Looking for a job is hard. There’s a reason why so many of us feel uneasy throughout the candidate journey or procrastinate the job search altogether. The process can be really stressful and might leave you feeling insecure along the way. Fine-tuning your resume, ensuring you’re doing the appropriate amount of research, interviewing, negotiating offers and onboarding…it’s a lot. Luckily Capital Group, one of the oldest and largest investment management firms in the world is here to help. Fairygodboss asked three of Capital Group’s recruiters to share some realistic advice for every stage of your job search. They divided their advice into three sections, so no matter where you are in your job search, these recruiters can help improve your process.
Capital Group Recruiters:
April Cahill - Campus Recruiting
April started her professional career with Capital Group in 2014 as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator. She transitioned into being a full-time recruiter for our campus recruiting efforts and now focuses on the program experience for all of our summer interns and full-time campus hires.
Laura Oliver-Suos - Sales and Marketing Recruiting
Laura has over 15 years of experience recruiting and hiring within mid-to large-scale organizations across a variety of industries including financial services, consumer goods and entertainment. Her mission is to connect people with their passion. She thrives off of helping connect talent to amazing new opportunities. She joined Capital Group in 2018 and focuses on filling openings in our marketing, digital, brand, investment services, insights and analytics teams.
Renee Garcia - Corporate Functions Recruiting
Renee began her professional career at Capital Group in 2006 as one of our entry-level customer service representatives. She has since evolved her expertise in every facet of full cycle recruiting. She’s previously supported executive recruiting and has had experience attracting top talent throughout our entire organization. Right now, she is focusing on filling open positions for our corporate functions including finance, legal, risk and communications teams.
Phase 1: You are in research mode. You’re searching for your next career opportunity.
Cahill: I like to think of the research phase of the job search in 3 categories (location, industry, role). It’s important to understand which of those 3 is most important to you when you start this phase:
Location – are you limited to a certain geographical area or do you have a desire to move to a specific city?
Industry – if you have a specific industry in mind, you can narrow down companies based on that.
Role – if a certain type of role is your top priority, you might be more flexible on location and industry to find an opportunity that matches the specific job you have in mind.
Oliver-Suos: Start by assessing the skills, experiences and areas of expertise you’ve developed at this point in your career. Once you have a solid understanding of where you’ve been and your reasons for seeking a change, you can approach your research in a more targeted way. Your reasons for making a switch and the type of contribution you’re looking to make will help you understand the ways in which you can focus your search.
Create a shortlist of organizations within the targeted industries where you can direct your research. From there, take a deeper dive into understanding those organizations’ missions, target audiences and culture. Assess how well those elements align to your own values and narrow your list further. Once you have a relatively detailed list, you can begin to network. Your goal is to get an inside and unbiased understanding of the organization’s cultural values. As you learn, if you like what you’re hearing, begin reviewing the company’s job listings.
Garcia: I would think about the top three things you are looking for in a company, manager, or role. What's most important to you as you begin your search? Plan and set time aside to work on your resume. Resumes take time and often need multiple iterations. Ask for feedback from friends, family or mentors. Don't be afraid to ask for help from your network. I find that most people want to help - asking for five minutes to pick their brain about an opportunity or your search can save you time and energy upfront.
Identify people you may know who have connections to the companies at the top of your list. They may currently work there or have worked there in the past. This may take time to research and ask for help, but it's always good to get the inside scoop on a company. Develop a list of questions to ask during a networking call or to ask a recruiter.
Phase 2: You are actively applying and interviewing. You’ve been job hunting for a while now. You feel that you have a good handle on what you want and what you don’t want.
Cahill: The best way to prepare for interviews is to go through every single job or professional experience you have listed on your resume and practice talking about the goals, contributions, outcomes, challenges and collaboration you experienced in that role. Interviews are nerve-wracking, and if you don’t do deep dive refreshers on your resume, you may find yourself scrambling in an interview to come up with examples that answer the question being asked. Studying your experience and practice talking about it. You’ll feel more confident going into each conversation.
Oliver-Suos: The best way to prepare for interviews as you’re changing industries is to make sure you’re clear on how you’ll apply your expertise within that new industry and for that new audience or customer. As you’re preparing for your interviews, make a list of the ways in which you’ve prepared to make the transition and how you envision applying your skills, knowledge and experience. Help the hiring manager envision you in the role and help ease any doubt they may have around your ability to make the transition. Be somewhat selective about the interviews you’re willing to take—you don’t want to waste your own time or the company’s time if you have the sense the organization isn’t for you.
If you have the impression the organization may be a great fit but are unsure about the role, take the interview! If the role truly isn’t for you, you’ll have left a great impression of your value and they’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities. Following all interviews, send a personalized note expressing your appreciation, even if you’ve decided the role is not for you. Make sure the note is tailored to each person you met with – nobody wants to find out they were sent a copied and pasted version of the same note that four other people received.
Garcia: Practice, practice, practice. Interviews are uncomfortable and intimidating for everyone, and practice can help overcome those nerves. It may sound silly, but I would strongly recommend you sit down with a friend or family member to practice your interview responses. To prepare for an interview, I would review the job description and prepare examples of how you have demonstrated that skill in a previous role or how you might learn that skill in the near future.
It's important to draw the connections between your experiences and what the company is looking for. If there is a qualification listed that you don't have, put together a thoughtful response that explains why you're willing and able to learn that skill. If there is a requirement listed that you're unsure of, don't forget to ask the recruiter for more information on the qualification so you can prepare for future interviews. During the interview, take notes on the responses you received on your questions so you can reference them in any follow up communication. Be sure to ask the recruiter or interviewer when you can expect to hear back. After the interview, don't forget to write a thank-you note and reference key takeaways from the interview. This will help you stand out as a candidate.
Phase 3: You are deciding whether to accept an offer or to keep searching. Your hard work paid off. You’re entering the last phase of the candidate journey where you’re anticipating an offer.
Cahill: I’ll start by saying, waiting to accept job offers may not be possible for everyone depending on your circumstances. For that reason, it is important to think about your expectations on the front end when applying to roles and only apply to companies you’d want to work for. If you have the financial security to be more selective on job offers, do some reflecting at the offer stage.
Make a wish list for your next opportunity, e.g., close to home, 10% pay increase, flexible work hours, dedicated program for learning & development, clear career progression, diverse and inclusive culture, advanced technology, great benefits. Once you have the list of everything you want, force rank your non-negotiables and your nice-to-haves. If the offer and company do not meet your non-negotiables, keep looking.
Oliver-Suos: Understand what your non-negotiables are and where you’ll be somewhat flexible. Are you more flexible on salary than location? More flexible on job title than salary? Keep a long-term perspective by asking yourself if the offer you received today sets you up for where you’d like to be in the near future. Don’t negotiate for the sake of negotiating. If the offer seems fair and meets the expectations you originally laid out for your recruiter, it’s fine to accept it! In some cases, the company may be willing to negotiate, in other cases they may not be. The key here is to connect with your recruiter on a human level and be honest from the start. Make sure they are clear on what you’re looking for and where you can be flexible if necessary.
Email can be fine for quick questions or a quick follow-up, but it’s always best to have longer conversations about an offer via phone. The company has invested a significant amount of time in you and they’ve placed a great deal of faith in you up to this point (evidenced by their offer!). Make sure to take the time to walk them through the decision you’ve made and the reasons behind that decision.
Garcia: Hopefully by this stage, you have some insight into the company's compensation and benefits structure. If not, this is a good time to ask the recruiter for more information about the compensation and benefits. Every company structures their packages differently. It's good to understand what the different components are, so you can adjust your expectations accordingly. Don't be hyper-focused on a dollar amount or one piece of a package. Focus on those things that are most important to you. Be thoughtful and selective on the things you want to push for and don't ignore red flags. You've done your research, you know your worth, and you should stand firm for those things that are must-haves. Respectfully share your perspective if something doesn't align with your expectations and be willing to say no-thank you if the offer doesn't make sense.
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