Welcome to Ask A Recruiter presented by Dagger! Today's host is Christofer Peterson, Chief People Officer at Dagger.
👋🏾 Meet Christofer Peterson, CPO Dagger
📝 With a broad, 20-year background in HR in which she’s enjoyed being a generalist, specialist, function lead, and hands-on practitioner. Peterson joined Dagger from Hearts & Science, an Omnicom Media Group agency.
💜 She has a passion for all- things-people-and-culture, especially helping people and teams navigate change, work together better, grow personally and professionally, and love where they work.
💼 In her role at Dagger, Peterson is the chief catalyst and ambassador of a best-in-class culture. She’s the driver of their core values, the end-to-end lifecycle of an employee, and Dagger's DEI priorities along with all things HR.
Here's the recap from our Q&A event.
- What are some things to be leery of including in a resume or what are some items in a candidate's background that could be a cause of concern for an employer?
Great question, and not NOT uncomplicated…
The thing to remember is that humans have bias. So anytime a human recruiter reviews your resume, you’re subject to that/their bias (good or bad).
That said, I believe that any company that doesn’t welcome you as an individual isn’t the right fit -- one way or another, you'll find that out. But it’s twofold -- example to illustrate:
I might want to include my volunteer experience on my resume, but if it’s as a PTA president or a Stacey Abrams campaign volunteer, that reveals that I’m a parent and speaks to my political views. To be clear, NEITHER of these examples should cause concern for an employer -- but stuff happens.
So, my advice:
Only put the stuff that speaks to your actual capabilities relative to the role you want. If you’re earlier in your career and need to show more experience, ask yourself why you feel that need. If you’re applying for roles that require more experience than you have, you probs shouldn’t be. If your volunteer experience, as an example, speaks to your actual skills acquired and ability to do the job, consider listing with a clear explanation of the skills and capabilities you employed in the volunteer activity. Otherwise, leave it off.
The same goes for jobs held. Example: I was a flight attendant earlier in life. It’s my go-to fun fact, and it’s excellent happy hour fodder, but it doesn’t say much about whether I can lead an HR function -- and only creates a space for someone reading my resume to arrive at their own opinions about who I am.
- Can you provide insight regarding ways to learn about the true culture and values of an organization concerning opportunities for professional development and diversity/inclusivity prior to accepting a position? How to dig deeper than what is on an organization's website, marketing materials, etc. if I don't have existing contacts within the organization?
MAKE contacts within an org. Easier said than done, right? Reco: Search LinkedIn for connections and connections of connections and ask for help. Humans are pretty decent if you ask them to be.
Search the company’s social channels and pay as much attention to what they say as you do to what they don’t say. LinkedIn is good for that because you can see activity.
Don’t shy away from hard and direct questions that dig deeper to prompt real-real answers. Examples of questions you can ask recruiters and interviewers:
About their actual experience as an employee of the company -- and their perspective on how easy/hard it is to progress as a womxn, mxn, POC, differently-abled person.
How, from their perspective, people grow professionally/transfer to new roles/get promoted in the org.
About formal and informal learning initiatives sponsored by the leadership team/company.
What advice they’d give to someone in varying (specific) underrepresented identities.
If the company has a cause or causes that they’re actively supporting internally and externally.
What representation targets they’ve set as an org or department.
What the D, the E, and the I mean at their company/on their team.
About the faces you see on their website, especially if they don’t reflect ethnic+ diversity on their Leadership and About Us pages. Beware of stock photos.
- How do you evaluate the tradeoff in showing results while removing responsibilities you don't want to have in your next role? For example, if I increased email subscribers and open rates but don't want to do email marketing anymore, how do I show my ability to engage audiences and drive action?
Not sure how to answer your Q about evaluating the trade-off, but here're my other 2 cents...
Don’t apply for jobs you don’t want and hope that the recruiter will translate your application into your dream job.
When recruiters cold-call you for email marketing jobs, take their calls and take the opp to network and describe the role you are looking for. Recruiters remember good talent, even if they passed on an opportunity.
Also, I think you say those words: “ability to engage audiences and drive action.” You could create a version of your resume that more story-tells your skill & experience depth. One that speaks directly to the kind of job you want. I’ve advised folx to take a posting for a job they want and write their resume to it, mapping actual experiences to skills required. If the posting breaks the role down into outcomes sections, adapt your resume to respond to those core outcomes they’re hiring for.
- Can you share more about your current role and how your background in HR prepared you for your current role. Also please share how your HR experience differs from your current role?
Wowzers. I don't think I'll accomplish the mission in a comment/response. Here's the short story:
I've held roles where I've been a generalist and ones where I've specialized in one of the HR COEs. The sum of those experiences have prepared me to run a talent lifecycle HR dept.
Primary difference between past roles and my current one: I'm the boss now. :-) I've led functional teams and wholesale functions before (or BEEN the function), but now I get to set the vision and strategy for people & culture.
I'm still very much a practitioner and working manager though.
- Thank you so much to Christofer Peterson for providing such awesome insight and advice!
Stay tuned for future events! Learn more about BMAA here.