Avoiding the Application Black Hole

No, I’m not talking about the groundbreaking first image of a black hole that broke the internet the past couple weeks (although it is incredible). The Philly Ad Club, Temple Ad Club, and Temple PRSSA sponsored an event that informed attendees of the do’s and don’ts of the job application and interviewing processes to be distinguished among the crowd of other applicants.

The event was moderated by professor Sheryl Kantrowitz, and consisted of a panel of professionals in the advertising and recruitment industry. The panelists were Catherine Laborde, Sabrina Manno, and Rebecca Wuhl, and all three spoke enthusiastically about what they look for when hiring. So what exactly were the key points? They mostly focused on optimizing your application process in ways that break through the clutter of your competition.

First thing’s first, if you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, it’s time to bite the bullet and sign up. Already have one? Great! Make sure your account is being utilized in a way that helps you land a job. Networking is everything, both in person and on social media, and LinkedIn is certainly no exception. Connect with the Temple Alumni Network, and ask for professors or internship supervisors to write you a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the platform.

Another topic that was covered was optimizing your resume by proofing it to perfection and quantifying work in your experience section. For all the creatives out there: keep your resume template simple, and let your work speak for itself.

When writing a cover letter, know who you’re writing to! It seems obvious, but when you’re applying to several jobs, it can be tempting to copy and paste the same letter to several different companies. It doesn’t help being vague, so if you know the name of the person who will be reading it, make sure you address the letter to them. This also applies to thank you letters!

The event’s panelists also discussed differentiating between following up with the hiring manager and simply stalking them. No one likes a stalker, so just send a thank you email after you finished the interview, and maybe follow up if you haven’t heard back from them after a few weeks. If you still don’t get a response, don’t stress and move on to the next opportunity. No one likes a stalker.

Other topics that were discussed during tonight’s event were optimizing the subject line in emails to stand out, solid questions to ask during an interview, researching before interviews, and maximizing your soft skills to give you a leg up against your competition.

With the spring semester coming to an end, events like these are crucial for setting up soon-to-be graduates with all the skill sets they need to enter the workforce with a smooth transition. Remember to keep your head up and use these tips to help yourself get the job you deserve.

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