Are you looking to start the new year with a new career? You aren’t alone. That’s the bad news. The good news is we created a list filled with the best advice we heard this year from Chicago tech recruiters and executives.
Whether it’s making sure your resume actually gets read or preparing yourself for an interview, these tips will ensure you have an edge over the competition.
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to what gets a resume noticed. However, Curiosity.com’s head of client solutions Mandy Gresh said she looks for one thing in particular when scanning CVs.
“Results,” said Gresh. “The majority of what goes on your resume should have results and examples to support it.”
Before applying to an open role, take the time to ask yourself if the company and its mission are something you can get behind. RedShelf CTO Scott Kelly said a big part of the interview process involves finding out if the candidates would actually enjoy working at the startup.
“Every interview is seen as two-way street,” said Kelly. “We don’t just look for our ideal candidate. We also make sure we are the candidate's ideal company.”
Knowing a company’s core values and what they mean to you can be the difference between receiving an offer and a politely worded rejection email. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s Earlybird CEO Andrew Parnell on the importance of core values during the interview process:
"Beyond the qualifications for any specific position, we're looking for candidates who share our core company values — things like a commitment to lifelong learning and belief in frequent and honest communication,” said Parnell. “We introduce these in the interview process and ask what they mean to the candidate, or if there are any stated values they think we might be missing."
Nobody likes talking about their screw-ups in a job interview. But failure isn’t always a bad thing. Networked Insights CTO Brad Burke seeks to pull the positives out of failures during interviews with engineering candidates.
“I always ask engineers about their failures,” said Burke. “Being an entrepreneur means you're willing to take risks. I'm not looking for cowboys, but I'm looking for people who are willing to try something new and who are okay with accepting failure and learning from it.”
At many tech companies, being the perfect candidate on paper isn’t nearly as important as being the perfect culture fit. That’s the case at Neighborhoods.com, where VP of engineering Michael Grosser said he puts culture first when hiring.
"One thing you’ll find at a lot of engineering operations is the ‘brilliant jerk,’” Grosser said. “This person is great at writing software but terrible at interacting with humans. We’re careful not to hire that person. We’ll pass on a really strong technical fit if they’re going to bog down the team and be destructive to culture.”