Dear Artemis: I'm actively looking for my next opportunity. Any tips you can share?
Welcome back to Dear Artemis: Where you ask us tough questions and we use our collective 45+ years of knowledge in the recruiting space to answer them.
I, like many others recently, was included in the tech layoffs. I’m optimistic about job prospects but was wondering if you have any tips you can share to those who are actively looking?
- Actively looking leader
Dear actively looking leader,
I’m so sorry to hear about the layoff. These are tough times but we too are optimistic about the market returning to more normal conditions sooner rather than later. We’re happy to share tips - and we even reached out to hiring managers we know and love to get their thoughts!
Where to Find Job Postings
Sign up for the Artemis Newsletter: We share the roles we’re working on monthly
Ecosystem maps like the EDC’s Waterloo Region Artificial Intelligence (AI) map to find a company that interests you!
Think of your resume as a way to capture your career story - make it digestible, easy to follow along and highlight your learning/growth along the way.
Include a one-liner under each company to explain what they do, company size, and revenue/funding. Ie “30-person Series A-backed FinTech startup focused on SMB banking”
Be sure to include:
What growth did you experience? Ie joined as employee #47 and left as employee #300 ; joined at pre-seed until series B ; joined at $500K revenue, left at $5M+ revenue ; etc
Results: What did you accomplish in tangible, concrete terms?
Leadership: If you led a team, how large? Were you a player/coach? Did you grow the team?
Biggest milestones + initiatives you led
If you have less formal experience than the job posting asks for, highlight any relevant personal projects and volunteer experience.
Are cover letters dead? Who knows, but you know what’s faster, easier, and more engaging? A cover video. Check out Vidyard for their free chrome extension.
Before the Interview
Research, research, research. Do a deep dive on the company, the industry, the founders & their background, any investors, the person interviewing you, the role (is it net new? Is it a backfill? Did the person leave the org or move internally?), and any recent news or press releases from the company
If it’s a B2C product with a free trial, download it and try it out
Think through the top 10 things you’re proud of from your career and/or personal projects, and build “pre-canned” answers to interview questions based on them
Review the job posting: Specifically, the “In this job, you will…” section and think of examples where you’ve done those things before
Review your own resume and highlight your most relevant experience to this opportunity to keep those experiences top of mind
In the Interview
Mention the research you did on the founders/company/investors/domain in your answers
It’s ok to take 20 seconds to think before answering an important question!
If you’re interviewing with a startup, mention any and all the various hats you wore - this is important for startups!
Highlight if you owned something from the beginning to the end of a project
If you’re asked to solve a technical problem, answer it by thinking out loud. Even if you arrive at the wrong answer, you might impress them by your approach to solving the problem
Avoid rambling, and avoid one-sentence answers to too many questions. Find the sweet spot in the middle!
Remember: Your approach to your job (sales, marketing, product, etc) is equally if not more important than the outcome. Don’t gloss over how you do what you do to demonstrate your critical thinking.
After the Interview
Follow up with a thank you note to the interviewer(s). The more specific this is, rather than generic, the better. For example: Did the hiring manager mention a particular approach to leadership you appreciate? Did they share a company-wide goal that’s exciting to you? Any particular problems you’re eager to tackle? Mention it!
Between interview steps, check for any recent news releases, product launches, etc - the research never stops!
If you blanked on an interview question but then later, under less pressure, thought of an answer - don’t hesitate to send a follow-up email after the fact.
If you’re engaged in multiple opportunities and you progress to further stages with any of them, keep the others in the loop. Your transparency will be appreciated… and will potentially speed up timelines!
Check out another Dear Artemis on how you can evaluate employers to avoid risk
We hope this helps. If you have any questions more specific to your circumstances, don’t hesitate to ask.
- Negin & the Artemis team