TechSmith hiring managers see a lot of resumes. For any open position, they might personally review hundreds of cover letters and resumes. Given their experience, we asked for their opinions on how to best stand out from the crowd.
In the interview below, marketing managers Amy Somerville and Katie Moore share their experiences and what they look for in candidates applying to be the newest addition to the TechSmith team. Read on for helpful hints!
When you’re looking at resumes, what makes one stand out from the others?
AS: I look for something that’s really organized, anything that’s a quick read that I could glance at and understand that person’s background. Bullet points are easiest because I’m usually going through about 50-60 at a time. No spelling errors.
KM: It’s important that applicants can convey what they mean to say in an efficient way. When hiring for a position, I look through hundreds of resumes, so I appreciate the people who clearly and concisely state their interests, experience and passion.
So you like to see people get really specific?
AS: Yes. Tell me why you’re interested in this specific job at this company. I want to know that you want THIS job, not just any job.
What about the rest of the application?
AS: This is maybe just a quirk of mine, but I like when the cover letter matches the resume, the same formatting. It shows me that this person has really thought things through.
KM: I look at cover letters closely. It’s important to me that cover letters be more than just a summation of a person’s resume. The cover letter is an applicant’s chance to show me how they communicate – their tone, their interest in the position, their understanding of the company and culture. I look for genuine passion and understanding of the role and the company. In my experience, people really set themselves apart with dynamic, passionate cover letters.
AS: I like to see people have a personality of some sort, especially for creative jobs. Take the time to personalize your resume but don’t go too far. Sometimes people will put entirely unrelated things on their resumes as far as skills and hobbies. Finding a balance here is key!
When you’re interviewing a candidate, what do you look for in person?
AS: Someone who is prepared and professional! It shows me someone is serious about a position when they are dressed appropriately for an interview and I can really tell when they’ve put in the time to prepare for the interview.
I can usually tell when people haven’t thought about anything ahead of time because they freeze or they panic. When someone is prepared and confident it is easier to get to know them and the interview can be more conversational.
I also like when a candidate asks me questions. The more specific questions about the position the better.
What else do you look for from applicants?
KM: I manage our Social Media and Evangelism teams, so I’m very interested in applicants’ online personas. I look for creativity, how they engage with others, content they’ve created, and what they’re genuinely passionate or “geeked” about. I’m looking for consistency in the resume and online personas, as well as how they generally conduct themselves online.
What are some of the most creative applications you’ve received?
KM: Most of the applications I have received have been fairly traditional. It’s nice to see resumes with a little flair, like color or design, especially when that flair is part of a person’s personal branding efforts. Developing a personal brand shows creativity and effort, which I really appreciate.