May 16, 2023

Cracking the Career Code: Standing Out During the Interview Process


Episode Highlights

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Join Matt and Kierra for the very first episode of Cracking The Career Code. In this episode they provide insights and tips for starting your job search journey.and ways to stand out during the application process.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the first ever episode of Cracking the Career Code with me, Matt Mulcahy, and my co-host, Kierra Kohlbeck, where we provide candidates the keys to success in their job search. Yeah, so I’m Kierra Kohlbeck. I am actually on the same team as Matt. We are both on the Managed-Tech team, so we work on a variety of roles in the tech space, but also in other spaces as well.

Yep. So Matt Mulcahy, I’ve been with Hirewell for about a year and a half now, and like Kierra said, on the Managed-Tech recruiting team. So we find software engineers for jobs essentially, and everyone else in the technology. Yep. So today’s topic is going to be just on the application process as people are searching for jobs.

I know it’s a lot of work and so we just want to provide you with a few tips and tricks that we think could help. So first we wanted to talk about catering your resume to the specific company and job that you’re targeting. So it’s great to be knowledgeable on the company, do some research, and then look over the job requirements so that you can add any of your personal experience to your resume that can make it stand out.

And also just be knowledgeable on both of these things is going to help you throughout the interview process. Yeah, like Kierra said, it’s always good to look at the job description. A lot of times, resumes are pretty high level, so if you cater your resume to specific roles you might be adding and removing a couple bullet points depending on what type of positions you’re applying to

next. We also want to talk about the different apply options. So we’ve seen some debates on whether candidates should be applying on LinkedIn or if they should go through a job board or if they should go through the company’s careers page. And so it doesn’t make a huge difference, I think, because they’re all going to be going into an applicant tracking system at a company with an open job post,

right. So we’ll go over some steps that you should take after you apply or maybe even before you apply in just a second here that will kind of clear up how to get through that ATS. I think a lot of people think it does a lot more than it really is capable of with like auto screening out and stuff like that.

Yeah, yeah, definitely. That’s definitely a point we’re going to want to touch on just to kind of clear up the myths around that. But some jobs require you to have both a cover letter and a resume. So in your cover letter, just make sure you’re addressing the right company. I know you’re going to be applying to a few jobs, so it’s really important that you’re addressing first of all the right address.

And then if you can find the person that is doing the hiring process and putting their name, that’s a great touch. And make sure that you’re updating that for every company that you’re applying to. Oftentimes on job openings, they have the person that’s doing the hiring. But if they don’t, you could always do some company research.

And I think it’s a good method to always just put somebody that’s in the hiring management space to address the letter. And that’s a good start because it just is a little more personalized, but also make sure you’re saving your resume with your first and last name. It just makes it easier for the organization when

people are going through the candidates and saving them into their system so they know exactly whose profile they’re looking at. What other tips do you have for the cover letter and resume space? Yeah. So I’ve got strong opinions on cover letters. Yeah. Former experience was on the corporate side of recruiting and

tons of cover letters would come in where the candidate didn’t edit it for our company name, right. And that’s just like not the right way to start off with a company. Right. And really, I don’t think those boiler plate cover letters work too well, unless, every job that you apply to requires one.

So I would take a little bit of extra time to write something more personalized. I also think with resumes, like any metrics that you can incorporate from your experience, speak louder than words, right? Numbers. Yep. But with words too, just using action verbs, talking about what you’ve actually done in your role.

I always give this advice to people that are looking for resume advice, but write the resume like you want to explain to a five year old what you did in your job, right? Don’t assume that the reader of that resume knows anything about your job or your company. You want to paint the whole picture.

Yeah, those are great points. And I think it’s also great to mention that you don’t want it to be super fancy unless you are going for a job like a graphic designer or something that requires your design skills. Otherwise, you’re just bringing attention to too many things. When someone’s scanning your resume, they want to see those points that they’re looking for, and if they can see it right away and your first bullet points and your job experience, that’s going to make you stand out right away.

So the resumes are important. It’s important to keep those updated. But also it’s really important that you send a follow up after you apply somewhere. So I have found so much success with sending a connection request or a note to somebody at the company that I’m applying to, just sharing my interest and letting them know that I applied.

But what would you say are good things to say if you are going to reach out to somebody at the company after you applied for that position? Yeah, sure. So definitely connect with people on LinkedIn who you think might be the hiring manager or part of the interview team, or a leadership team member that might be invested in wanting to fill the role that’s open, and keep it short and sweet.

When you connect with someone, there’s the option to add a note and you only have I think 300 characters or something like that. So just introduce yourself. Say that you saw the role posted. You know, mention the title specifically. Say you applied or say you’re interested in applying, or you’d love the opportunity to chat with them about how your skills could be a value add for their team, essentially.

Yeah, and that could lead to rapport that you’re already growing within the company, even if it’s not the right individual. You can just go to the company’s LinkedIn page and then you can see all the people that currently work there and that’s how you can search for individuals that might be in the hiring space.

Talent acquisition manager, recruiter, talent acquisition specialist? And then you want to look for the leadership positions too. People that might be like engineering manager or whatever it might, lead like software engineer lead. If we’re thinking tech roles just specifically here.

Yeah. And I would do it just as soon as you’re done applying, just so that you’re not wasting any time as they’re going through candidates. But do you want to then go into what types of roles we are currently working on? Sure. Just highlight one of the specific ones that we’re working on this week.

Yeah, sure. So speaking of lead engineers, we’re working on a lead sales engineer role for a legal practice management and financial management software as a service firm. So they’re looking for someone to come in with three to five years of sales engineering experience to lead their team of sales engineers. And basically come in, evaluate what they’re demoing to prospective clients and

improve on them and then act as the coach and the mentor for their sales engineering team and make improvements on the product with future enhancements and different features that are coming from the client side. So exciting search. It’s just four days in right now, but if you know anyone that’s in the sales engineering space, you should definitely send them me or Kierra’s way. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for joining our first show today on Cracking the Career Code. Go check out for more content and follow us on LinkedIn to see what else we have coming out next. Thank you. Thanks.

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