Staying Connected and Keeping in Touch: Candace Salim’s Job Search Success Story
In late 2017, Candace Salim received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter regarding a role she might be interested in. It didn’t work out at the time, but Candace kept the connection. Two years later, Candace reached out to the recruiter who had previously contacted her to discuss a new role that had opened up. Candace’s candidate experience with Thinkful was so positive, that she knew right away that this company was the right place for her to work. By staying connected with her network and keeping in touch with friends and colleagues on LinkedIn, Candace was able to find a new role in less than a month.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
I work for an incredible, 100% remote EdTech startup called Thinkful. Though primarily based in New York City, we have employees all over the U.S. (including Portland)!
My role as Program Manager for the Atlanta market is to provide non-technical pacing recommendations and overall support to Thinkful students and alumni. Typically, I work with students from the moment they are admitted until their graduation.
How long did it take you to find this job?
I’d been looking for a new role, in general, for about one year. However, once I reached out to Thinkful, specifically, the entire candidate process only took about one month.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
In late 2017, Thinkful landed in Atlanta and I was contacted via LinkedIn by a member of their Recruiting team regarding a role that, in the end, didn’t seem to be the best fit for me. However, I knew that I wanted to keep in touch with the company because I really enjoyed our conversations as well as their product offering and growth trajectory.
In early 2019, a colleague (who also works in the EdTech space) mentioned that she had a friend who recently joined Thinkful and recommended that I get in touch. I reached back out to my contact from those prior conversations in 2017 and we reengaged immediately. Within 3-4 weeks of that conversation, I became a candidate for the Program Manager role and went through several interviews (values/expectations, behavioral, take home assignments, etc). I enjoyed it every step of the way.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
The most difficult part of my job search, when working with other companies/recruiters/hiring managers, would always be the time I spent waiting on responses.
Thinkful did a fantastic job of never leaving me without contact for more than a day or two and that let me know, very early on, that this would be the company for me. Their consideration for my time, as well as very clear layouts of the candidate process, allowed me to feel informed every step of the way.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Network and keep in touch with your contacts. Send that email introduction (always brief and with a direct ask/offer, of course). Make that cold call. Let your friends and LinkedIn community know what types of roles you’re looking for. There are so many different ways to get yourself in front of the stakeholders who make hiring decisions aside from simply submitting your resume online.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because my fellow Program Management team members/supervisor, and the company in general, match my personality so well! This allowed me to come in and immediately identify with the culture, which made me feel more comfortable and productive.