As someone who is only two years removed from college graduation, who applied all over and who finally had the insane luck of landing this amazing job at Roundpeg, let me tell you job hunting is the worst!
You can have great experience, great skills, great education, heck, even a great personality and still not get the job. It’s not your fault, it’s not the employer’s fault. It’s just a numbers game. But job hunting can be so much harder when you sabotage yourself. You may not know you’re doing it… but you are.
While we are sad to see Luke go, it’s an exciting time around the ‘Peg as we pour over applications looking for a new member of our team (and my new desk buddy!!). We get a lot of great applicants… and others that fall into that category we were just talking about.
It’s a small, tight-knit group here at the ‘Peg. So anyone looking to join the ranks of me and my fellow delightfully quirky misfits needs to really stand out. If you want to run with the cats at Roundpeg (no really we have cats), it pays to avoid the pit-falls of those that have come before you.
I’ve been on both sides of the interviewing table now so stick with me, avoid these mistakes and you’ve got a shot at landing a job at Roundpeg, or any other agency for that matter. And yes, these are all very real issues we’ve run into.
Keep your social media accounts public
If this one doesn’t immediately make you Picard, let me elaborate: THIS IS A VERY SOCIAL MEDIA HEAVY GIG! Whether you are one of our content specialists, a graphic designer or a web designer, this is still a digital marketing agency and you are going to have to regularly be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even lonely little G+.
Locked social media accounts send up red flags if you are applying for a job at a digital agency. First, it makes us assume the worst, that what you are posting isn’t appropriate. But let’s assume your content is grandma-appropriate, we still have no way of knowing how savvy you are on social media which may or may not be the biggest aspect of your job. It also makes me question if you even understand the purpose and use of a social platform because you are kinda missing out on the whole “social” part.
Instagram selfies aren’t portfolio-worthy
When we ask for links to your social media accounts we are looking to see how well you understand how to use them. Are you capable of generating engaging content? Do you understand how to use the latest features? Do you have a diverse skill-set? We ask these kinds of questions and look for these signs because we expect you to take a similar approach and apply that same prowess to our clients.
A link to an Instagram account full of nothing but selfies doesn’t tell us what we need to know. It does, however, tell us that you are super-dooper great at taking selfies! However, we aren’t looking for a selfie specialist at the moment. #sorrynotsorry
Show a little interest in the job, would ya?
Look, Roundpeg is probably the liveliest and most interesting place I’ve ever had the pleasure to work. We have cats. Cheese Day exists. We work out of a little white house. It is also probably the only place in town where dropping an F-bomb in a strategy meeting is typically acceptable.
But, at the end of the day, we are still a business. We bust our collective butts to produce quality content and generate results for our clients. We are constantly working on improving ourselves. We’ve all got goals, deadlines and sometimes things are stressful.
So, when Lorraine asks you, “why us?” don’t just say “’cause of the cats.” Do a little research into Roundpeg, or what ever company it is you’re applying to. Learn what we’re all about, what we’ve done, where we’ve been. Maybe that will give you a little better idea of where we’re going, where you fit in and you might have a more compelling answer for us.
You aren’t the center of the universe
At the end of the day, the hiring process isn’t about you – it’s about us. That may sound strange, but it is 100% true. We want to find someone who will make us better, whether it’s through an impressive body of work, an unbeatable work ethic or the potential of new ideas, outlooks or strategies.
When it comes down to your self-pitch, tell us what you bring to the table. I imagine I probably had one of the weaker resumes when I applied because I came from a background in journalism, not marketing. But, I put myself out there with a willingness to take on new challenges, apply my current skill set in a unique way and bust my butt to make Roundpeg better.
If your pitch goes along the lines of “I want to develop a career” or “I want to get better,” then you are telling us you are interested in any job, not this job.
Check your freaking email!
Hey, guys, I get it. I’ve been there. You’ve sent your resume around, all the way to Timbuktu and back, trying to get as many irons in the fire as you can so you can land that first post-graduation job and get your career off ground. You may also be juggling school, a previous job or are just taking a well-deserved vacation.
But, no matter what else you’re doing, you are still in the thick of the job hunt. Check your email for crying out loud, and be sure you can check your email on your phone! Believe it or not, we’ve had to turn away qualified applicants simply because they never got back to us about a phone call or interview, or by the time they did we had already made a decision or were totally over them.
This is really, truly one of the dumbest, most embarrassing reasons to fall out of the running for a job.
Lorraine has been at this a lot longer than I have, so if you want more sage wisdom on job hunting, check out some of her advice. Not only is it really helpful, it’s pretty hilarious too.
Happy job hunting, all you would-be ‘Peggers!
Think you have what it takes to run with the cats, we would love to hear from you.