Expert Panel Advises Candidates to Be Passionate, Be Authentic, and Keep Social Media Private
Norwalk, CT. [August 23, 2013] About 100 area job seekers are better prepared for their job search today, thanks to FairfieldCountyJobs.com’s Searching for Success event, held last night in Norwalk. The three person expert panel comprised of hiring managers from the retail, events, and the financial services industries, addressed job seekers’ biggest concerns and provided candid and honest information that sometimes surprised the audience. The panel was moderated by FairfieldCountyJobs.com (www.FairfieldCountyJobs.com) CEO, David Lewis. Audience questions ranged from asking the best way to follow up after an interview, to having the panel weigh in on how much social media affects their selection of a new hire. The panel provided 90 minutes of expertise and knowledge, and Lewis and the panelists made themselves available to answer individual questions following the event.
“Be passionate about what you do and what you bring to the table,” advised panelist Janine Labadia, HR manager at Design Within Reach. “You may not have every single bullet on that job description, but if you have the majority of it, and can speak to it and talk about how excited you are about what you’ve done and what you can bring, that’s going to make me excited about you as a candidate.” The panel agreed that showing a good energy and enthusiasm for the role will get a candidate one step closer to being put on the payroll.
Keep Social Media Private.
“I will stalk you,” warned Meghan Hurley, director of human resources at Reed Exhibitions in Norwalk. Hurley and the other panelists told the audience that before they even reach out to a potential candidate, they perform a Google search and social media audit to see what that candidate has put out there online. Many candidates disqualify themselves from a job opportunity without even knowing it. Job seekers should be advised to be sure to keep a professional image online, and keep their private lives private.
When is it Appropriate to Follow Up?
“Send individual thank you emails to each person you met with and then stop,” said Jeremiah Patterson, HR business partner at Stamford-based commodities firm, Noble Americas. “Every interaction you have with a company brands you, and you don’t want to be branded as ‘the person who calls every other day.’” All communication should be professional and respectful of people’s time. And the way a candidate conducts themselves after a rejection can be critical to securing a role at that firm in the future. “Still say thank you,” Patterson cautioned. “Even if you’re not a fit for that role, the way you conduct yourself may mean they’ll remember you.”
Be Honest. Be Authentic.
The most important piece of advice offered by the panel? Be authentic, and steer clear of misrepresentations of any kind. If there are gaps in a candidates resume, be honest about them. Many of the job seekers in attendance had questions about re-entering the workforce after a long absence, and the panel advised them to address these gaps head on. “The honesty factor is important,” advised Patterson. “You aren’t alone, and from my perspective it doesn’t make you stand out negatively at all. It just helps tell your story.”
The next FairfieldCountyJobs.com Searching for Success event will take place on October 1st.