Emily Durham, also known as @emily.the.recruiter is the career coach everyone’s talking about lately. From her podcast The Straight Shooting Recruiter to her insightful Tik Toks with over nearly 15,000 likes, the young recruiter is using her social media presence to give us all the answers we seek to enter the professional realm prepared and ready to face the many challenges that await us.
Whether you’re a student looking for a paid internship, a recent graduate looking for your first job, or simply a young adult ready to undertake more advantageous opportunities Emily is here to help you.
We had the opportunity to chat with the career coach and get the answers to all of our burning questions to better understand her perspective on job hunting and everything it encompasses.
Check out our Job-hunting Q&A below:
We’ve all struggled when looking for a job… And now as evident as it seems the challenges in the process have increased. What do you believe to be the hardest aspect when looking for a job in our current socio-economic situation?
This may be an unpopular opinion, but in my mind the most challenging element of looking for a new role today is the same as it was in 2019, pre-pandemic. Up to 85% of roles that are filled, are never even posted because they are filled by referrals, current employees or people in the manager’s network. The biggest challenge is tapping into this ‘underground market’ to build a network, and develop meaningful relationships with recruiters and hiring managers. The good news? Networking is far more accessible in today’s virtual world. Now is the right time to reach out to industry leaders on LinkedIn for virtual career chats or informational interviews. A strong network is a game-changer.
So it could be said that the current job industry is witnessing a positive change, do you think that there has been an increase in the availability of opportunities for young adults and graduates?
Thankfully – yes. We are starting to see most organizations have an increase in hiring similar to pre-pandemic rates. As an added bonus- today’s market is global. Working for a company in Texas from Toronto? Do-able. Working for a company in Paris from Australia? A piece of cake. Early career talent now has the benefit of a virtual and global work environment. With the rise of work from home, companies are more open than ever to having a global workforce.
The possibility of a globalised working network seems encouraging, however, rejection is still a central topic of worry amongst recent graduates and young adults in the search for a job. In your opinion, should one deal with rejection? And what can we learn from it in order to advance in our career?
The first step to dealing with rejection is accepting that it hurts. You prepared for hours, rehearsed your answers in the mirror and put on your best outfit, all to be told you didn’t get the job. Allow yourself to mourn. But after an hour of a sad movie and ice cream, it’s time to move on.
Rejection is an opportunity to grow, learn and develop. I always advise reaching out to the recruiter to ask for feedback, once you feel ready. My advice? Take this feedback as fuel to practice and grow in your craft, so you’re even better next time… Reaching out for feedback also lets the recruiter know that you are serious about your development. Trust me, they will be open to considering you again in the future because of this.
Would you say that confidence is a key aspect necessary to overcome rejection? If so, how should young adults maintain it in such challenging times?
My cheesy, but very practical advice, is fake it ‘till you make it. Even as a recruiter, I still get filled with anxiety, butterflies and self-doubt before every interview. For me, reframing what an interview is has been of vital helo. I used to think of interviews as interrogations where I had to prove myself. But now, as a recruiter, I see that interviews are truly just conversations to learn more about what you do and why you love it. Step one is remember that this is just a conversation about the topic you know best; you.
Oftentimes, our bodies also give off signs that we are nervous or insecure. Pro tip? Even if you’re nervous, don’t let your body show it. Practice deep breathing exercises before your next interview, make eye contact, smile and speak slowly. I always video tape answering common interview questions to evaluate my body language tone and answers. Ultimately, remember that it’s normal to be nervous!
Do you think that recruiters can help in this process? Can they encourage young adults in their job search and maximise the number of applications?
In my opinion, it is all about making safe spaces. For me, I create safe spaces on social media to connect with talent and answer questions in a way that is organic and authentic. Connecting with talent in this manner has helped so much in increasing application rates for my roles and, I hope, is making a real difference.
As a recruiter, which ones would you say are the most important qualities that one must include in their CV? Which qualities do you look out the most for?
Every recruiter will have a different opinion on what a perfect resume looks like. I always urge candidates to forget about having a ‘perfect’ resume, because a perfect resume does not exist. Instead, in my career coaching sessions and in my podcast, we focus on avoiding resume “sins”. These sins are things all recruiters universally despise. Avoid these and the rest is easy as pie. I go in depth about these topics in my podcast!
The sins to avoid:
1. Poorly Designed: Is your resume 5 pages? Is your resume hot pink? Does your resume use comic sans? If you answered yes to any of these- it’s time for a new resume. Great resumes are 1 to 2 pages, have simple designs that are easy to follow and use 5 to 6 bullet points for each work experience.
2. There’s no data: every resume needs data! Use data to quantify the amount of work that you’ve done, how many reports you filed or how many customers you served. This helps recruiters understand the quantity of work that you’ve done.
3. Lack of Details: Write your resume in a way that clearly outlines the work that you have done, including the specific outcomes of your work.
With the digitalisation of various industries and networking sectors many argue that social media become a viable alternative to traditional job search. Do you consider this to be true? If so, how can one maximise its use?
Social media feels like a viable alternative for everything these days! My honest answer? Social media is a great compliment to traditional job searching tools but is not a replacement.
You can follow your favorite recruiters on social media, learn from them and DM them when you apply for jobs at their company. This is such a unique way to stand out, make and impact and you guessed it, network as well.
Would you say that it is necessary to have a separate social media account for professional development or can personal accounts entertain both functions?
I personally mix my “real life” and “recruiter life.” If a company doesn’t want me at my “watching netflix in my pjs” then they don’t deserve me at my “just filmed a youtube video.” Bring your whole self to work, even if that is online.
Referring to the online persona, we wanted to know your thoughts about its relationship as a result of our current situation. Undoubtedly, because of the changing dynamic, a lot of opportunities are being canceled. Young adults or who are trying to get a first look into their respective industries feel limited by the physical and social limitations that are being put in place. Do you think that this is something necessarily negative? Or do you think that this allows us to prioritise our online persona?
I am an extrovert, a big one. I am absolutely missing human interaction. However, networking and relationships in a virtual world are pretty special. This is a rare moment in history, where the entire world has a shared experience, we are all at home.
Use this as an opportunity to connect with potential companies, mentors, or friends on LinkedIn, Instagram TikTok and Club House. Given that folks are home, they are more likely to make time for these conversations.
If you want to keep up with our career coach and keep getting insights on the best ways to maximise your professional development don’t forget to follow Emily.
Words By Chiara Ferrari