5 Ways to personalize the job search πŸ‘‹πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈhttps://growintech.substack.com

When it comes to the job search, you might assume that there’s no personality involved, it’s all number anyways. While it’s true that quantity is important to the job search process, the quality of the job search is no less important.

Here are five ways to add personality into job searching, including interviewing.

  1. Personalize your pitch
  2. Know what kind of companies/people are exciting to work for/with
  3. Personalize your work stories based on your audience
  4. Prepare thoughtul and meaningful questions to ask in interviews
  5. Let your personality shine through your resume

Create a meaningful, personal, intro pitch

When you first meet someone, over Zoom, you want to create a strong connection with them and show them that you are interested in them, the role and the company. The first way to do so is through the way you introduce yourself.

Your pitch forms the foundation of your professional persona. A typical pitch includes an introduction of your name, place of residence, what roles you’ve held in the past, present, and why you continue to choose this profession or why you are switching into a new role. Then you can mention why this role is interesting for you and hand the talking back to the interviewer. You can even ask for them to introduce themselves as well if they haven’t yet.

If a pitch is generic, without your personality, it’s hard for others to create a connection and relate with you. The pitch is a tool for connection, and connection happens through vulnerability and honesty. While you are not laying out your life story, you can infuse small personal details into your narrative that help explain why you made certain professional decisions.

Infusing personality into a pitch can mean using a bit of humor, mentioning major life events/decisions, or something about your personality that connects back to your professional choices.

Know what companies you are excited to work for

A job search where you are applying for every job in your path is a setup for frustration and anxiety. Even if you don’t apply for every job you see, not having clarity on what kind of company matches your career interests and also personal values, sets you up for failure.

Do you know what kind of company culture you want to be a part of? Because if you don’t, you can end up working for some shady people, or people who love to work all the time, expecting the same of you. You can also land a job at a company with generous benefits and strong work/life balance ethic. But do you want to leave this kind of decision entirely up to luck?

Personalize your job search by defining criteria around company type, size and company culture. Once you know that you want to work at an early-stage, high-growth startup, you can focus your attention on those companies. Or if you identify that you want to work with a large team, on a product in international markets, you can seek out large global tech companies. Identify what matters for you, then you can spot it more easily .

Personalize your work experience stories based your audience

During the job search process, you will speak with a variety of people. Some are informational interviews or referral contacts. Some are interviews with people from various roles within the company.

At every stage of the interview you will be asked to speak to your work experiences. The key to creating connection with the various individual is customizing the experience to bring out those details that might be most interesting to them, using shared language, words that show them you know the role and industry.

If you’re a Product Designer, you may interview with a Product Manager, Head of Design, Tech Lead and a Senior Developer. Each person hold different responsibilities and is interested about slightly different parts of the Product Design role. When presenting your work experiences, you can bring out the part of your work that will speak to their role most. This way you can show that you understand their role and are interested in supporting them through your work, as a Product Designer.

Choosing what to highlight can also be a great way to bring out your personality as it related to the person you speak with. You can even ask specific questions to learn what matters most to them about the role you’re applying for, which can help you further tailor your stories and make the conversation relevant to their interests.

Prepare questions to ask during interviews based on what matters to you

Your goals, interests and values are unique to you. That can mean you value working at a Social Impact startup, while another person is looking to work in Fintech. You may derive a lot of value from your work, while another person doesn’t want to dedicate all their time to working. Also, consider your financial goals, if you’re responsible to support others, a financial goal may outweigh other considerations. That’s why it’s really important to have questions prepared that speak to what matters most to you, so you can gather information to make decisions.

Personally, for me, working with people who communicate well, is top priority. So I asked a lot of questions about how communication is managed within the company. For you, mentoring might be an important element for your career. Ask about that, prepare questions that start a conversation on the company’s outlook on mentoring.

Interviews are timed affairs, so come prepared with a few questions about the interests and values that matter most to you. Anything from work-life balance, team-building, PTO, how expectations are set. Whatever matters to you, ask about those things, have conversations about them, learn how different companies approach them.

Let your personality shine through your resume

Let’s face it, most resumes are impersonal and boring to look at and read. Although you can have the best, most relevant experiences, they can get lost in the statements and bullet points. Some people also try to cram a lot into one single piece of paper, which again, makes it hard to read.

It’s best to treat your resume as a handshake, a first contact with someone with enough information communicated to make you decide you want to speak to them further. When creating your resume, infusing some of your personality can help break up the monotony of resumes recruiters have to stare at everyday.

What that looks like is adding a bit of personal and professional history in the header, maybe even talking about your most recent project you’re proud of and linking to it. How do you relate with others from afar, using a static PDF? Adding some elements like an emoji or language that is casual or conversational. I start my resume with Hey there, I’m Anna. Remember…there is a human being on the receiving end of the Send form. They are tired and are looking for real people. Show them you are real.

You resume is an introduction to who you are as professional and what you care about. Combine a bit of your personality with showcasing relevant experiences. You don’t even have to list all your job history, if it’s not relevant. Focus on the materials that matter, like your journey into the career, your projects, your values, your professional interests. Linkedin is always there to read your 10+ years of jobs if someone really wants to know what you did in 2011. You resume is your place to shine and connect with humans that work at companies you are excited to work at.

About me:

👋 Hi, I'm Anna. I am a Product Manager and a Career Coach for navigating your career in tech. I support people in tech find their first or next job and build meaningful careers. My events are meant to create community and support during your job search.

Find me on Linkedin.

📫Want to receive resources about growing your career in tech?

Subscribe to my newsletter