-In.

Come in at 11:00 or afterwards, but at 12:55 at the latest – coming too early or late doesn’t leave a good first impression. We rarely have a wait, so you won’t be crushed in a horde of people, and our recruiters often are busy right up until 11:00 so won’t be able to see you early.

When you come in, you’ll see me first at the front desk – you need to bring a hard copy of your resume, and that’s the first thing for which I’ll ask you. I’m not able to print a copy of your resume for you; please make sure you print it beforehand and bring it with you! The recruiters look through your resume and discuss it with you, so without it, we’ll have to ask you to come back next week. I’ll ask you a few questions, including the type of work you’re looking for, where in the city you’d rather work, if you have access to a car and the minimum salary or wage expectation you have. The more specific that you can be with me, the better – it allows the recruiter to have a better idea off the bat of what you’re looking for. Instead of saying you’ll “take anything”, give me a few ideas of what your experience is in and where you’re looking to go from here.

First impressions and professionalism are very important. If you are coming to Walk-In, come alone; or if you’re in a group, make sure that all of you are coming to speak to a recruiter. It looks unprofessional to come in with friends or family members who are not here to see a recruiter, so leave parents, spouses and other hangers-on outside. If at all possible, leave children at home – while the meet-and-greet on Wednesday will be short; recruiters are looking for you to make the most professional impression that you can, without distractions. Also, dress the part - this is the time to bring out the business casual rather than jeans and a t-shirt.

Your meeting with a recruiter will be a short meet-and-greet – a time where he or she will review your resume and let you know if they feel we’re a good match to help you with your job search. They’ll want to know how your job search is going, what other avenues and tools you are using in your job search, what exactly you’re looking for in a job and what your experience is. One recruiter here also gave the excellent advice of checking out our job postings before you come and writing down any job numbers in which you’re interested. If our recruiter feels that we’re a good match to help you with your job search, they’ll talk to you about taking some assessments to get an idea of your skills before setting up a full professional interview.

Because we’re a client-driven business, sometimes we simply don’t have the roles to match with well-qualified candidates. We are happy to give you ideas of other resources to consult in your job search, and always encourage everyone to keep an eye on our job board and apply directly to roles for which you believe you’re well suited.

Walk-In happens every Wednesday between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  If you’re looking for a job; get your resume in shape, put on your office clothes and come down to see us. We look forward to meeting every Calgary job seeker who walks in on Wednesday!

-Rae Sprung, First Impressions Coordinator 

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