Tips from Behind the Hiring Desk

Tips from Behind the Hiring Desk
by Grace Mangigian ‘16

As mentioned in my last post, I am interning for the summer at PeopleLinx, a start-up located in Philadelphia focused on social selling at an enterprise scale.

Here is a picture of me and the Mayor when he came to visit a few weeks ago!

This week at PeopleLinx, my focus has been on helping the director of human resources hire a social business strategist. In the process, I have been weeding through hundreds of resumes kept on file in our career account. From being on the other side of the hiring table, I’ve learned that there are tons of things I never knew when I was applying.  I have seen a bunch of promising applications that never made the cut. So I’ve got more tips for all those internship seekers out there who don’t want to be just another application in a pile.

Be a stalker:  If there is a company you like, follow them. Even if they are not hiring now, they will be one day, and if you check the company website, you will know immediately when jobs are available. I asked my supervisor how we advertise for most of our jobs, and believe it or not, we get a lot of traffic just from the careers page on our websites. Don’t limit yourself to job databases or college career postings, go directly to the company you like.

Find a contact; Most people send their cover letters and resumes to our general careers email account, which is FULL. When I was disqualifying candidates, I found over 20 emails from students looking for internships that were unopened. Where did these people go wrong? They didn’t have a contact. Find out who the hiring manager is for your position and email them directly. I promise you that the director of HR is much more likely to check her personal work email then the general career account for the company.

Don’t trust job websites: This tip is related to the ones above, but whenever you are applying through a database, send your information to a person too. Websites like Indeed just find job openings, and post the jobs sometimes even without a company’s knowledge. Our careers email account receives notifications from Indeed everyday saying someone has applied. I asked our HR director what we do with these, and she said that for the most part we ignore them. I know that when I was looking for internships, I applied for a BUNCH through Indeed, and now I realize that half of these applications probably never got to where I wanted.

Pick up your phone: I found an application for an internship from a girl who sent three emails to our account. What she didn’t realize is, is that if no one responds, you need to call! On the other hand, we have a guy who calls our office every day. It’s too much. Clearly, try to find the middle ground. My other tip would be to speak their language. Our company uses LinkedIn, so applicants should speak to us in our language, using LinkedIn connection requests and messages. I was actually recruited through LinkedIn. My supervisor saw my profile, reached out to chat, and then it was history from there! If a company heavily uses Twitter, consider tweeting at them. Never underestimate the power of social.

Be careful about what you post online: Be very careful about what you post on the internet. At PeopleLinx, we use hiring software that searches for all of your social profiles. For example, after we upload a resume to the website, the software searches the internet for your personal website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. One candidate had a good resume, but after we clicked the link to her personal website, we were not impressed by her online image.

Moral of the story? Use social proactively and carefully.Be persistent. Find a way in to the company.

P.S. One of the tasks I am also working on involves recruiting interns for next fall. Interested in gaining office experience in a fast-paced startup environment? Let me know!