As Recruiters and Talent Consultants here at CFW Careers, we partner with our clients and candidates to ensure both have the preparation and resources they need to drive meaningful conversations throughout the interview process and beyond. We reached out to our friends at Jun Group, a video advertising platform, for some insider tips on how, in the face of stiff competition, candidates can stand out in consideration for coveted roles in Ad tech. Read on for their valuable insights, and be sure to check out our blog for additional tips.
Ad tech has always been a highly competitive industry, and in 2018 it’s more challenging than ever to land a “dream job”. In addition to a record number of mergers and acquisitions last year (150 in total), which consolidated the number of opportunities, the speed with which technology is evolving also makes it difficult to break in. The most successful candidates must embrace and champion change—like the shift to mobile as a first screen, or the rise of AI and voice activation, to name a few—and expand their skill sets in what is very much a real time environment.
So, how do you get your foot in the door and stand out amongst many other qualified applicants? At Jun Group, candidates are evaluated holistically: in addition to requisite job skills, cultural fit and personality are also taken into account. The three core traits a successful candidate must possess are: intelligence, drive, and outstanding communication skills. And that’s just the baseline. If you’re looking to work with Fortune 500 brands, be surrounded by whip-smart coworkers, work in a fast-paced environment, and use tech that reaches millions of people everyday, then check out our secrets to breaking into the industry.
Secret 1: Mass customization is not customization. Tailoring your resume specifically to the job and addressing the hiring manager by name in your cover letter is a must. It’s obvious to recruiters when you send out mass job applications. Think beyond the bare minimum and convey what you can specifically bring to the company.
For your resume, refrain from gimmicks and opt for something clean, easy to read, and no longer than a page. If you are applying for a technical role, make sure your hard skills are easy to find, and link to any of your code contributions on platforms like Github and Reddit. Rather than a long laundry list, we’d prefer to see that you know one or two programming languages extremely well. For all candidates, whenever possible, quantify your skills and accomplishments (ex: you helped your company expand by X%, created a more efficient process that saved Y amount of time, etc.)
And if you’re a recent college grad with little to no professional experience, don’t be afraid to include real-life experiences. For example, if you worked at a restaurant, did you manage a team, gaining leadership and project management experience? Did you oversee a budget or inventory, honing your quantitative skills? Linking your past experiences to job requirements is critical, and sometimes it takes going beyond the obvious to flesh out these examples. Just remember to stick to the facts and keep it short.
Secret 2: Winging an interview won’t fly. It’s not enough to simply be “good enough”—you must stand out. Doing this requires more than just reading a job description and looking at the company’s website. You have to prepare.
First and foremost, think about what you can bring to the job. Often, candidates only consider how the position will benefit them. Instead, turn it around and clearly articulate how the company would benefit from hiring you. For example, if the interviewer asks what you’re looking for in your next job, talk about the unique skills you’d bring to the role, (e.g. “I’m an Excel wiz,” “I’m a pro at designing social graphics,” etc.).
In preparation for the interview, you should get familiar with the company’s social media, and set up Google Alerts to stay on top of company and industry news. You must be able to convey that you’ve not only done your research, but also that you’ve thought about your specific qualifications in the context of the position. Be prepared to give concrete examples illustrating your hard and soft skills.
Part of your prep work also involves coming to the interview with specific questions. Ask about job details, team structure, company culture—anything that shows you’re actively interested. Oftentimes questions emerge during the interview, so make sure you bring paper to jot down notes.
Secret 3: Communication is king. Remember how we mentioned cultural fit and personal compatibility? A huge part of that has to do with basic etiquette and communication skills. Throughout the interview process, respond to emails in a timely manner, send personalized thank you notes within 24 hours of your interviews (reference something specific you spoke about in each interview), and convey genuine interest on your part by doing your homework. While these may seem like minor points, they speak volumes about your sincerity and enthusiasm, and are great indicators of your emotional IQ and communication skills.
And finally, be confident! Even something as simple as changing your posture and body language can make a huge difference (look into Amy Cuddy’s TEDTalk on “power posing,”a.k.a. the Superman pose). If you are qualified for the job you are applying for, then getting to the next level is a matter of conveying your best self. While some of the application process is out of your control, focus on what you can control. Next time you put yourself out there, make it count!
To learn more about their trusted platform and the ways in which they’re stepping up the game in Ad tech, visit Jun Group’s website.
Follow CFW on linkedin, and check out our blog to stay on top of the latest interview preparation, talent acquisition and management strategies, and tune in for more industry insider spotlights ! If you’re in the market for a new opportunity, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to be a career resource for you.