5 Job Searching Tips from Our Hire Education Event

By: Jessica Chou

Annnnnd….that’s a wrap on our first-ever Paive event! We had such a blast networking with all of you who came out and learning about your dream careers. We also learned a whole lot about the advertising industry thanks to Zambezi, the incredible woman-owned ad agency who hosted us at their office in Culver City.

Here’s a quick round up of the top 5 takeaways from our event:

1. Network Like It’s Your Net Worth

We hear this advice often. Network, network, network. But does it really work? YES! 5 out of 5 of our panelists mentioned the importance of growing your network and building lasting relationships. From cold emails to networking events to running into people on the street, we heard all kinds of stories about how networking has helped in their careers.

A few tips for networking -

  • You can do it online! LinkedIn is your best friend when it comes to networking online. Be sure to send a thoughtful, personalized message with your connection request. According to panelist Natalie Riso, she rarely accepts connections without a personalized message.

  • You can do it at events! Check out co-working spaces like WeWork, startup schools like General Assembly, event sites like Eventbrite and Meetup, and groups on Facebook to find out about events where you can meet like-minded people.

  • You just gotta do it! Putting yourself out there can be scary, but so worth it. If you’re reaching out to a professional in a field you’re interested in, remember that they, too, were once in your position. If you’re connecting with someone at a networking event, remember they’re also there to make connections. And last, but certainly not least, remember that YOU have value to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but remember to always offer help in return. Authentic relationships are mutual relationships.

2. Know Your Worth and Ask For It

When we asked our panelists to tell us about each time they were hired or each time they were promoted, a common thread was that they asked for it! Ashley Milhollin, for example, cold emailed an agency she always wanted to work for out of college, and upon doing so, got a response back asking when she can start! Lena Khouri made a name for herself at Deutsch when she pitched the heads of the company about starting a social good initiative at the company! Leveraging her role in establishing and maintaining that initiative, Lena was quickly promoted 3 times within 3 years at the company.

Repeat after me -

  • “Over the last (#) of months or years, I accomplished (x, y, z) for the company as (current role). I feel ready to be promoted to the role of (fill in the blank) and would like to be considered. Would you be open to a conversation to discuss a promotion?”

3. Be Authentic

This was emphasized many times throughout the event. Nothing worse than receiving a copy & pasted email or message on LinkedIn. Okay, there is something worse. When the message is addressed to a different person, and YES, that happens! If you’re looking to expand your network with people who will truly look out for you and support you, then make sure you’re engaging with them authentically.

Repeat after me -

  • “I had a great time chatting with you at (event)! I loved talking to you about (specific topic) and learning more about what you do at (company). Would you be interested in grabbing coffee? I’d love to continue the conversation around (topics) and see how I can support your (cause, mission, business, etc.).”

4. Spend Time on Your Resume

Recruiter Cherry Albento dropped some serious knowledge on us around resume building and job applications.

Resume tips -

  • Make sure you are catering your resume to the specific job you’re applying for. Similar to #3, hiring managers can tell if you’re just sending the same resume all around town!

  • Take a look at the key requirements of the job and tailor your resume to speak to those requirements.

  • Instead of listing your responsibilities from past experiences, talk about what you accomplished at each role and the results of those tasks. Companies LOVE results!

  • Spend more time customizing your resume than writing a cover letter. Cover letters often get skimmed over, if at all. Hiring managers will spend more time looking at your resume.

5. Don’t Overlook Small Companies or Startups

A reminder from recent USC grad Natalie Riso that you should consider all kinds of companies and not just the big ones. Natalie mentioned that she’d often compare her work experience with her friends’ experiences at larger corporate companies. But just because they work for large companies, didn’t automatically mean their experiences were better or that they had more opportunity. Read more about this myth and other post-college in Natalie’s article here: Myths About Your First Year Post-College.