My short bio: At our last AMA 12 months ago we helped hundreds of people answer important career questions and are back by popular demand! We're a group of experienced advisors who have screened, interviewed and hired thousands of people over our careers. We're now building Mentat (www.thementat.com) which is using technology to scale what we've experienced and provide a way for people to get new jobs 10x faster than the traditional method - by going straight to the hiring managers.

My Proof: AMA announcement from company's official Twitter account: https://twitter.com/mentatapp/status/879336875894464512

Press page where career advice from us has been featured in Time, Inc, Forbes, FastCompany, LifeHacker and others: https://thementat.com/press

Materials we've developed over the years in the resources section: https://thementat.com/resources

Edit: Thanks everyone! We truly enjoyed your engagement. We'll go through and reply to more questions over the next few days, so if you didn't get a chance to post feel free to add to the discussion!

Comments: 2787 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

Penismassage1066 karma

How should I respond if they ask me about job jumping (I.e. Switching jobs every few years)? Companies aren't loyal to you anymore but expect you to be, and the only way to move up is by leveraging your current position to land a better one elsewhere.

Is it appropriate to ask an interviewer for feedback to improve myself for the future?

mentatcareers1820 karma

This is a tricky question to tackle broadly since every industry has different norms and perspectives on tenure.

For example, a 12-24 month tenure in some industries (consulting, early-level investment banking & private equity, large tech) is perceived as normal, while it would be shockingly short in pharmaceuticals.

Our advice is generally you want to be testing your market value and opportunities for promotion constantly, but be sensitive to your industry's norms.

The standard answer that does not raise eyebrows during an interview is along the lines of "I was able to land a position that offered more responsibility, opportunity and career development."

jongbag753 karma

How difficult is it for someone to get hired in their field again if they're coming off of a year "sabbatical" or similar? Does it change by experience level? I have 3 years of experience in my field, and would really like to do some traveling...

mentatcareers687 karma

We work with many clients who are returning to the workforce or have gaps in their work experience. It is important to mention the reasoning for any of these in BOTH the cover letter and any warm introductory emails you send during your job search.

If the gap is less than 6 months, it is fairly normal and most hiring managers will not mention it in an interview. Given there are non-competes, garden leaves, and other common reasons for a gap, you'll only really need to go in depth if you are not working for over a year.

10bass341 karma

[deleted]

mentatcareers248 karma

Reaching out to your network can be a great way to break into your industry, and it can be useful when trying to overcome the hurdle of a lack of experience from not being able to find a relevant job. If you are still acquiring skills in your unrelated job that could be relevant to a position in a different industry, talk about that. Reach out to people on LinkedIn. Talk about your career goals in your summary. A lack of work experience is definitely a big obstacle but it isn't the nail in the coffin of your job search - you'll just have to find creative and more direct ways around it, like direct outreach.

TheRealVilladelfia598 karma

I need a change of career, but I have no idea what I want to do, just that I want to do something else. What's your advice on seeking out a new career?

mentatcareers1021 karma

One exercise we go through with candidates is identifying different family friends within your network. What professions do the people around you have? Aunts, uncles, friends of your parents, older alumni from your high school or college, etc. Grab a coffee or a beer with them and really pick their brain.

You'd be surprised by how much people love to give advice and guidance for someone interested in their field. Don't be too shy to reach out!

whatuppppp562 karma

Cover letters -- how important or not important are these actually? I'm sure it varies greatly by industry and maybe even by geographical location, but in general what are your thoughts on writing them, and ideal length?

mentatcareers903 karma

Great question! We've worked with over a dozen career counselors here in the Bay Area and maintain a large network of recruiters -- the direction the hiring industry is moving towards is placing more emphasis on customizing covering emails -- cover letters are seen as a prerequisite and are often unread.

Nevertheless, it's good to include one as it passes a minimum bar -- we recommend 2-3 paragraphs and a density of roughly 75% of one full page. Mirror the header that you use in your resume.

korkidog446 karma

I'm an older worker (60) who has spent most of his life as a janitor or janitor supervisor. I have other skills, but I feel most jobs won't even consider me due to my age or because I'm a janitor. Is there something I could put on my resume so a company would at least give me an interview?

mentatcareers355 karma

It's definitely not impossible for older job seekers to make career changes and find something new with their experience. Make sure you are CURRENT - create a LinkedIn profile if you don't already have one and take the time to fill it out and put in a nice, professional headshot. You have a lot of work experience that can be relevant to other fields, so research the positions that you'd like to work in and emphasize how your background will help you to fulfill the requirements of the position. Be prepared to be flexible in terms of payment, don't undersell yourself but realize that if you come off as an expensive hire, you may be passed over for a younger worker willing to settle for less money. Finally, tap into your network, talk to friends/past colleagues or anyone you know working in the industry you're looking to change into. This can be a great help in landing a new position.

iMexi427 karma

Hello my name is Jose Palacios I am a Labor Consultant based out Los Angeles, Ca. I been self employed for over two years now. I notice that I am able to receive more phone calls from cold calling whenever I use the name Joe Palace. What would suggest for brownies like my self in order to stand out and not be stereotyped?

mentatcareers556 karma

Hi Jose, good question. This is a hot topic of debate within the recruiter community currently and hiring managers are definitely becoming more aware of their biases. There have been a number of studies proving that yes, discrimination does exist; here's a recent one:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2017/05/17/minorities-who-whiten-resumes-get-more-job-interviews/#49ba55c57b74

In general, we don't recommend changing the last name on resumes as it creates problems during the hiring process. However, if you are comfortable going by Joe at the workplace, that is completely acceptable to use on your resume. We often utilize this practice for Asian legal names when the candidate goes by an American name.

More in-depth studies show that aligning your skills and interests to the norm is beneficial -- I hate that stereotyping is a large part of hiring and we wouldn't suggest "whitewashing," but try to align your profile to your industry.

sgtkiwii277 karma

What is your best advice for not giving up? I'm a recent college graduate and honestly these last few months have been demoralizing. I've resorted to even applying for janitor positions in town until I can find something with my degree but still cannot even get a call back for an interview. All I know is how to be a student.

Edit: I'm willing to work any hours, any days, and even willing to relocate literally anywhere as long as the pay allows for me to have somewhere to live. Maybe all that just makes me look more desperate?

Edit 2: thank you all that responded! I've taken all of your advice to heart (even if I didn't respond) and I know it will make a difference. Thank you everyone :)

mentatcareers215 karma

Hi sgtkiwii, don't give up! Companies like ours were started to help jobseekers because the system is. just. so. broken.

What degree did you study, and more importantly, what are your strengths and interests (which can become skills down the line)?

Hopefully you aren't advertising yourself as willing to do anything -- remember that this process is more similar to dating than college applications. Don't forget you're also interviewing the company and coworkers.

princessblowhole267 karma

My mom has been unemployed for more than a year, and simply can't seem to find a job. She sends out applications all day, gets interviews, and has been a final candidate on several occasions, but she still hasn't landed a job. She's 58 years old with many years of journalism/communication experience, and has won multiple awards for her writing, so her resume is quite impressive. She and I both believe that there may be some ageism at hand, though of course we can't be sure. What are some things she may be able to do when applying and interviewing for jobs that could help her stand out amongst younger candidates with similar resumes?

mentatcareers307 karma

Joining a shrinking industry is definitely a challenge. Media & journalism has been disrupted heavily, and since we're in an age where no one is accustomed to paying for writing, I completely sympathize. If she's been a career journalist, then she'll have to rely on recommendations rather than cold applications to get through the final round.

We've seen folks pivot their media backgrounds into successful careers as marketing directors, B2B communications & strategy roles, and (more sales-y) account manager roles. PR is tricky since it involves maintaining your network, which at 58 may be too late to try. I would recommend she start branching out to companies that have a core enterprise business model (ie sells things to large companies) where they value a more experienced voice in the conference room. Best of luck!

macsblow211 karma

Any suggestions for linked in profiles? I am trying to find a new job that is more than a lateral move. I get a few inquiries through it every month but want to make it more effective

mentatcareers335 karma

A few tips for Linkedin profiles - make sure you search for jobs and save ones that you're interested in, keep all your content up-to-date and formatted in a way that highlights your achievements, use a clear, professional headshot, and don't be afraid to reach out through the messaging feature to recruiters or other companies that post that they are hiring. It can be a great way to get a direct connection with hiring manager/recruiters/HR departments.

chills22146 karma

I feel trapped in a career I don't like, at 27 I want to find something I can enjoy more and feel confident and happy growing within. How do I start and what steps do i need to take to get there?

mentatcareers102 karma

Decide what it is that you want to accomplish in order to reach this feeling of fulfillment. Once you have a clear understanding of what it is you need to work for, you can start to figure out which positions and companies could help you fulfill this. Some people are born to be entrepreneurs and the only way to fulfill their career goals is to break out on their own and start a business. Other people get a great sense of achievement from working on a team and accomplishing a lot for a greater cause like a big company. It all depends on the individual. Once you have a clear idea of specifically what you need to accomplish in order to get this boost of confidence, happiness, and sense of internal growth, you can start to find positions that will help you get there. Make a list of your career goals. Research different companies and their missions and see which ones have values that align with your own. This is a great way to start and hopefully, you'll figure it all out a lot faster.

rakelllama128 karma

At what point in someone's career is it considered worthwhile to go > 1 page on a resume? In the US, are CVs ever useful outside of academia in your opinion? What should be included on your resume if your work is more visual and lends itself to a portfolio better?

mentatcareers152 karma

Good q's - rule of thumb is if >10 years of experience, 2 pages is OK, but US preferences will always be 1 page - CV's only if you are published - If you're in the design/creative space, portfolios are expected. Make sure you have a separate document that can parse through the automated screens on job apps though.

William_Morris34 karma

Make sure you have a separate document that can parse through the automated screens on job apps though

Can you elaborate on that?

mentatcareers84 karma

Certainly! Most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage their hiring pipeline. When you go through a job application and see that certain fields are automatically filled out for you based on your resume, that's when you know your resume is being parsed properly.

However, if you're in a field that requires portfolios, you need human eyes. Email, email, email! Follow-ups are not considered rude, and jobseekers tend to be too shy.

STRiPESandShades124 karma

What kind of advice can you offer this up and coming generation (millennials) that are trying to break into this job market for the first time?

mentatcareers187 karma

Stay open minded, there are many opportunities out there that could seem like they are unrelated to what you want in a career, but could lead to incredible options later down the road. Be prepared to work hard and show that you are interested in staying in the position for awhile - because, with the current job-hopping trend, many employers are hesitant to hire millennials if they are suspicious that they will leave within a year or two of employment. Reach out to your network, this is one of the most valuable tools you have as a young job-seeker looking to break into an industry. Focus on how you can make a big impact at your first employer right away - the more you can achieve in a short time, the better for making moves either up the ladder or into different, better positions.

MyDigitsHere113 karma

This seems to me like a common situation but one that I can never find a good answer for: I'm currently switching careers after twelve years as a licensed massage therapist. I'm doing excellent (4.0) in my studies and my major is computer engineering (beginning jr year this fall).

I know it's important that I have internships to fill out "related" work experience on my resume, and I've also heard the mantra that "just showing you can hold a job is a good thing," and certainly my employment history shows that, my work history includes two positions that I stayed at for over five years and have glowing references from. I'm also doing personal projects with hardware and software and documenting them to put on a sort of resume/portfolio website for when I begin applying for internships and jobs.

So here's my concern: I'm worried that by having what's perceived as either such a blue-collar service industry (at best) or "wacky new agey" (at worst) previous career that I won't be taken seriously by prospective employers. I'm worried that despite a solid education at a good school and with (hopefully) some internship experience that they will see the words "massage therapist" and go "what is she doing applying for this engineering position?"

How would you approach a situation like mine? What advice can you give? I can write a damn good cover letter, but I'm hoping for some insight beyond "just lay it out in the cover letter." I honestly wish I could ignore my previous career entirely on my resume without making it look like I sat on my butt doing nothing for the last twelve years.

mentatcareers121 karma

Hi! We recently had a candidate in a similar situation -- he was a field engineer for an oil company for 15+ years and decided to pursue software engineering. He's been fortunate to land a new role, but what was most effective for him was sending emails en masse to hiring managers. Your background may be interesting to a variety of startups, for example.

What's great about engineering is the interview process is more meritocratic than most -- there's a fairly standard set of technical screens and tests you'll want to prepare for.

hittingtheroad201795 karma

I am trying to get a job in a city and a country 3000 miles away(where I am originally from). At this point I am pretty sure my resume gets trash binned as soon as my address is seen. One imagines your clients encounter this and other similar problems as well, advice?

mentatcareers112 karma

This can be a problem due to applicant tracking systems (ATS) but there are ways around it. In your summary, you should make it clear that you are looking to relocate. Also make a point of mentioning your desire to relocate in any cover letters.

SpaceVik1ng95 karma

When someone is trying to convey that they have managed high dollar budgets, is it appropriate to say a dollar amount, or is it better to just describe the resources you were responsible for? i.e. 10 fleet vehicles, or 30 employees payroll, 900 computers, etc.

mentatcareers124 karma

Dollar amounts tend to catch the eye of a reviewer first, and I would always include them if it is not confidential information.

Generally it is recommended practice to include 2-3 KPIs for each role, so including supplementary numbers on resources and staff is a positive!

mentatcareers122 karma

When it comes to resumes, having numbers to back up your accomplishments/responsibilities is huge! It adds "meat" to your resume and packs a huge punch when recruiters/HR departments are scanning through your documents. Having your first bullet point responsibility under a job state a figure is a great way to get noticed via your resume.

kiranrs88 karma

Thanks for doing this again! I'm in the process of reworking my resume and it's a struggle.

How do I illustrate that I want a company that's willing to teach and train me in my industry, without sounding like I'm incompetent?

mentatcareers67 karma

Hi kiranrs!

Interesting question...this sounds like something you would mention in a cover letter or introduction instead of your resume. Are you using an objective in your resume? I would encourage you not to; professional summaries have replaced objectives over the past few years.

Training and professional development are highly dependent on the culture of the company. I would suggest getting through to the interview stage and then seeing if they are a good fit for you. If your background is completely unrelated to the field, you'll have to do a lot of research to properly be considered.

For example, if a candidate is looking to break into the field of finance but lacks experience, he/she must write the resume to highlight tangential skillsets, informal education, and side passion projects related to finance. No doubt it is very challenging to start from scratch, but you should not mention you are completely raw and need to learn on the job!

ripples228877 karma

I'm in Seattle, and there is a lot of work available and there are a number of staffing companies, especially in IT. However, there seems to be a real disconnect between what recruiters think a job entails, and what the hiring manager is looking for. Here are some questions related to that issue:

  • Why do businesses generate such long and convoluted requirements for their positions, when they are really just looking for someone who can quickly adapt, onboard in a convenient timeframe and operate semi-autonomously?

  • What is the most common X-factor omitted by managers and applicants?

  • Are jobs morphing to match human requirements, or are humans compensating to meet job requirements? Can big-data assist in niche-matching position requirements with not only profiles, but personalities?

mentatcareers61 karma

This question itself is complex enough it could become it's own reddit thread =)

I'll offer another perspective:

With the average job posting receiving over 300 applications, companies have convoluted requirements on purpose -- to filter candidates. Yes, it's frustrating -- but unfortunately, companies are incentivized to make it difficult to apply to a position.

TheNoobtologist73 karma

Is there a common mistake that a lot of people make when looking for a new job?

mentatcareers148 karma

A big mistake is not doing sufficient research on the new company/position that they are looking to fill. This can cause blunders during the interview if you're asked specific questions about the position and the mission of the company, i.e. "why do you want to work HERE?" and it could also lead to regret if you aren't really sure what you are getting yourself into when making a transition into a new job.

pm-me-dog-pics61 karma

How long should I keep putting Eagle Scout on my resume before it begins to seem old/childish?

mentatcareers62 karma

If the skills you gained/used as a scout are relevant to the position that you are applying to, it's fine to keep it on if you highlight how it makes you a better candidate for the job. If it's just extraneous information about your extracurricular involvement, it's not necessary to include in your resume.

lazycrazymind51 karma

How does one get around a college degree requirement? My friend has almost 20 years experience in his field and in management but has trouble being considered for positions outside his current company because he doesn't have a degree.

mentatcareers60 karma

Consider a local staffing company or recruiter. With 20 years of experience, education should be an afterthought.

aduke880351 karma

How have you helped fresh grads overcome the barrier of entering the job market which demand XX number years of experience in the field when they have little to none?

mentatcareers60 karma

A little bit of insight on how recruiters at companies think:

Typically jobs available for will be broken into a variation on three categories: Entry (students), Experienced Hires, and Executives.

If you're a fresh grad, you are looking for entry-level positions where ideally the work experience range is 0-3 years. There is some leeway around applying to roles that are 3-5 years of experience required if you have reputable internship experience, AND the years of experience are typically not a hard-and-fast rule for human reviewers, but we encourage you not to waste your time applying to the wrong job.

Talent acquisition staff will look for a few core things in a recent graduate's resume: skillset (education or self-learned), leadership experience, and related industry experience (extracurriculars or interests). Best of luck!

vampyrotoothus30 karma

One of my best friends really wants to get into the fashion industry, any part of it. But to be honest, she doesn't really have a skill set to match that ambition. As a friend, it's so hard to watch her fail over and over when she tries to gain experience but just either doesn't have what it takes or doesn't have direction. What would be your advice for someone trying to get into a field they have little skills/relevant history for? She wants to work in costume design but doesn't have a ton of experience there, or avenues to gain that experience. Thanks!

bravoitaliano48 karma

Having worked in this field: start with a corporate retail company on a buying/merchandising desk. Work your way up through merchandising and planing/supply chain into product development. Some places will start you in assistant product development, but usually only for those with a fashion/merchandising degree.

Nobody wants to hire the typical Rachel Green type who knows nothing other than that she likes pretty clothes.

mentatcareers34 karma

To echo what bravo said:

The downside of the fashion industry is that it is a serious grind. We started our company in NYC and have colleagues in the industry go through fashion week 2x a year. The norm is for interns and entry-level positions to be UNPAID, and if you're aiming to break in to the design side, the best thing to do is to go through the FIT/Parsons (school) pipeline.

And as bravo mentioned, you could start as a buyer at a company like Abercrombie, J Crew, etc. Just know that you will be valued for the business acumen, not the design skills.

PennyPriddy30 karma

A friend of mine is trying to get out of retail and into software (maybe web design, maybe data analysis, and I know she's thought about project management in the past). The problem is, a full blown boot camp or degree program is more expensive than a retail paycheck can handle.

She's been doing free and cheap online courses, but is there anything else she can do to get out of the job that's actively sucking her soul?

Additional detail: she does have a bachelor's degree, it's just in a field that needs a master's before jobs open up.

facetrolled47 karma

Software engineer here.

It's hard to break into the software industry without a degree. Your friend either needs to either get a computer science degree or keep on taking the courses until they are competent enough to create a few projects.

If you can link a public github repo, or a website you made, an app, etc, you just don't have much credibility and most likely will get ignored when you apply. I've interviewed a lot of folks who tought themselves how to code, but the fact is that if you don't have any project work to talk about in an interview it's just not gonna happen.

Tldr: work on personal projects and make them public and attach them to your resume or get a degree.

mentatcareers22 karma

Great answer!

To echo what face said -- we're based in SF and as a technology company, half of us are software engineers. If you want to be a developer, you definitely need to have project work to display. Some people learning to code commit to it and have a lot of material to show, while others are only dabbling. Even bootcamps can generate very uneven candidates and aren't seen as "enough" now since they've become so prolific. If you're starting out, there's no reason not to publicize your github.

That being said, web design, data analysis, and PM are all VERY different jobs. Encourage your friend to speak to some more people in the tech industry to see which would suit her strengths.

Ldpcm23 karma

Any tips for a 30 something currently finishing an undergraduate in engineering to land internships?

mentatcareers42 karma

Network with your professors. This is one of the best ways for older undergraduate students to land jobs, especially in engineering/hard sciences. Because you are likely far more mature than some of your younger undergraduate counterparts, you can connect with professors or other campus faculties who may have connections either within your university for internships or work experience, or they may have external connections in companies that could help you out. They are your best resource to get started.

Nodontlookatmee21 karma

I'm turning 30 soon and despite having a degreee in Hospitality management I've never been above minimum wage. Am I already doomed to fail?

mentatcareers23 karma

Of course not! Search for the list of successful businessmen & women who were successful later in life -- you'll be surprised to find that is the norm, and success before 30 is the outlier.

ordinary_snowflake8218 karma

I've spent 15 years working as a professional Stand-up comedian, teaching comedy to others, published a book, wrote for TV, and taught rewrites. Now I'd like to take my skills into a corporate setting. Is there an interest from corporations for this kind of background, and what jobs do you think I have a shot at, if any?

Thanks in advance!

mentatcareers23 karma

Making some assumptions here based on your background, but here are some thoughts.

Stand-up comedians are the master of taking feedback in real-time and adapting. You could use those skills to work in user testing, UI/UX design, and market research.

Since you've spent time teaching, you seem to enjoy talking to people. A sense of humor converts very, very well to corporate sales.

Screenwriting may always be the dream, but writing consumer marketing copy is a profession you could consider as well.

dopo818 karma

Hello,

I'm a public health professional that just started a B school MBA program. I was tired of working 60 hours a week and getting poorly paid for 40. Do you have advice as two when I could/should start marketing myself to other fields? I am surrounded by pharma companies so those are the low hanging fruit. Are they other avenues I should also be looking at?

mentatcareers11 karma

Hi dopo, it's never too early to start the recruitment process in business school! We see candidates pounding the pavement as early as the first Aug/Sep of a 2 year program.

One thing we do consistently see -- the location of the business school is very correlated with the success of its students in landing a job. Take advantage of the network the school offers you first, as there are many relationships between the school and companies that may not be obvious to the student body. Good luck!

toastwizards17 karma

In places like tech startups, would you consider directly emailing the CEO with your resume as a smart move or not?

mentatcareers29 karma

Yes, but make sure you do your homework about the story of the company and why you'd love it. Target the right person (CEO, CTO, COO) who would be the decision-maker for your role. Following up once or twice on the email is perfectly fine too. Don't be discouraged if they don't respond to your first or second try.

MereMalarkey15 karma

Any advice on doing a Skype interview from across the world?

mentatcareers28 karma

Make sure you go to a quiet place, have a good wi-fi connection and show up for the interview as if it was a live, in-person interview. Dress professionally, make sure your hair isn't a mess and have a bright attitude. It can be strange to have an interview through the computer but make it as natural as possible by treating it as if it were an in-person interview. Let your personality shine through and remember that they can still see your body language and get an idea of who you are through cyberspace.

timtim36610 karma

What are your thoughts on staffing firms? As the director of sales for a small staffing firm, I find that the majority of candidates are oblivious to the disconnect between the recruiter they are speaking to and the actual job they are being submitted to.

I believe that the traditional staffing company model is dying. There will always be a niche for executive search and specialized hire firms, but the Robert Half and K-force types are far less useful. Why would a hiring manager pay a 20% fee to K-force when their internal recruiting team has the same toolkit as the amateurs at K-force?

What is your veiw on big-box staffing firms and how relevant do you think they will be over the next few years?

mentatcareers4 karma

Good question. Since hiring is ultimately a very personal process, I believe there will generally always be room for a third party -- but yes, how the business model operates will continue to change.

I would agree there is a large disconnect between what the recruiter wants and how the jobseeker views things -- after all, almost every company still cites hiring as one of their top problems even though candidates are applying in droves!

michaeltheobnoxious7 karma

How important would you say things like the kerning and typeface are to a CV? Are there letter forms (aside from obvious ones like Comic Sans) which you would say are a no go, compared to definite 'winners'?

mentatcareers12 karma

The more simple, the better. Using standard fonts and formats is really important, especially nowadays with picky ATS (applicant tracking systems) that throw out resumes with strange fonts or weird formatting. Unless you are a graphic designer and your resume is a way to showcase your artistic talents, keep it boring. A typeface like Times New Roman or Arial are the best options and don't use special characters or strange bullet formats.

FROMtheASHES9846 karma

What resume advice can you give someone who has little to no work experience trying to find a job in a field where job experience is highly sought after?

In my case, I've only worked a basic retail job and am looking to move into accounting (specifically audit). I have all the education requirements, degrees, etc but my resume could basically fit on a post-it note without trying to stretch it out with extraneous information.

mentatcareers5 karma

Are you recently accredited? If so, re-paint your resume as a candidate who is currently undergoing the process of a career switch/vocational training. Don't be discouraged, most people shift industries multiple times in their career, and millions of employees changing jobs every year indicate it is possible.

In your case, you will likely have to reach out to current accountants (former classmates?) to inquire about open positions and (even better) warm introductions.

Nihnihnoo4 karma

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts and a minor in creative writing a year ago. So far, none of my friends or I have found a job anywhere close to our career fields. Obviously none of us picked art thinking it would be easy, but a lot of industries (art and in general) have entry level positions with a minimum requirement of 2-3 years experience usually, or specific skill sets that take years to master. I rarely feel these "entry level" positions are actually entry level. How do you overcome this? Is there anything someone like myself could do to make me a more attractive candidate? I've considered taking some online classes to add to my skills list, and maybe some low paying or unpaid internship/apprenticeships to add as well, but I'm unsure.

Additionally, I know someone with a ton of experience in her career field and just finished her masters a year ago (multiple hands on internships for a year or more, working directly in her career and everything) who has had hundreds of interviews but has always been turned down. This person is in her 40's, and it seems the jobs always pick someone who is younger (25-30) despite her having fantastic interviews and loads of experience. Naturally she feels frustrated, is there any advice to give to someone who always comes close, but not close enough? Is age the reason she is turned down, too much experience, or does it sound like her resume and interview skills could use some sprucing up to compete with people who are younger and more lively?

Thank you for your time!

mentatcareers4 karma

Thank you! Regarding the fine arts -- have you considered working for the public sphere (government) or funded institutions (museums)? Creative writing is a lonely endeavor, so if that is what you are passionate about, academia may be worth considering (private school teaching has a less onerous set of requirements).

As for the age-ism questions -- it doesn't seem like the issue is with the experience or materials if she's getting tons of interviews. If you want to help, you may have to endure the awkwardness of mock interviewing her or suggest an interview coach.

kiwisconstant2 karma

What are some CV structure pro tips?

mentatcareers2 karma

Use simple formatting and fonts, stay away from fancy templates. Keep everything concise and limited to 1-2 pages depending on your age/amount of relevant experience. No goofy or artsy imagery or design unless you are going for a graphic design/similar creative position. Have your name and contact details at the top. Have your first bullet point beneath each work experience be your strongest point - including figures is a great idea or just having a strong, concise summary of your responsibilities/achievements.

adviceKiwi2 karma

Hello, what is the best tips for letter writing to get a job? I usually don't bother, but some insist

mentatcareers2 karma

Make sure your letter is tailored to the position, using a generic cover letter format is a waste of everyone's time. Highlight your relevant experience, make sure there are no grammatical or formatting errors and talk about why you really want this job.

MikeSelf1 karma

Heyyy you!!! Good morning! thank you for offering your time!

Please if you know something, I would appreciate it.. So..

How to know if the environment I work is top toxic AF, or I'm being cocowashed by years and not knowing at all... (just thinking things will go by )?

Thank you again, and have nice day!

mentatcareers3 karma

If you are often exhausted mentally after a day of work, have to dodge coworkers and are constantly stuck in the middle of passive-aggressive or even outright aggressive actions or words, you are working in a toxic environment. Be careful with what you say to your coworkers, and maybe start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

snowhite14861 karma

What is the worst to do in an interview? Talk too long or too short in the responses? Also, is it better to ask questions or not?

mentatcareers1 karma

Typically it's worse to give short, incomplete responses, but long-winded answers that skirt around the question aren't good either. Being complete but concise is the best medium to find. It's a great idea to ask questions in an interview! Interviews are conversation opportunities - and it can be a great way for you to find out more information about the company atmosphere and figure out if the position would be a good fit for you. It shows that you're interested and attentive to the situation.