Ask-a-recruiter is our series where we interview some incredibly talented recruiting professionals and get the scoop on their approach to hiring, what impresses them, and their biggest pet peeves.
This month on Ask-A-Recruiter we’re interviewing Ashley Anderson who lives here in NYC and has hired for some amazing companies including Warby Parker, Tory Burch, and Soul Cycle.
She’s hired for both store/field and corporate roles and definitely has the scoop on how to really stand out when you’re applying and interviewing with ultra competitive companies.
Let’s hear from Ashley!
I decided to pursue a career in recruiting because…
It actually happened unexpectedly, which is why I always encourage others to participate in as many projects/groups as they can handle (which I still do today).
I was a manager at Warby Parker and they needed a “Recruiting Lead” to help staff our store. I raised my hand and eventually recruited for all stores in the NYC market, which led to my special project at corporate, recruiting for all new store openings across the country.
The best resumes always…
Catch my eye. Obviously, the content is important, but when someone has a really well done (and aesthetically pleasing) resume it jumps out at you. You can use programs like Adobe InDesign.
It should also be in a PDF, not a word doc.
And my biggest resume pet peeves are…
Grammatical errors, misspelling, and too many pages. Try to make your resume 1 page.
Beyond the resume, other parts of an app that I pay attention to are…
Someone’s LinkedIn profile and cover letter.
Candidates stand out when they…
Do their research on the company. I even recommend going to the store/studio to introduce yourself to the brand before your first interview.
I also appreciate when people come prepared with good and thoughtful questions.
My favorite question to ask in an interview is…
An example of one your best and one of your worst days at work.
The biggest interview mistake someone can make is…
Asking how this role/company can benefit them. These questions should be saved for when an employer is ready to make an offer. Then the ball is in your court to start asking those types of questions.
One thing I realized from sitting on the other side of the table that I wish candidates knew was…
Don’t be discouraged. I applied to and was rejected from several jobs before I landed this one.
It can take a lot of hard work and time to get the role that you want. It doesn’t just come down to that either. You may have great experience, but most of the time recruiters are looking for a very specific background as well as salary range.
There may be times that you are rejected for a job that is just not the right fit, but does not have anything to do with your capability.
Additionally, make connections. The best way to learn about opportunities and get your name out there is by word of mouth. For recruiters, referrals are huge, and they are the first candidates we reach out to.
My top pieces of advice to help someone land a job are to…
- Find a role that aligns with your experience. If you want to change careers then start somewhere (entry level, part time, in the field) to get the experience you need.
- Take time to really figure out what you want to do. No one is going to judge you for taking a break to work part time or travel.
- Find companies that you really love, especially if you are looking for an entry level role. It isn’t just about the position, it is also about the environment.
- If a certain company doesn’t have a position for you:
- Try to find a contact (i.e., LinkedIn) or career email to reach out anyways. There may be a role that hasn’t opened yet, but is coming down the pipeline.
- Create your own position, which is an option on some companies’ career pages. What is an area of opportunity that you see? How can your experience benefit the company?
Thank you so much Ashley! This advice is beyond helpful and I love hearing about your own journey too. You’re 100% right that finding a job can be tough and time intensive – there’s a lot you can do to stand out but sometimes it just comes to down a company looking for something different.
The hard work is worth it when you do find that company and role that are the perfect match.