Toni Thompson is the Diversity and Inclusion Manager for McCann Erickson NY. In this role, Toni recruits entry- to mid-level account leaders, strategic planners and creatives (art directors and copywriters).
1 What do you know about the job search process as a recruiter that you wish more jobseekers knew?
I wish jobseekers knew just how much the “little things” matter – from your initial “hello” to the thank you email. One typo, rambling answer, or failure to ask a question can cost you the job. Be prepared.
2 What is an example of something a strong candidate did very well or that impressed you?
A candidate I interviewed over a year ago continues to send me bi-monthly emails with interesting articles about technology and diversity, two interests I mentioned in our initial meeting, and updates me on his current job responsibilities. There are very few people who know how to build a meaningful relationship with recruiters. This guy did it well.
3 What is a pet peeve or dealbreaker that candidates may unwittingly or carelessly do?
A deal breaker for me is when a candidate misrepresents their role in a company or on a team. If I ask a few probing questions about a point on their resume and they don’t have anything substantive to say, I know the interview is over.
4 Many jobseekers spend a lot of time fretting about the resume. Is this a good idea? What is another area (interviewing, networking, follow-up, online profile, company research, etc) that you recommend jobseekers spend significant time on?
After your resume is 100% and your online profiles are up to date and appropriate for an interviewer to view, candidates should spend time reading industry news and forming an opinion on current events. They should also spend significant time doing self reflection on what they’ve done, what they’ve learned, what they want to conquer next, etc… Confident (not cocky) candidates who know themselves well and who present themselves as the driver of their careers, get the job…always.
5 What is one favorite piece of advice you’d like to share with jobseekers to make them more effective in their searches (and better candidates for yours)?
One piece of advice I’d like to give jobseekers is to form an opinion. Having a point of view when applying to an ad agency is vital, it’s what our clients pay us for. You need to have a POV on current trends within your area of expertise and the industry in which you want to work, what you can offer a company, what you hope you can learn from them, etc…
Next week’s Recruiter Interview features Jean Allen, financial services.