A note from Tejal
These days, the new trend in recruiting and hiring is video interviews or video resumes. While at first glance, this might be seen as a fun, interactive resume process, it can also create some issues.
Unfortunately, the hiring process is riddled with biases. We as humans innately have biases, shaped from our experiences. Until we teach people in positions of power how to recognize and work with and around these biases, we aren’t going to make much progress in DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion) in the workplace.
When an employer asks you to do a one-way video interview prior to anyone ever speaking with you, know that there’s a strong chance that the employer isn’t going to care about you or your wellbeing after you are hired. The hiring process is akin to the dating process. If they are giving you red flags now, how will they behave once they have you locked down?
The early phases of the interview process should be the time they need to be wining and dining you, not ghosting you. Any employer that ghosts you or treats you poorly during this process, is doing you a favor by showing you their true colors.
Question #1: When to edit down your own work experience
I've been programming and building websites since almost the beginning of the web, in 1994, when I was 12 years old and it was only HTML and images. I learned almost every new technology as it came out. I feel there's value in this fact, and it sort of indicates how deeply I understand the evolution of these technologies, but I also feel like most people would see it as irrelevant or even think it sounds like I'm bragging about something I did when I was a kid. How do I convey this fact in a way that will connect better with employers and serve as a point of interest? – Anonymous
Hi there! As a technical recruiter, I would say that it is irrelevant for the job search.
As a technologist, you know that technology changes constantly, so what was relevant 5 or even 3 years ago isn’t likely to be relevant anymore. I would more so ask why you feel that it’s relevant?
If it’s your passion and you really want to share it, I will say a cover letter, interview, or even in your LinkedIn Summary, is a better place to do so. As an employer, what they care about is: have you done the job, and can you do it again?
I am not trying to discourage you. It’s wonderful that you are passionate about technology. There are so many people that don’t have that passion, and it’s a great thing. That’s where that personal story will earn you more points than other candidates. These days, with all the boot camps and emphasis on software engineering for financial reasons only, your personal connection to the industry can help you stand out from the crowd.
Question #2: Getting a job when you’re overqualified
What is the best way to convince someone to hire you for a job for which you’re over qualified? The reality is I want a lighter intellectual load/less rigorous work schedule so I can focus more on my family, but I feel like saying that might make me seem lazy or unmotivated by work? - Tess
Hi Tess, That’s a great question. I would work that into your summary on your resume, and your cover letter.
It’s totally okay and acceptable to take a step back, however, make sure that your compensation requirements are reflective of you taking a step back. Most of the time that is the biggest concern when an employer is looking at a candidate who has been in a leadership position or steps above the position they are recruiting for.
I was recently working with a friend who is in a similar position, and we worked that into the summary portion of the resume. For their situation, we made sure to include something like, “Having worked as a leader, I realized that where my heart truly lies in being an individual contributor.” No need to note your intentions of focusing on family or any particular reasoning, your employer doesn’t need that information.
It’s important as a culture that we begin to normalize the idea of not needing to “climb the corporate ladder” and that taking a step back down when we need to is perfectly acceptable.
It’s okay to mention this during the interview as well, but try to focus instead on how your more advanced experience will bring a different skill-set than someone with the amount of experience originally listed in the job description.
I believe the hiring process shouldn’t be a nightmare. Many women and people of color feel powerless in the job search and promotion process. Now, I help people learn what recruiters are looking for and what it takes to get promoted. I have been there and done that. As a LinkedIn Top Voice and award-winning talent leader filling over 100 jobs per year, I take a personal and empowering approach to career search. While most resume feedback is very generic, the search is unique. It’s your journey to find passion at work, and I will be your guide.