Your Mid-Career Job Search & COVID-19 | Interview with Briana Iannelli from Greysmith

All of us at Knack work remotely and have had plenty of experience in our prior gigs with preparing and executing a successful job search.  So, given that a lot of Knackpackers may now be in the position of looking for their next opportunity, we interviewed several top job search and recruiting experts to ask them how they recommend looking for your next job in this new, challenging environment.

Remote job search tips during COVID-19

We’ve broken our discussions into several posts including last week’s post on the basics behind every job search (including finding, and working with, recruiters):

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Today’s Topic:  The Current Environment’s Impact on Mid-Career Job Searches | Interview with Briana Iannelli from Greysmith

In this post, we interviewed Briana Iannelli, Director of Performance Operations from The Greysmith Companies, a staffing and recruiting firm located in Providence RI. Briana and her team work with job seekers throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts to advance their careers by helping them find new and rewarding job opportunities with local employers.  

Brianna Iannelli, recruiting expert

Briana has years of experience in the recruiting industry, especially in professional fields like HR, accounting, office administration and healthcare, and she shared some incredibly helpful info on how people in their early to mid-career should go about their job search.

What’s the Job Market Like Today?

“At Greysmith, we work with company clients at all levels, from entry level to the C-Suite.  As the market has changed due to COVID-19, we’ve seen companies adjust hiring expectations, especially for candidates early in their career,” Briana explained.

Tips  for utilizing a recruiter in your 2020 job search

“Companies are now looking for candidates to have more experience, who will need less oversight and management.  Companies who are hiring today are either fully or partially remote, so it’s critical that a candidate be able to work without a manager directing them in-person.”

We asked Briana what a candidate can do if they’re just starting their career, and they don’t have a lot of experience?

“This is where it’s critical to communicate how you are responsible, self-motivated and take initiative,” shares Briana.  “It’s not enough to just put those words somewhere in your resume, you need to share specific examples.  You can also include specific info in your cover letter, if you have worked remotely or without direct supervision.”

Advice for applying to jobs remotely

The Importance of Communicating Resiliency

It’s no secret that many organizations and companies have enacted a hiring freeze.  As part of your job search, you should be reaching out to multiple recruiters.  Many may not have open positions that are a fit right now, but things change!

“No matter the market, a recruiter or agency may not have a fit for a stellar candidate.  Any agency is only working on so many positions at any given time, and you may be super qualified with a great resume - but the recruiter may not have a position for you.  That’s not a reason to get frustrated.  Keep reaching out to agencies.”

Updating your resume for your 2020 job search

Remote Job Search Strategy:  How to Position Yourself for a New Role

Looking for a new job can be frustrating, and it’s important to remember that a job search can typically take a few months – and there are specific things you can do now to position yourself for a new role.

Briana shared a few key actions to take to help your job search along:

  1. Publicly Post That You’re Looking for a Job:  It’s time to get on social media, and leverage your network to help you find a new position.  “While it’s not fun to share that you’re looking for a new position, it’s no longer taboo to be open about it online,” shares Briana.  “Post to LinkedIn and share what kind of specific positions you’re looking for.  This post should be a couple of paragraphs to be effective.  Ask people to share links with you, and thank your network for their help.”
  2. Comment on LinkedIn Posts:  It’s important to authentically engage with your connections on LinkedIn, as those connections can refer you to other positions.  “I recommend that people spend 10-15 minute a day commenting on posts on LinkedIn, both posts by connections and by potential employers.  You should also be sure to share helpful posts you have found, that others may find interesting.  Show up with a desire to provide value!
  3. Check Back with Recruiters:  “I love it when candidates check back with me.  If you have a list of recruiters you’ve reached out to, set a reminder to follow-up with them in a few weeks.  We get a lot of emails, and polite or friendly check-ins are a good way to stay top of mind,” she advises.

Using LinkedIn for your remote job search in 2020

In today’s environment, you can’t meet up for coffee or attend large conferences to network, so it’s important to use online tools to propel your job search forward.

Don’t Trust Online Portals

The remote job search has been made a lot easier by various online platforms you can use to find a new role. Recruiters and agencies use multiple hiring platforms, with Career Builder, LinkedIn, and Indeed being some of the most used.

But, while technology is great – it’s not infallible. Multiple platforms means there are multiple places recruiters are pulling data from, and it is incredibly easy for that data to get lost when transferring and organizing it.  

Don't trust online portals when applying to a new job

The solution?  Directly contact the company.

“If you really want a position, don’t hesitate to reach out to the hiring manager or agency directly,” Briana says.  “There are a few ways to do this.  You can submit an inquiry through the contact form, and ask for the email of the person leading that candidate search.  Then you can email them your resume.”

Alternatively, you can leverage LinkedIn.  “If you’re applying via a company’s website, you should also look up the hiring manager or find someone in the recruiting department on LinkedIn,” she shares.  “Send them a short message about the role you’re applying for, and always attach your resume!”

Some candidates worry that they may come across as annoying if they do this, but it’s just the opposite!  “Sending an email or message shows you are truly interested in the job, and you’re not afraid to do a little extra legwork,” shares Briana.  “This is a good strategy to use in a competitive market.”

Using LinkedIn for your job search

What About Thank You Notes?

“Oftentimes, a thank you note is the deciding factor in a search.  I have heard from many hiring managers that a candidate was offered the position over another candidate because of a thank you note.” 

Since sending a thank you note is a critical part of the job search process, how can you make the most of them?

Briana explains:

“The same day of the interview, send an email with a few sentences.  Keep it short, as we all receive a lot of emails on a daily basis.  Thank them for their time, and include 3 reasons why you’re uniquely qualified for the position and will add value to the organization.”

Mistakes you may be making in your post interview thank you note

If you want to send a physical card, you can call the company directly and ask how to address a thank you note to the person who interviewed you.  You can also ask for their business card during the interview, which will have their mailing address on it.

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CAUTION!  Common Thank You Note Mistakes

But wait!  There is a common mistake that candidates make when sending a thank you note.  

“A thank you note is not the place to go on and on about how you’re passionate for a position and how badly you want it,” Briana explains.  “This is an opportunity for you to explain how you will add value to the organization.

What to include in a thank you note post-interview

Prepare for Video Interviews  

Video interviews are increasing in popularity, particularly with so many hiring managers working remotely, and you don’t want issues with your tech to leave a bad impression.

“For candidates interviewing right now, it’s key to show up in the same way you would for a job interview.  Make sure you arrive 15 minutes early.  Test out and download the software before beginning the interview.  Have a backup device on hand, just in case!”

Preparing for a video interview on Zoom

Advancing Your Career with a Recruiter

The number one thing every candidate needs to be prepared to do is to move beyond your comfort zone. Leveling up professionally requires that you begin to do things differently and learn to network in new ways.

“Overall, it’s important for candidates to remember that recruiters want to place stellar candidates.  Companies want to hire exceptional people.  The key for people who are a few years into their career, or at a mid-level position and wanting to advance, is that you have to go above and beyond what other candidates are doing,” Briana points out.  

Leveraging your job search with a recruiter

Thank you, Briana Iannelli!

We so appreciate Briana taking the time to share her experience with Knackpackers.  If you’re a company looking to fill positions or you’d like to connect with Briana, be sure to join her on LinkedIn!

Greysmitih has also put together resources for companies during this time, which you can check out here.

Questions & Next Steps

Do you have questions or tips about the remote job search?  Share them in the comments below!  If you found this post helpful, please share it with a few friends or colleagues who could benefit from it!