July 17, 2023

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Recruiting: Lighten the Load


Episode Highlights

Lightening the Load of the Job Search


Job Descriptions That Attract the Right Candidates


Keep a Running List of Accomplishments to Ease Your Resume Building


Setting Yourself Apart From the Competition


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In this episode, Cory and Marc illuminate the parallels between backpacking and career development. Join us as they embark on an insightful journey, exploring the shared principles and lessons between these two realms. Marc draws upon his extensive backpacking experiences and Cory his career expertise to uncover valuable connections.

Learn how shedding unnecessary baggage while backpacking allows for greater agility, exploration, and embracing new opportunities. Similarly, they uncover how a tailored resume and focused career approach can elevate your professional trajectory, enabling you to stand out and navigate the ever-evolving job market.

Tune in to embark on a transformative voyage where the wisdom of the trail meets the challenges of career development, propelling you toward a fulfilling and successful professional journey.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to another episode of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Recruiting. My name’s Marc Dobkin. I’m a recruiter at Hirewell in the manufacturing and supply chain practice. And this is my colleague and friend, Cory. Introduce yourself. Hey guys. Yep. Cory Kazmierski here. I’m one of our lead recruiters on our managed services group here at Hirewell.

And you might be asking what we’re doing in a garage here. A little uncommon here on LinkedIn. Yeah. But we’re in my garage here in Boise, to demonstrate the importance of traveling light while backpacking and how that might apply to your job search. So to begin with, like when I first started backpacking, I was green.

I didn’t really know much about it. I was using my car camping gear. So heavier tents, heavier clothes, heavier backpack. I needed everything to fit in the backpack. Sure. It was big, bulky, heavy, and the only way to fit it in a backpack was to have a huge backpack. Sure. So when I first started backpacking, I was using this 85 liter, this giant backpack.

It’s huge. Yeah. It’s gigantic. It did the trick. It certainly fit all of my gear. But within that first trip of using it you quickly realize how heavy it is. Sure. I mean, I think this thing filled up with all my gear at the time weighed in at around 55 to 60 pounds, something like that.

That’s a lot to be carrying on the whole trip. Yeah. And my first trip with my own backpacking gear was climbing up Mount Whitney, which is like the highest peak in North America, outside of Alaska. So imagine traveling pretty much up an entire mountain, 14,000 feet with 55-60 pounds on your back.

Yeah, it’s no fun. It’s brutal. It’s brutal. So, when you’re backpacking, you really don’t want that. You want to travel lighter. I mean, it’s going to prevent injury. It’s going to save your back. It’s going to help with stamina. You’re going to be able to backpack farther and deeper into the back country. So, I quickly realized that I needed to reduce my weight and also,

that included as far as like my backpack goes, I was reducing my weight on my tent. A lot of my gear, a lot of my clothing, performance wear that is lighter, that kind of thing. So I eventually moved into this, backpack, which was the 48 liter.

It’s about half the size of that thing. Yeah, definitely. And now it holds all of my gear. And actually I still have extra room in this thing because a lot of my gear has become smaller and smaller over the year. Yeah. To save on weight, to save my back, and all of that stuff. Definitely good planning.

Yeah. So definitely reduce the weight there. And there was a couple other things I could do as well. This would be the first tent. It’s a Naturehike tent. Cheap tent you could find on Amazon. I was looking for something budget friendly. At the time I wasn’t really concerned about weight, but after using this and realizing, “Hey, this five pounds is kind of heavy for backpacking, I can reduce the weight there.”

Sure. So, some of the major weight you can reduce weight is with your backpack, with your tent, your sleeping bag, cooking gear, a few little items like that. So I went from that to this Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2, so that weighed about five pounds. This thing weighs just under three pounds, so saved a couple pounds right there.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it does make a huge difference over time. Yeah. I mean, two pounds doesn’t seem like a lot. But if you’re taking that into account along with a lighter backpack, lighter cooking gear, clothing, stuff like that, it all adds up. Absolutely. Every little ounce really counts when it comes to backpacking.

And some other ways that I was reducing some of the weight was my cooking gear. I mean, this is my all-in-one right here. This is my cook system. So it includes a little tank. Weighs next to nothing. And I cook everything in here and just throw a spork in here essentially.

Yeah. And that’s it. I mean, it weighs nothing, so. And it’s a jet boil. So it boils things super quickly. And this is my go-to for cooking. It’s everything to me. Some other ways I reduce weight, as far as like bringing a lamp, this thing just glows up. Yeah. Weighs next to nothing.

Nothing better than that. So, yeah, there’s a few things you can do there. But yeah, the purpose of this was to demonstrate how you can sort of travel a little bit lighter and Cory’s here in town visiting from Boise, because he’s been doing some adventuring himself. Yeah. So for myself, obviously I like to backpack, I camp, I hike.

I overland, rock climb, whatever. And, why don’t you explain what you’ve been doing? Yeah, definitely. So yeah, I mean, we’re traveling around the country in just a Subaru Forester and whatever we can fit in it, that’s our life nowadays. So, yeah, I mean, we’ve had to learn to reduce everything we’re bringing with us. Travel with four big tote bins, a couple suitcases that we can throw on top of the car, and that’s, like I said, kind of our life in a van at this point.

But yeah, so we’ve had to learn how to kind of reduce our weight in events. And just travel a little lighter. But yeah, I mean, kind of going on to the recruiting piece to it, I think it kind of twofold for both job seekers and employers. Like I think it’s important to kind of reduce and lighten the load when it comes to a resume. Some people, if you’ve been working for 20, 30 years. Your resume could be a couple pages long, but at the same time, most employers are only looking at, maybe your last year, two years of job experience or your last role or two. So it’s important to not only-

you probably want to have a long kind of full blown resume with all your experience. It’s important to have. You can kind of pick and choose what you want out of that. But I think being able to reduce that and having a couple of maybe tailored resumes, whether it’s to a specific job description or maybe a resume that just kind of focuses on specific highlights or accomplishments that you had at every job. Rather than 10 bullet points of, “Hey, I did this at this job, I did this at this job.” I think that’s important to kind of lighten the load.

It helps not only US recruiters, but hiring managers that we’re working with kind of see the highlights of what’s important about the job search. From an employer standpoint, like if you’re looking to hire somebody new on your team, I think it’s important to have a realistic and shortened down job description. I’ve seen job descriptions that are just a laundry list of bullet points of maybe, for me on the tech side, what technologies, you know, does an employer want to see? I think it’s important to list out, “Hey, these are must-haves, these are nice to have,” but let’s not have a laundry list of every technology that this person might touch on their day-to-day basis.

It’s not totally realistic and to shoot it back to the backpacking, we don’t want to carry 60 pounds on our back. Like we’d rather have the 30 pounds and half the weight. But what’s really important to us while we’re out there adventuring. And I think that’s so critical from a job search or even an employer searching for a new candidate.

Have the essentials that are going to help them live and get by for a weekend out in the woods, but, not add all that extra weight to their back. Yeah. So we’re talking about streamlining job descriptions. Yeah. And optimizing your resume to highlight your skills as it may apply to that particular job.

I mean, yeah, I just talked to a candidate earlier today, who has several resumes. He’s got, like you said, he’s got one resume with a list of all of his accomplishments throughout his career. And he’s got that list and he is always adding to it. But, he expressed to me today that it’s really easy for him now to tailor a resume quickly to a job that he’s applying for.

Totally. It sounds like it might be a lot of work, right, if you’re constantly doing that. But like you said, if you have a list, a running list of your accomplishments throughout your career, and you keep adding to that and updating it so you know what experience you’ve had over the course of this last year or so, then you can easily tailor a resume to that particular job description. Totally. Yeah, some of the upfront work, it is going to take a little bit of time. And a job search really can be a full-time job in itself.

So that’s why I think it’s important to put in that little bit of upfront work and having that resume full fledged and beefed out. But then having those little segmented versions of it as well that you can send out quickly to a recruiter or a specific job. I think that’s really important. Yeah, so what would your explanation be of the importance of tailoring a resume to a job, rather than just having one resume and using that for every job that you apply to?

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I mean, for us, as recruiters, I think a lot of the time what we’re doing is looking for keywords. Yeah. Whether it be on a resume or on LinkedIn, for specific job searches we’re going to have, I mean, we’re really identifying different keywords. I think being able to tailor your resume towards, those keywords of a job description is really important.

I think it makes you more findable. It helps you relate more to the job. I see a lot of resumes that are just very generic of what they do. Every sales resume essentially could be the same resume,” Hey, I make cold calls. Hey, I prospect, I partner with our marketing team,” but I think having some of those accomplishments on there and tailoring it. “Hey, I made this amount of calls. I was able to connect with this many people. I drove in this amount of revenue for my organization,” And kind of hitting those highlights. I think that’s the big part, rather than, again, every salesperson could have the same exact looking resume. Right. I think that’s a fantastic point actually, because that brings me to another point.

I mean, speaking about resumes, we look at ’em all day and a lot of the resumes I see are very generic, like you said, they list job duties rather than accomplishments. Totally. And that’s fine. I mean, I can tell the employer, recruiter, what you do. But it doesn’t really tell us the benefit that you bring to the organization, right? So it’s important to list some of your job duties, but if your resume is generic and it lists the job duties of like a sales position, and the next person that applies also lists those duties, you’re going to have the same resume. Absolutely. It’s not going to differentiate you from the next person.

So it’s really important to be adding accomplishments to your resume, those are uniquely yours rather than duties that are not uniquely yours in that particular position. So this is something that can help you stand out from other candidates that are applying for the same position. Absolutely.

Yeah, man, I go back to the tech side of things cause that’s what I do to most of. But a software engineer, for example, any software development manager is going to look at a resume and they know what you’re doing, you’re building software. But hey, what kind of application am I building?

What technology am I using? What did the application or my work in this application do to help save the company X amount of time or dollars? Lists out those things rather than just telling the software development manager, “Hey, I write code. I’m doing this all day long.” Exactly. Good advice.

Alright great. Well, thanks for showing up at my house here. Thanks for having me again. Yeah, of course. So, I mean, you’re only here for a few more days. Yeah. Where are you going next? Yeah, heading off to Portland, Oregon. I’m bummed to be leaving Boise. I loved it here so. Well you’re welcome back anytime. Thank you.

Yeah, appreciate it. We’ll have a lot more fun next time, for sure. Absolutely. Well, great. Well, everybody, thanks for joining us on another episode of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Recruiting, where Cory and I help people explore the landscape of job search terrains. Take care. See you guys.

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