Lessons from a First-time Hiring Manager

I am thrilled to be hiring my first team over for the DART Innovation Group at ReadyTalk. My own manager, our Chief Strategy Officer David Chao, has been guiding me in establishing my leadership style as I transition from individual contributor to manager. I’m going to be sharing my experiences as I come across them — good, bad and ugly!

One of my first activities was — to hire a team! And right away, being on the other side of the table helped me learn about how to be a stronger job seeker.

Here’s my lessons from reviewing applications:

  1. Spend the time to submit a cover letter
    I was pleasantly overwhelmed to have a few dozen applicants for my job postings within a matter of days. The first way I filtered through them was to look at the cover letter. As a job seeker, the cover letter was always the most painful step. But as a hiring manager, it shows me how much you care about the job.
  2. READ the description and requirements of the job you’re applying for
    If you got the title of the position wrong in your cover letter, or bragged about accomplishments that had nothing to do with what I was looking for, you got dismissed. I was looking for someone who was interested in business model innovation for a new product group. Someone writing about my “mutual fund business analyst” job was barking up the wrong tree.
  3. Consider the hiring manager stupid
    Tell me why your experience in X or Y makes you a great fit. I don’t want to have to read an essay and come to that conclusion myself. Make it easy for me to check the boxes of “yes, this person can do this job”. Don’t give me reasons to question you. Your goal at this stage is to land an interview.

That’s it so far — much more to come, I’m sure!

Sr UX Specialist with Canada Revenue Agency, former web dev and product person. 🔎 Lifelong learner. Unapologetic introvert. Plant-powered marathoner. Cat mom.