This blogpost is part of HireArt‘s applicant series. We’ve asked a few of our candidates to talk about their experience and what they learned in their job search. If you’d like to contribute to our blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to browse jobs, visit our jobs page.
I was very excited when I heard about HireArt and the unique services they offer. My Mom (naturally one of my biggest fans) said to me a number of times while I was in college, “Mo, you’re so charming and personable and good looking. I’m certain you’ll be able get any job you’re interviewed for. You just gotta get that interview.”
If I may say so, I think she’s generally right. And I also think the same is true for many of us confident and savvy Millennials. Once they meet us, our future employers will discover how thoroughly irresistible we are. Right? Well, regardless, the case can be made that the biggest and most elusive challenge facing today’s young job-seekers is landing a spot on the other side of someone’s desk. Once our foot is in the door we can turn on the magic and sell ourselves like it’s nobody’s business. But how to forge that first chink in a company’s armor?
The internet has spoiled us, all of us. Need a lamp for your apartment? Internet. Where’s the closest pizza joint with happy hour specials until 8? Internet. What’s Lady Gaga’s real name? Internet. Who’s hiring? I know, internet! Internet? Hello…?
The first handful of jobs I applied for were through openings posted on the websites of institutions. I became amazingly adept at locating the often tucked-away “career opportunities” link in less than 30 seconds. Once I got there, and if there was an opening for a starting position, companies often asked for a resume and cover letter to be sent to a particular email address – usually one with someone’s name in it, so I was optimistic that it was going to be handled and read by that real individual.
Overall, I think I got one automated rejection email. The rest – no word. For a job I was particularly pining after I actually called and had to inquire as to whether I was being given consideration. I cringed from the awkwardness of that poor woman’s discomfort. Serves her right for not taking 30 seconds to send me a rejection email, though. The moral of this story? A few people get jobs this way, but I didn’t and you probably won’t either.
Job boards have even fewer success stories. They are about as appropriate for the job search as Wikipedia is for a college paper. And they both prey on the same laziness that has permeated our way of thinking and our research methods. If something doesn’t show up on a Google search… then does it actually exist?
In my senior year of college, I heard over and over again that most jobs aren’t posted and are filled without ever being offered to the public. My best friend works for the UN, and says it’s an unbelievably incestuous institution. The Australian mission has an opening? Go see if the Brits have someone they can send over. And this is not a special case among companies – why recruit randos from the internet when someone can recommend and endorse a qualified candidate?
So go out and network, they say. But even the most industrious, sycophantic young socialite is not always going to know the right people. And even if he does, he might not be qualified enough to be considered. So… now what? I think the gut reaction of most people my age is simple. More internet! Try harder, look longer, probe deeper. It’s got to be out there.
Well, with HireArt, it kind of is. HireArt is a platform that allows you to apply for jobs by recording video responses and submitting work samples that are relevant to the work you’ll be doing. Some benefits of their services are obvious – employers get to look at something more stimulating and personal than a sea of bland, exaggerated resumes. For me, HireArt was a huge blessing – but more than just because my future boss got to see my pretty face and get a sense of my infectious enthusiasm.
My job search with HireArt went like this. I graduated college, packed my bags for New York City, and sublet an apartment. I was already out of money, and I was absolutely positively going to find a job before I hit my credit card limit. Failure was, like it is for so many of us, not an option. Since I truly needed substantive results, the game of sending a resume out into the great beyond and hoping for a response (much less an interview offer) was a terrifying prospect. I needed to know where I stood. I needed timelines. HireArt offers this. Not only can you easily apply to multiple jobs, you always know what your status is with every single one of them. Their website reminds me of the interface for when you track a package with UPS. I received affirmation that my application had been looked at long before I got an offer. Just that little bit of recognition was so encouraging and helpful! Someone, finally, cared.
Into my 3rd month as a Calendar Associate at TSG Reporting on 3rd Avenue, I’ve been able to talk to my supervisor who wrote TSG’s job description for HireArt and screened applications. He spent a lot of time on it and noticeably cared about finding a capable, personable applicant. And that’s when I realized one of the less obvious benefits of HireArt – the employers who use them are invested in locating and engaging quality employees. Companies are spending money on HireArt, remember. They wouldn’t do so if they didn’t value the services it provides them, and if it didn’t enhance their hiring process. What does that mean for applicants? It means your resume actually gets read. Not glossed over, read. Granted, maybe not before they see how well-spoken you are. But you’ve already got that part down. Right?