Recruiters, no matter what field, can have it rough. It takes a special kind of person to be able to handle the bad attitudes and foul language at times to still want to help someone find a job. Here at SavvyCoders, students work with a couple of Tech recruiters and learn how to set up a LinkedIn Account, dos and don’ts of a resume and how to interview. Below is an interview with Stephanie Grimshaw who is one of our Tech Recruiters. It is jam packed with essential information!
Name Stephanie Grimshaw
Job title Senior Talent Acquisition Career Coach / Technology Recruiter
Give a description of your job responsibilities
Mentor, recruit, hire, train technology professionals within a variety of companies / IT positions nationally. Work with clients / hiring managers to understand their needs within their IT teams and assist them in filling their open positions. Assist hiring managers in identifying and qualifying actual needs for their teams, building successful technology teams within technology companies/business units.
What role do you have at Savvy Coders
Advisory Board Member / Instructor / Career Coach / Mentor
What do you find that job seekers have the most “issues” with when it comes to looking for a job in IT?
Identifying the right positions for themselves, feeling underqualified and not seeing the value in applying to some positions vs others. How to effectively represent themselves with a good resume and then represent themselves accurately in an interview.
What do you find that job seekers are the best at when it comes to looking for a job in IT?
Finding a ton of jobs that they apply to blindly – everyone I have ever encountered needs help as a job seeker.
How long should a resume be for the IT career field?
Depends on the level of experience / if someone has 10+ years it needs to be a couple of pages and tailored to the job description – outlining all transferable skills. If it is someone with very little experience it needs to be at least 1 page with the 1 st 3 rd of the page highlighting everything as much as possible of their experience/skills relevant to the position they are applying to. Every
single person is different.
Should a resume have everything you’ve ever done on it?
It depends on how much work experience someone has – see the above answer.
How important is a cover letter? What should go into one?
I do not believe in cover letters – if you have a solid professional summary that explains your experience specific to the position your applying for AND all of that information is in the body of the resume showing how / what etc. With each position – a cover letter is redundant. If you do have a cover letter – a summary of why you’re a good fit for the job your applying to, everything you bring to the table – again this should all be in your resume as well.
What are the best job boards?
LinkedIn, Dice, Zip Recruiter, Indeed
What are some things job seekers should look out for? (ie: red flags)
They need to do research on the companies they are applying to – Glassdoor reviews, number of positions open, reoccurring similar positions opening/closing/opening again (could be high turnover and not a good work
environment) – connect with people on LinkedIn / STL Tech Slack that work within these companies and ask for info on why they like working there.
Fake jobs that are posted – meaning not really a position open and just trying to capture a candidate’s info. For every job that is posted on a job board – you should be able to see the same job on that company’s website in the careers section.
Should you follow up with an employer? If so, how long after you’ve
Yes a min of 3 days, past that at least once a week.
What interview advice do you have?
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool to research a company, positions that are open, people that work there – people you may know that work at those companies that can assist you through the interview/hiring process – always send a message with any connection request – everyone has value, make sure your value is known.
What questions should you ask before/during/after an interview?
a. What makes someone successful in this group?
b. Why is this position available?
c. What is the greatest challenge in this position?
d. How do the applications you are working on effect other areas of the company?
e. Could you share with me a little about your experience and background?
f. What can I learn to help me “hit the ground running”?
g. What are the group goals for the year?
h. Tell me about the projects your working on
i. What are a few things you like about working at this company?
j. What are some things that you dislike?
k. What is the opportunity for growth – long term
l. What are some future technologies you would see the team working in?
m. Do you have any additional questions or concerns about my experience /
background based on what we have discussed today = Can I elaborate on
n. What are the next steps in the interview process?
o. What is the timeline your looking to fill this position?
Is it important to do research on the company you have an interview with?
Yes the more you research the company, the work that they are doing, the people you are interviewing it will give you a better understanding of if this is going to be a good fit for you. It also shows you are dedicated/committed and took the time to do the research which employers are also looking for. It will also give you some additional questions to ask – the more you research, the more questions you will have.
Send detailed thank you notes to the people you interview with – talk about your interest in the position, your strengths specific to the position, if there was a question you felt you could have answered better – answer it better in the thank you note, add that detail. If there are things you could learn ahead of time before starting the position, add that in there as well. Close the thank you note with your excitement in the company and that you are looking forward to the next steps. ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE ELSE PROOFREAD YOUR THANK YOU NOTE before you send it. Email it immediately and then follow it up with a handwritten note that you mail in. (if you have the physical mailing address)
What advice do you have for students who are currently at Savvy Coders?
Stay in the code – it is not like riding a bike, you will lose it if you do not use
it. Rework your projects and add frameworks – add databases, build out a
new API – stay in the code.
What advice would you have for the alumni of Savvy Coders that might be having some issues landing the job?
Go back and re-audit the program as we have added quite a bit of new instruction both functionally and technically – keep learning – keep adding to personal projects – network on STL Tech Slack – get to meetups, network on LinkedIn