The Truth About Online Job Postings, with Christine LaPorte

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Find Your Dream Job, Episode 144:

The Truth About Job Postings, with Christine LaPorte

Airdate: June 20, 2018

Mac Prichard:

Hi, this is Mac of Mac’s List. Find Your Dream Job is presented by Mac’s List, an online community where you can find free resources for your job search, plus online courses and books that help you advance your career. My latest book is called Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. It’s a reference guide for your career that covers all aspects of the job search, including expert advice in every chapter. You can get the first chapter for free by visiting macslist.org/anywhere.

Ben Forstag:

This is Find Your Dream Job; the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Ben Forstag, your fill-in host and managing director of Mac’s List. Mac Prichard, your usual host, is still feeling under the weather but guarantees us he’ll be back next week.

I’m joined today by my co-hosts, Becky Thomas and Jessica Black, from the Mac’s List team.

Today, we’re talking about the truth about job postings.

Competing for a publicly posted job is tough. Sometimes, you’re up against an internal candidate. Other times, recruiters working for the hiring manager get involved. Because the position is online, it may attract hundreds or thousands of applicants.

This week’s guest is Christine LaPorte, a career coach and former recruiter. She says, before you apply for job postings you see online, you need to know how the system works. Christine and I talk about the truth about job postings later on in the show.

Regular listeners of our show know about the importance of networking during a job search. It’s one of the best ways to discover up to 80% of jobs that never get advertised. Becky has a found a new tool called Mango. It helps you network online more effectively so you can uncover those jobs that are filled by word of mouth. She tells us more in a moment.

You get a job right after high school graduation and you stay with this employer for 15 years. Along with the way, you get promotions without having a college degree. Now, you’ve left the company. You’re finding that every job that interests you requires a bachelor’s degree. What do you do? That’s our question of the week. It comes from listener Germaine Couldis who lives in the Bay Area in California. Jessica shares her advice shortly.

First, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team.

Becky, you’re the lady with all the resources. What do you have for us this week?

Becky Thomas:

This week’s resource is Mango and it’s a networking app. I discovered Mango through Twitter when they started sharing some of our Mac’s List tweets; that’s one way to get my attention. Their message really aligns with what we talk about every day. You’ve heard these messages before if you listen to our podcast or read our blog on macslist.org, all that good stuff. These messages we really hammer home every day; the best jobs never get posted online, use your network to get referrals for jobs, reach out and ask for help. All of these things are smart and people understand them but many people get overwhelmed when it comes to the actual act of networking. What are you supposed to actually do? How are you supposed to reach out? Things like that.

I think this is totally legitimate; it’s when you get into the details and you’re like, “Well I understand that I need to connect with people but I don’t know how to actually do it.” I think that Mango was really built off of that idea.

It looks like it should be a great next step for job seekers who really know that they need to network but need some help in that nitty gritty, actually sending emails and connection requests. How you actually connect with somebody that you’ve never met in person. The detailed step-by-step networking.

That’s exactly what Mango does. It’s really a step-by-step networking app that guides you through the tasks that you need to do to connect and then get value from your network. It overlays, or plugs into, your LinkedIn profile and allows you to enter in specific people you want to connect with, whether you’re already connected with them or you want to connect with them. Then you can type in relevant info from people’s LinkedIn profiles and Mango categorizes people into four different categories. They have Guide, Connector, Supporter, and Advisor. Basically what this person could be to you in your career.

There’s a bunch of different things that it does after it gets that person’s profile. It’ll give you a checklist for tasks you should try to deepen your connection with this person. If you’re trying to get an informational interview with them, what you should say in your first email, things like that.

There’s examples, coaching, and templates even for email messages. It’ll guide you through sentence by sentence what you should be writing in these messages. It handholds you through that networking process so you can learn it.

It gives outlines that you can take along with you to informational meetings and things like that.

There’s a free version available, and whether you’re new to the workforce or just new to the networking-first idea of job searching, this is a really great tool to get started once you understand the concept but you don’t know where to go next. You can learn more at mangoconnects.com. I think you can download the app on iTunes and Android app stores. Yeah, check it out.

Ben Forstag:

Becky, just to clarify, this is a supplement to LinkedIn, not a replacement?

Becky Thomas:

Yeah for sure. You definitely have to have your LinkedIn profile set up and then once you connect your Mango account, it will feed in all of your connections and all the information from your profile as well.

Jessica Black:

It sounds like an extension. Like a Chrome extension or something like that.

Becky Thomas:

I was thinking, if LinkedIn is your bicycle, then Mango is your training wheels.

Jessica Black:

But with handy resources.

Ben Forstag:

I like that.

Jessica Black:

Or it’s like your Siri.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Jessica Black:

It’s brand new and innovative. We don’t even have a correlation.

I think it’s really helpful. It’s like the resource you shared a couple weeks ago that has similar…Breaking it down and making it easier to digest.

Becky Thomas:

Was it LandIt? Because that platform I’ve been recommending to everyone as well.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, that’s the one because I remember feeling very excited about that, too. I like that same concept of just making it really easy to break this down into digestible steps that people can take. I think you said it perfectly of, people know that they need to do it, but what are the first steps and how do they do it well? Being able to have templates and things like that, it’d be interesting to try because I’m learning about it now just from hearing about it. It sounds really interesting.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, cool.

Ben Forstag:

Well, thank you, Becky. If any of our listeners have a suggestion for Becky, write her and we might share your idea on the show. Becky’s address is becky@macslist.org.

Now it’s time to hear from you, our listeners, and Jessica joins us to answer one of your questions. What do we have today, Jessica?

Jessica Black:

This question is from Germaine Couldis of the Bay Area, in California. She emailed in her question and she asks:

“I started working immediately after high school and never got a college degree. I stayed with the same company for 15 years, working my way up the ladder, so my lack of a degree was never a huge barrier. I’ve since left that company and now I find that not having a college degree seems to be holding me back from jobs that I know I could do. Nearly every job I’m interested in requires a BA. Do you have any advice for how I can work around this?”

This is a good question because I think that it’s so silly that you would have to have a Bachelor’s Degree when you have all this experience.

Again, the best way to get around these types of requirements is to make these in-person connections with people in the organizations you want to work for is to go around that online barrier. Unless people know that you have the skills to do the job, they aren’t going to know. If there is a requirement that says that a BA is required and you don’t have that on your job resume, or your cover letter, or whatever online application you’re using, then it will automatically get thrown out, which is unfortunate. Again, that’s why these in-person connections are really important.

It’s also really important to clearly demonstrate your skills and your ability to “perform” the required tasks. Things like volunteering, any type of portfolio, or videos, or supplementary documents that you might have. Based on industries, make sure it’s relevant, but if you could include those types of things, or having endorsements, especially on your LinkedIn profile, will really help you stand out. Again, this won’t necessarily do very well in an online application where there may be an ATS system in place where it will automatically get weeded out.

That’s just unfortunate but it’s true. I would recommend just meeting with some people in the industry that you’re in, and in the positions that you’re interested in pursuing, with the organizations you’re interested in. Just to get a feel for how you’ll be able to break in using your existing skills. Again, make those really strong connections that will basically provide advocates for you within the organization that will help get around those requirements.

That still may not always work. I don’t know what industry Germaine is in and how important it is to have a BA in this situation. But again, if she’s been doing this work without a BA I know that she’s fully qualified.

But if there’s quite a bit of push-back still from organizations when you have those in-person conversations, those informational interviews about the necessity of a Bachelor’s Degree, you may want to consider the option of taking that on, or…Again, I’m not quite sure what would be relevant but I would also recommend looking into some kind of certificate program or something to that effect to supplement your work experience. To showcase that you have the “book smarts” components of it. Some employers are really interested in having that schooling experience and so maybe that would be a good work around. Again, I would feel that out with those informational interviews to get a sense of what the best options  would be.

What else would you guys recommend in terms of this Bachelor’s Degree conundrum?

Ben Forstag:

I’ll chime in here. Whenever someone tells me something like, “I found a great job but I don’t meet all of their requirements.” The first thing I tell them is, “Go ahead and apply anyway.” Because, oftentimes, in job descriptions, those requirements are a wish list and the hiring manager will be happy if they get fifty percent of what they’re asking for. Seventy-five percent, they would be ecstatic.

Jessica Black:

Do you think that’s true with Bachelor’s Degrees?

Ben Forstag:

I think that there are some jobs where you clearly need to have the education. You’re not going to be a doctor without an MD; don’t apply for that.

Jessica Black:

Totally.

Ben Forstag:

But with the BA, the farther along you are in your career, the less your formal education matters. A BA is really important in your early career because it shows that you’ve gotten some formal education, you know how to learn, you’ve been trained in reading, and writing, and some of the basics. If you’ve got fifteen years of experience, Germaine, the employers already know that you can do the job, especially if you’ve worked your way up the ladder in an organization. That shows you know what you’re doing, you do a good job, you can take on new responsibilities, you can learn new skills on the job, and you can execute well.

I think that sometimes employers just put BA required in their applications because that’s what they’ve always done or maybe they’re trying to weed people out.

I think that you’re right, if there is an online application process, through an applicant tracking system, if they put a qualifying question there that says, “Do you have a Bachelor’s Degree?” If it’s a yes or no, if you click no, you’re probably going to be pushed into the no pile for the applications. But if you’re applying through the traditional method of just sending an email cover letter and resume, you’re probably okay just applying anyway. Again, if you’ve got a good track record in your career, that’s going to stand of its own, especially fifteen years into your career. I wouldn’t sweat the absence of a BA.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, and it may be…I want to hear your perspective, Becky, but I just want to chime in something that I thought of as you were talking, Ben. It may also be a framing of her skills. The opportunity to make sure you’re laying out your experience in a very easy to understand way. It’s not just that you’ve worked at the same organization for fifteen years and the jobs titles that you’ve held, but all of the duties that you’ve had and really knock that point out of the park, that you have that ability.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, I think of your BA, or any kind of education, as basically a reference, right? Your degree is basically a reference from a University that says, “This person went to school here for four years, met the minimum qualifications and passed through.” Again, this is a really important thing to have early in your career because you don’t have a whole lot of professional experience and professional references to fall back on. Germaine, I bet she’s probably had two or three managers at most who could speak to her qualifications. She doesn’t need to rely on that education as the reference point. She can actually have real managers who have seen her really work on the job to speak to her abilities.

Becky Thomas:

I think you guys are both really spot on. The only other thing I would say is that I feel like I keep seeing more and more jobs that say, Bachelor’s, or equivalent experience. I think that if you’re looking at job descriptions that are like, “Don’t apply for this job unless you have a Bachelor’s Degree”, that’s pretty shortsighted of them, too.

Jessica Black:

Totally.

Becky Thomas:

I think that rereading her question, she might just be a little bit apprehensive, so I would say just go for it, apply for some of those jobs, sell the experience that you’ve had working your way up this company ladder through fifteen years and going to work right out of high school. It sounds like Germaine is a really hard worker. She just needs to tell that story in applications and hope that they can understand that.

Jessica Black:

Great advice. Thanks guys.

Ben Forstag:

Well, thank you, Jessica, and thank you, Germaine, for your question. If you have a question, send Jessica an email at jessica@macslist.org. You can also call our listener line. That’s 716-JOB-TALK. Or you can send us a message on Facebook.

If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

We’ll be back in a moment. When we return, I’ll talk with this our guest, Christine LaPorte, about the truth about job postings.

We live in a digital world. What we do online can make all the difference in a job search. Consider this: In a recent survey 98 percent of recruiters said they use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to find candidates. If you’re not on these platforms, you are invisible to employers.

Yes, social media can be overwhelming. That’s why here at Mac’s List, we built our free online course, How to Wow and Woo Employers Online. In three lessons, we show you how to make the most of social media in your job search.

You’ll learn:

  • what matters to employers who check you out online.
  • how to create and manage social profiles that attract the attention of hiring managers.
  • how to use your social accounts to grow and serve your professional network

To sign up for this FREE online course, visit macslist.org/wow.

Now, let’s get back to the show!

Christine LaPorte has been a talent recruiter for Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Rejuvenation and R/GA.

As the owner of PDX Career Coach, Christine gives creative professionals the tools and strategies they need to connect with hiring managers and get competitive salaries.

Christine joins us today from Portland, Oregon.

Thanks for joining us, Christine.

Christine LaPorte:

Thank you. I appreciate you having me.

Ben Forstag:

Well, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.

Today we’re talking about the truth about job postings but before we get to that topic, I need to ask you a very special question. I was doing a little bit of snooping on your website; is it true that you dated Tim Duncan in college?

Christine LaPorte:

I’m going to plead the fifth on that one.

Ben Forstag:

Okay. Well, my real question is, is he really that tall in real life?

Christine LaPorte:

Yes and I’m so happy for him that he’s retired now. He’s very old…he’s what, forty one? But he gives so much back to the community which is wonderful. He’s always donating to children who have suffered a loss and I think he’s a great stand-up guy. I’m glad we’re still friends.

Ben Forstag:

That’s great.

Now let’s get to the important stuff here. Let’s talk about the truth about job postings. We’re going to talk about why some jobs get advertised and some jobs don’t. We’re also going to discuss why even advertised jobs might not be real. You’re here today to help us pull back the curtain on the role of recruiters playing advertised jobs.

Let’s reveal here what I think a lot of people already kind of know, which is, just because a position has been posted online doesn’t mean there’s actually an opening does it?

Christine LaPorte:

Absolutely. People have a misconception when they’re looking through job postings that all of these jobs are opportunities that they can apply for online and possibly receive a call and then get a job. I like to share with my clients, there are a number of reasons a job could be posted online.

Those are that somebody could possibly be leaving, they need to backfill that position, but maybe that person won’t leave. If it’s an agency they could have an RFP, (requirements for proposal) for work, and they’re up against a number of other agencies with a client. If they refute that piece of work, they will hire that entire team, and if they don’t, they might not hire anybody from the posting.

Ben Forstag:

So they’re trying to proactively hire in case they get some future work.

Christine LaPorte:

Absolutely. As a recruiter, it’s always good to have your pipeline full of talent. Often, people are searching to fill those pipelines with producers, designers, web developers, etc. They might not have secured budget for those opportunities. There are a number of reasons those jobs could be posted.

It’s important for people to know when they are applying.

Ben Forstag:

Sometimes, those jobs that are posted, they’re real jobs but they’re not like a permanent full-time job, right?

Christine LaPorte:

Exactly. Also, often jobs are posted and it’s unclear if that is a contract, if it’s full-time, or part-time, and when it could start. Often people post jobs for budget they know they will secure but maybe not until a quarter down the line, like Q2 or Q3. They’re actually sourcing now but the starting date could be very far into the future.

I always encourage clients of mine, talent, to ask when they’re having those conversations, when the client is looking to bring that person on and the duration. If it’s full time or part time, really digging in to clarify about that job posting.

Ben Forstag:

I have to say, Christine, this system where jobs might not be real, or the employer is just posting it because they’re forced to and they already have an internal candidate in mind, this doesn’t seem like a really candidate-friendly way to do hiring.

Christine LaPorte:

I would say that it might not be exactly candidate-friendly, but often legally jobs do have to be posted even if there is an internal candidate. It shows growth because it does portray that a company is hiring all of those people and possibly they could be looking at those job descriptions and looking at the candidates applying. I always like to share with my talent as well, very eye-opening statistics.

I went to a party with one of my Fortune 500 apparel clients, the recruiter that works there. We were talking about it and they said, which… I have experienced the same, they said, “I receive one hundred to a thousand, or more, unique applicants per job posting.”

Ben Forstag:

Wow.

Christine LaPorte:

That could be one recruiter working on up to ten or more jobs. Doing the math, that could be up to ten thousand applications that are coming in for their job postings. Think about it, do they have the time, or the bandwidth, or even the interest, to look through all of those applications? I think we know the answer.

Secondly, the majority of my talent that I have brought in for interviews and that have later secured opportunities, did not apply to jobs. It was a very small percentage, especially at my last role as an internal recruiter. I think less than five out of fifty to a hundred job postings were people who had applied online.

Ben Forstag:

Wow, those numbers will tell you a lot. From a candidate perspective, is there anyway to tell whether a job is “real”, or “not real”, or to get the back story on what that job’s all about? Do you just have to apply and see what happens?

Christine LaPorte:

Because of the huge volume of applicants, most people that we have spoken to, and I have experienced the same myself, that when you apply to a job, you often have a canned response that comes back to you with, “We received your application”, or no response. Applying to a job, and expecting to get it, is maybe not realistic, depending on your skill set. Unless you have a really specific skill set like you’re a Ruby on Rails web developer, or something that’s very hard to find…you know, a specific program. But if you have a general skill set, such as a designer, a producer, something in marketing, etc., it is very likely that that recruiter, similar to myself, is hiring somebody who is a referral. Either from their network or because their internal staff is referring a friend or somebody that they know.

That is the best way to get a job, is to be that referral. To know somebody in the company.

Ben Forstag:

I totally agree. I’m going to push you on a number here. You said that you shouldn’t really expect to get a job if you’re doing a “cold apply” if you found the job posting someplace. Do you have any idea what percentage of candidates are found through applying through that job board or through the employer’s online career center page?

Christine LaPorte:

I would say that it depends, again, on if it’s a very linear career and if it’s outside of the creative industry, if it’s something in health care, but if it’s in the creative field, a very small percentage unless they have a very specific skill set. The majority of people I know are securing opportunities through their network.

Which leads to, when people are putting time, effort, and energy into looking for work and they say, “Oh I’ve applied to fifty to a hundred jobs online”, I encourage people to take that time to build and nurture your network of internal employees who work at the company that you are interested in because that is how I have secured every job I’ve ever had. With the exception of one that I applied for online and didn’t enjoy because I had no investment or interest in the company.

Every job besides that, Rolling Stone, Adidas, Out In The Advocate Magazines, all of the above, CMD, RGA, were not from applying to a job posting; they were by finding an internal employee that I connected with, then they referred me for that opportunity.

Ben Forstag:

Absolutely. I think we’re going to jump over to the networking topic in just a few minutes here but I wanted to drill a little deeper on the job boards and posts question. I know that sometimes the company themself is not posting the job, they are using an advertising agency or sometimes a recruiter to post those jobs and to do the search for them. How does that work when there’s a recruiter involved?

Christine LaPorte:

There are two types of recruiters. There’s one…and I’ve worked as both…one, you could be an internal recruiter so you work for a company and you’re employed by that company, and you are recruiting internal staff who work there with you, alongside you. Or you could work as a recruiter at a placement agency and that agency will have often a number of different clients. You are recruiting talent for opportunities with onsite, and maybe offsite, for those clients.

It’s good to know when you are talking to the recruiter, what their relationship is with the client. Definitely building that relationship so that they know what you’re looking for, so they can find a role that’s a good fit.

Ben Forstag:

When the recruiter is the one behind the job posting, when you apply to that job post, your information is being sent to a recruiter who may or may not work inside the company. What does the recruiter do with that then? Is it just the normal vetting processing like a hiring manager would do?

Christine LaPorte:

Absolutely. They would look and see if the hard skills are a good fit, and experience, then they could reach out if it is a good fit. Then have a conversation on the phone, then definitely an in-person interview to vet that talent before sending them either to their internal hiring manager or to their external client.

Ben Forstag:

Let’s say you see a great job online on a job board or on a company’s career page and you know that there’s a recruiter behind that someplace. Should you apply through the job board and follow the directions on the job post or try to reach out to the recruiter offline through some kind of outside means. Is there any advantage to the insider track?

Christine LaPorte:

I definitely encourage people, absolutely, to be looking at job postings because they are a clue that there is most likely a job that you could get. They should definitely apply through the system, so that your information lives there because that’s where the recruiter will need to find it. I also encourage people…recruiters are overwhelmed as well as HR managers, so often, they don’t enjoy being hit up, etc., with emails or texts, or LinkedIn messages because they are inundated with thousands of messages.

The best way to find out the information about that job is if you have a friend or a friend-of-a-friend, that is in that company, that could make an introduction for you for that role. The sweeping majority of the people I hired when I was an internal recruiter were referred to me by the internal staff that I was already working with. There was already that level of trust and you were negating risk because birds of a feather flock together. I knew they would be of the same caliber as the talent that were already employed.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, I know employers love referrals from their existing employees and it sounds like part of that is because they already know and trust their employee so anyone recommended by the employee comes with the pre-seal of approval.

Christine LaPorte:

Absolutely and it’s so appreciated. That partnership is just very invaluable between a recruiter and that internal staff for them to guide them to the right talent find if they know somebody who’s a good fit.

Ben Forstag:

Some organizations offer big bounties right? Rewards for referring candidates that actually get hired.

Christine LaPorte:

Yes, we definitely had one at the places I worked and when I reach out to friends and say, “Hey would you like to connect and have coffee with this person?” I inquire, “Do you have a  finder’s award?” The sweeping majority of the time, the answer is yes which is great, because that incentive is important. It’s invaluable to have a  great referral.

Ben Forstag:

Absolutely.

You said earlier that reaching out by LinkedIn or email isn’t always necessarily the best play when you’re trying to get inside information. It’s often better to try to work through a friend or a friend-of-a-friend in the organization. What if you don’t have any contacts in the organization? Is there another way to get yourself known in front of decision makers?

Christine LaPorte:

Absolutely. Being in Portland, the creative market is smaller than we think, because everybody is connected to everybody, and if you are not, I encourage my career coaching clients to attend the wealth of incredible events that are happening. Make sure that you are connecting with the right people that work at the companies that you’re interested in and forming authentic relationships and partnerships. You’re not only asking them to help you but you’re offering what you can do to help them as well. Because every job I’ve ever received, besides the one I applied to online, was from a partnership and somebody knowing that I wanted to be there more than anybody and helping me.

Since I launched my career coaching business over a year ago, I would say that all of my clients are working at places because of an internal ally that has helped them secure that opportunity.

Ben Forstag:

When you’re taking this networking approach, if you’ve already applied to the job, is it too late in the process to start doing that networking? Do you need to start laying that foundation, three months, six months before you even apply to the job?

Christine LaPorte:

I encourage everybody to be networking and to nurture their network because I definitely believe that people who are full-time have the delusion of security, people who are freelance have the delusion of freedom. Anytime, there could be a re-org and people could be laid off, which we saw last year in Portland, is a great example. That’s normal in the creative industry, so it’s incredibly important to always be nurturing your network and building it.

It’s more authentic if you have that connection before the job posting goes up, that you have  a pre-existing relationship, versus, it could seem a bit forced, that now this job has popped up and you’re trying to make a connection. Have in mind what your target companies are and start meeting people and be sharing why you want to be there and why you want to contribute to those companies.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, I imagine walking up to someone at a networking event and saying, “Hey, I just applied for this job at so-and-so. Let’s talk about it.” That could be an awkward moment for both parties involved right?

Christine LaPorte:

Absolutely. It’s so much more authentic if you go and say, “This is why I love your company. What you’re doing resonates with me and I find it incredible.” That you want to learn about them and how you can contribute, so that you’re building that relationship. That way, when an opportunity opens, they already know.

That is how I secured a lot of my opportunities, when I moved from New York to Los Angeles I had interned at Rolling Stone. Again, I had very limited experience as a photo producer so I met with the magazines that I was interested in like Los Angeles magazine, Out In The Advocate, and when they had that opportunity with Out In the Advocate, Gay Advocacy magazines, they called me even though I had less experience, I had more passion for the brand. They knew that I wanted to be there more than anybody.

Ben Forstag:

Great. One more question for you, Christine; how does a recruiter facilitate this process? Networking is clearly an important piece. Can a recruiter suggest you to the right places, can they introduce you to people, or is that much more of a transactional connecting you to opportunities that they already have in hand?

Christine LaPorte:

I would say the latter. They are very busy and they could offer that as well but they have clients and they have roles they need to fill. I really encourage my talent to be proactive and to look online. After I meet with my clients, I have a long list of websites that I share that include all of the creative companies and places in Portland and groups that are having events. I really encourage people to be proactive about their networking. Build those alliances, be out there, be relevant and be engaged.

Ben Forstag:

Great. Thank you so much for this conversation Christine. It’s been great. Tell us what’s coming up for you in the next year or so.

Christine LaPorte:

I am excited. I just had my second PDX Women Unite event and I’m continuing to partner with the other great organizations in Portland like Ladies Night, PDX Women in Tech, so that we can all support each other and each other’s events, and just cross promote, etc. We’re building a great co-working women’s space in Central Office East. i’m excited to be a part of that. I’m continuing to see individual clients. I’m planning some upcoming women’s groups career strategy sessions.

We’re also going to be rolling off a Layoff Support Package, because so many creative talent, as we talked about, experience layoffs in Portland and globally. They are given resources that are often generalist. I am excited to offer companies a package that is specific to tech, to apparel, from someone like myself who’s worked with Adida, who’s worked with Intel, Microsoft, HP, and understands that landscape to help those creatives when they experience layoffs to be prepared to get their next opportunity quickly.

Ben Forstag:

That’s great, Christine.

Christine LaPorte:

Thank you.

Ben Forstag:

If people want to learn more about you, they can go to your website, that’s pdxcareercoach.com.

Thanks for joining us, Christine.

Christine LaPorte:

Thank you so much, Ben.

Ben Forstag:

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Becky and Jessica. Tell me, team, what was the big takeaway you got from Christine today?

Becky Thomas:

I thought it was really enlightening to hear the other side of the story, whether you’re an internal recruiter or whatever, she’s been in those roles. She knows, “If you have a thousand job applications coming at you, how do you really manage those.” The fact of referrals, and how they just make the recruiter’s life so much easier. I can totally understand why a bunch of online applications aren’t going to be the way for you to find the right candidate.

On the other hand, it’s frustrating to hear that from the job seeker side because that is how job seekers are encouraged to get jobs. It’s like, “No no no, don’t call us. Don’t show up at our office. Apply online.” I did appreciate when Christine got into the, “Get out there and get yourself relevant and really nurture your network.” I think that that is the piece that’s the aha for job seekers who are like, “Well I’m supposed to apply online but..” She says, “Yeah, apply online but then get out there and meet those people in that company.” It came full circle for me.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, one of the things that I remember a previous guest telling me, “Oftentimes recruiters have no way to manually enter a candidate into their applicant tracking system.” If you don’t apply online, even if they want to, they literally can’t get you into their consideration process. You have to follow the rules that are prescribed, then do more on the side to get your name to the top.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, we’ve talked about that before, of like, make those connections so you are getting your name recognized or making those actual in-person connections that will get your foot in the door, but also you have to go through the formal process as well or else all that networking you  just did is invalidated.

I agree with you Becky, that is was really good to hear the other side of that. Ten thousand applicants, you can’t respond to every single one of them even though it does feel dehumanizing when you’ve applied and you’ve put all of this blood, sweat, and tears into this job application, or this job, that you feel is perfect for you, and you don’t hear anything at all. It’s really hard but at the same time, I get it from that other side.

I liked her points about, especially in Portland, there’s a lot of networking events. Going and making those connections, and I think the resource that you shared today would be really helpful also for people to utilize. As well as other types of things like that to break it into bite size pieces to make it a little bit more manageable. You don’t have to go to a networking event every single day but try to put yourself out there into those situations and meet people who are in the industry that you want to be in and don’t give up.

The numbers are hard to stomach but something will work out.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, I think oftentimes, job seekers and employers are lost in their own little silos and never the two shall meet, and I think both sides would benefit from some empathy. Thinking about what the other side is experiencing.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, empathy is life, man.

Ben Forstag:

Hearing the burden that recruiters have to go through, that gives you some perspective into what they’re dealing with, and likewise, we’ve all been in the place of the job seeker and you know how frustrating it is. You see that job online and you have no idea whether this is a real opportunity, do they have to put this out there, have they already hired someone for it?

Jessica Black:

Or you just never know how many other applicants there are. Yeah, it’s just hard.

Ben Forstag:

Well, thank you guys for your input, and thank you, Christine, for joining us. Thank you, our listeners, for downloading today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job

The big takeaway of this episode is that networking and connections matter. You need to learn how to make valuable connections. One way you can do that is through social media. Again, with our online course, How to Wow and Woo Employers Online, we teach you the basics of how to use social media to leverage connections, to meet new employers, and to make a good brand online.

You can access this free course online at macslist.org/wow.

Join us next Wednesday when our special guest will be Anne Pryor. She’ll explain why you need a portfolio career and how to do it.

Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job!

 

In today’s world, applying for a job online means you’re bound to face some fierce competition. In some cases, you may be competing with an internal candidate. And in other instances, you may be competing with recruiters working for the hiring manager. Any number of online job postings may attract hundreds of applicants. How do you stand out from the crowd? Get expert insights from talent recruiter and owner of PDX Career Coach, Christine LaPorte.

About Our Guest: Christine LaPorte

Christine LaPorte has been a talent recruiter for Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Rejuvenation and R/GA. Today, as the owner of PDX Career Coach, Christine gives creative professionals the tools and strategies they need to connect with hiring managers and get competitive salaries.

Resources in this Episode:

  • New Tool: Mango is a networking app that helps you navigate LinkedIn to deepen and grow your professional connections.
  • Listener Question: Germaine Couldis from the Bay Area has worked for the same company since she graduated from high school. Fifteen years later, she’s ready to move on but is worried her lack of a bachelor’s degree will limit her job prospects.
  • More from Christine LaPorte: Go to pdxcareercoach.com to connect with Christine and learn her story.