Securing your dream job can feel like an uphill battle in today's fast-paced job market. The competition is fierce, and job seekers often find themselves wondering how to stand out amidst a sea of applicants. Fortunately, we recently had the opportunity to sit down with a seasoned tech recruiter, Wagma Rampa, who shared invaluable insights into the world of job hunting, resume optimization, and effective networking.
Wagma began her career working for one of the world's largest staffing firms and later transitioned to a mid-sized one. After several years, she took the bold step of launching her boutique firm, Ridium Consulting.
Ridium Consulting specializes in executive search and covers all positions within the product life cycle, offering services on both contract and full-time bases. Wagma emphasized her passion for the work when asked why she started her venture. She aimed to apply the knowledge gained from large and mid-sized firms to provide a more personalized experience for a select group of clients.
Her goal is to deliver exceptional customer service and positive experiences for both clients and candidates. Looking back on her journey, Wagma expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to be a business owner and the enriching experiences it had brought her.
The Ever-Changing Landscape
Wagma began by acknowledging the challenges many job seekers face today. She emphasized that the job market is highly competitive and constantly evolving. Applicants are not only competing with each other but also contending with technology-driven application processes that can feel like a "black hole."
The Role of Tailoring Your Resume
One of the most critical aspects of job hunting, as discussed by Wagma, is tailoring your resume to the specific job you're applying for. She pointed out that while a longer resume might seem comprehensive, it's often more effective to keep it concise and highlight relevant skills and experiences. Wagma emphasized the importance of including the skill sets highlighted in the job description you are applying for and removing less relevant information from the resume to make it shorter and tailored to the skills and experiences sought by the hiring manager.
Addressing Ageism in Hiring
The conversation shifted to a concern that many older job seekers are experiencing —ageism. Wagma provided valuable advice for those worried about age discrimination in the job market. She suggested removing graduation years from your resume and trimming early career positions that might not align with your current career path. Additionally, Wagma encouraged applicants to network, share their experiences, and work with boutique recruiting firms to increase their chances of landing a job.
Technology and the Application Process
In an era where technology plays a crucial role in the recruitment process, Wagma recognized that navigating the initial stages of job hunting, primarily when applicant tracking systems (ATS) are utilized to evaluate resumes, can be quite daunting. She mentioned the rise of HR bots and AI-driven resume scans prioritizing specific keywords.
However, Wagma also foresaw a shift towards skill assessments as an additional evaluation method. She stressed the importance of embracing technology while maintaining a personal touch and networking. Boutique firms like hers excel in building client relationships, going beyond resume submissions to provide personalized candidate summaries. She encouraged job seekers to embrace technology while also maintaining a personal touch by networking and connecting with recruiters.
Strategies for Recent Graduates
Addressing the unique challenges faced by recent graduates, Wagma provided several actionable strategies. She advised graduates to attend job fairs, connect with alumni from their institutions, contribute to GitHub projects, and participate in coding seminars and competitions. She stressed the importance of networking and developing a compelling pitch that showcases both technical skills and communication abilities.
Handling Career Gaps
One common concern was how to address career gaps on a resume. Wagma recommended transparency, explaining the reasons for the gap and detailing any relevant activities during that time. She encouraged job seekers to leverage relationships with former colleagues, bosses, and acquaintances to secure referrals and job leads.
Personalized Resume Submission
Wagma also discussed her approach to presenting candidates to clients. She highlighted the significance of understanding what clients value most in applicants. By asking clients about their top priorities, she tailors submissions to match those priorities, increasing the chances of success. She underlined the importance of delivering focused proposals, for example, 2-3 candidates at a time, rather than overwhelming clients with numerous resumes.
Navigating the Job Hunt is Like Dating
In a moment of insight, Wagma compared the job search to dating, emphasizing that both involve swiping right in the hopes of finding a match. She suggested exploring different avenues for job hunting, such as applying online, working with recruiters, networking, and creating an online presence through platforms like LinkedIn.
The Braintrust Community
It is inevitable to recognize the importance of the Braintrust community as a valuable resource for job seekers. Check Braintrust to find new opportunities, participate in the community, seek advice, and refer clients to earn rewards. The community's support and collaborative spirit are crucial factors in navigating the competitive job market.
In conclusion, the conversation with Wagma offered valuable insights and strategies for job seekers in today's competitive landscape. By tailoring resumes, addressing career gaps transparently, leveraging personal relationships, and utilizing various job-hunting avenues, job seekers can increase their chances of success. The Braintrust community, with its resources and opportunities, remains a valuable asset for those navigating the ever-changing job market.
Watch the full webinar here.