AMA with Matt T. & Justin L. from Flywheel Digital – How to Navigate a Tough Job Market

For our final segment in our spring AMA series, Justin L. and Matt T. from Flywheel Digital joined us to share advice about navigating a tough job market. Flywheel Digital is a digital advertising firm that helps ecommerce brands with their online advertising strategies. Justin and Matt are based in Baltimore, but Flywheel also has a Seattle office.

To start, Justin and Matt shared what Flywheel looks for in a candidate:

  • Flywheel wants go-getters! The candidates that are the best fit are smart individuals willing to work on a team.
  • Rather than applying simply to get a job, Flywheel looks for candidates who are looking to join the company, grow with it, and achieve great things.
  • Having internship experience can help, but it’s not the only thing to get you in the door. There are many ways to gain experience and learn skills to prepare for your career outside of an internship.
  • Flywheel hires candidates from all different academic fields. Don’t be discouraged to apply if you don’t think you have the exact background.

Matt and Justin also shared helpful advice about managing a job search during a tough job market:

Focus your time and efforts on achievable positions.
When reviewing a job posting, start by reading the “Requirements” section and then move on to the rest of the job description. If the position requires 10 years of experiences, don’t apply to that role. There are “reach” positions and then there are “untouchable” roles. However, you should consider applying even if you don’t meet every requirement. If you meet most of the required elements, and the job appeals to you, you should submit your application.

Customize your resume for each job application.
Although it does take time to re-work your resume for each job application, it will be worth it. Many application tracking systems use algorithms to search for keywords, and if the specific keywords don’t appear on your resume, chances are lower that you’ll get through. When reviewing the position’s job description, go through the requirements bullet point by bullet point and make sure those elements and keywords are included in your resume. Also, elaborate how you’ve used skills rather than just listing them, such as explaining how you’ve used Microsoft Excel in your past experience. If you include a “Summary” section at the top, keep it concise and clear.

LinkedIn is great tool if utilized effectively.
Let your LinkedIn network know you’re looking for a job. Include a note in your tagline that you are actively pursuing opportunities for a specific job function or industry. The more detail you can provide about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be for recruiters to find a fit for you. Also, be sure your LinkedIn profile mirrors your resume and that you’ve included all details. Expand your network by searching for people that you may know on LinkedIn, such as family friends, neighbors, or former teachers, and send them a message about why you’re looking to connect. Let your connections know you’re job searching and they may be able to help.

Prepare for Interviews
Before arriving to the interview, research the company and become familiar with what they do. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewers about their company, while avoiding the question about company culture. Also, bring a list of 10 things you want them to know about you during the interview, and if you haven’t had a chance to cover all of them while answering their questions, include it in your own question. For example, if you wanted the interviewers to know you’re an expert at Excel, you could ask something like, “I saw on your website that your company manages a great deal of data. Do you utilize Excel for that? I’ve used Excel for x years in such-and-such experience.” Show that your skills match their needs.

Students are welcome to connect with Matt on LinkedIn to ask any questions. Thank you to Matt and Justin for meeting with us!

By Lindsay Smith
Lindsay Smith Handshake Experience Manager Lindsay Smith