Advice from the InVision recruiting team on how to land an interview
I get asked often what it takes to have a standout application when you’re applying at InVision, and what traits recruiters look for since they’re hiring for remote job opportunities. The hiring process at InVision has changed GREATLY since I interviewed here. Back then we only had 50 employees, so my interview was a chat with the director that contacted me about the job, then a chat with 2 VP’s then a chat with Clark himself, which I’ll fully admit was incredible. He’s just as awesome to talk to 1:1 as he comes across in interviews.
So, since I don’t have anything to do with our hiring now, but I know it’s something the community is really interested in learning more about, I sat down with some of our recruiters and hiring managers to find out what they look for when they’re reviewing candidates. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and there are always differences in opinion, but these are some common themes that came up during the conversations.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- If you’re applying for a designer position, do not submit a hideous generic resume and CV. You’re a designer, use your skills to make your resume and CV stand out from the rest of the crowd.
- For the love of all things holy, don’t submit an export of your LinkedIn profile as your resume. I had no idea that was a thing, but it is. The team here is hardworking, driven, and proud of the work we turn out as a result. Half backed resumes and CVs are a no. Lack of effort in even applying here is a surefire sign that this isn’t the company for you. Same goes for Indeed.
- Make sure your portfolio is up to date. Update it BEFORE submitting your application. Many people applying at InVision haven’t applied for a job in years, they’re just so excited about the company that they’re giving it a shot, even if they’re happy where they are. I love it. And I get it. I haven’t touched my portfolio in about 900 years either, but having an out of date hideous portfolio will get you axed immediately. Clean it up and show what you can really do. It’s your one chance to stand out and make a great first impression. Make your mark.
- Give recruiters and hiring managers access to view your resume and portfolio. This completely blows my mind, but sometimes people submit portfolio links that are password protected (no big deal, people sometimes don’t want their current companies to know they’re applying elsewhere), but then they DON’T PROVIDE THE PASSWORD. 😑 I figured it was rare, but I’m told they come across it daily. 😬 Our recruiters are sifting through 1000’s of resumes and portfolios, it would be horrible if you were cut because you forgot to send your password. And don’t get me wrong, if there is someone who seems like an absolutely perfect fit based on resume, they may still take the time to fire off an email asking for your PW, but if your application was on the fence, this will push it into the rejection pile. Also, make sure you submit the right cover letter—several recruiters mentioned getting cover letters that were meant for other companies. 😬
- Sending a resume that isn’t tailored to the job description at all is not a good plan. Don’t include a bunch of random skills that aren’t applicable. Skilled in Microsoft Office? That’s awesome if you’re applying for a role that requires that skillset. But if you’re applying for a design position, it’s not something you need to list in your things I’m amazing at section. Think of the recruiter as someone looking for a needle in a haystack. If you want to be that needle, you need to make sure you shine way brighter than the rest so they can find you. Related: Spell check is your friend. Add clickable links to LinkedIn, GitHub, Dribbble, etc. to the top of your resume (whichever services apply to the the job you’re applying for). Triple check your contact info, email addresses are often missing a character, phone numbers are off by a digit, triple check tiny details.
- Apply for a job or 2 you’re really interested in that align with your skillset. Do NOT apply for 15 different jobs with completely unrelated skill requirements. If you apply for sales, support, engineering, design, and accounting positions all at the same time, it doesn’t come across in a positive way. Being excited about the company is a great. But, applying all over the place makes it look like you don’t know yourself well enough to express your skillset and areas of strength, and like you don’t have a career path in mind. It’s not a good look. Related: The recruiting team told me some really crazy stories about applicants having no clue what we do here and shredding their chances as a result. Research the company before you apply.
- Do not ever message random InVision employees on LinkedIn that you don’t know asking them to refer you.
Have questions about what it’s like to work for InVision? About the company culture? About team structure? Fire away, those are great reasons to reach out to a random employee. Asking for a referral is a no. On the flip side, if you worked with an InVision employee previously at another job and had a good working relationship, DEFINITELY reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to refer you. It helps the recruiting team to be able to ask an internal team member questions about you, especially if they’re on the fence about your application.
- If you have past work experience that seems like it doesn’t apply, MAKE it apply. Flipped burgers at a fast food joint? Add a line about how it increased your ability to manage customer expectations in a high paced, intense atmosphere. Your past work experience has made you into who you are today. Explain how in a way that is applicable to the job you’re applying for. Don’t just rattle off a list of job responsibilities, frame them as achievements. You can accomplish incredible things in any role—highlight those.
- Don’t send a resume that is 987349875 pages long. These recruiters are scanning. Sending a 12 page resume doesn’t make you look impressive, it makes it look like you have issues communicating concisely. I was told that 1 page for every 5–7 years of work experience is a good rule of thumb. Additional resume tips: List your most recent work experience first and go backward in time from there. List the month and year you started and stopped working for each previous employer. Even though you’re applying for a remote role, list your location. Some of the remote roles have time zone requirements. PDF’s are the best format choice for resumes.
- If the job you’re applying for is focused on measurable goals, include numbers and stats that reflect the impact you’ve had in previous related roles. Example: Worked on a homepage redesign that increased customer conversations by 25 percent. Going for a sales role? Include details like the number of accounts you managed, account values, quota attainment percentages, etc.
- Inject your personality into your resume, CV and portfolio. Who are you? Obviously you can’t write a novel, so SHOW who you are. Real humans are reviewing all of these applications, you aren’t getting tossed into an application sifting program. Think of your portfolio and your resume as a reflection of yourself.
- If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while so your projects aren’t recent, just explain that and show something you’ve worked on recently for fun in addition to your previous work.
People have to leave the workforce for periods of time for a wide variety of reasons, it’s no big deal. Just make sure you’re representing yourself fully.
- If you worked on a project and it was terrible, don’t include it. You want to put your best foot forward. Your portfolio doesn’t need to contain every single project you’ve ever done, it needs to contain the best ones, that show what you can really do. Save talking about train wrecks for the interview process, since it’s often a question managers ask.
- In your cover letter, make it clear that you’re passionate about working here. If your cover letter sounds like a generic one you found on the internet, it will seem like you don’t actually want the job. Inject your personality, and tell why you think InVision is a great fit for you personally, and what we’re doing that excites you enough to make you want to join the team. What about the company mission resonates strongly with you? Some people think including a cover letter is old school, but several recruiters told me that they ran across resumes that were just ok, but then they read the cover letters and were blown away. Think of it as an extra chance to explain why you’re a great fit. Also, if you’re applying for a job that is a big shift from your current industry and/or career path, the cover letter is your chance to explain it. We have had 2 team members here who were chefs in their last life. Use your cover letter to really sell your worth and explain how you’ll use your skillset to create value.
The next question I’m usually asked is, “What kinds of traits do hiring managers look for?” Since I’m not a hiring manager I asked around to find out. These were the common theme:
- You need to be a self starter. Working at a fully distributed company means you have to be able to push YOURSELF forward. You’ll have a great team behind you as well, but there won’t be someone standing over your shoulder pushing you to get your work done at 100% quality. You need to have the personal drive to keep yourself accountable and on top of your game.
- You need to be able to ask for help when you need it. Again, there isn’t someone sitting next to you watching you struggle, if you get stuck, you need to be able to swallow your pride and reach out to someone for assistance. (This is something that is SO hard for me, both in my personal life and my professional life. Working remotely has really helped me grow in this area.)
- You need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Now, this one varies in weight depending on the role you’re applying for. I’m an introvert, but I’m able to communicate clearly and concisely when I’m writing. It’s a huge plus working at a company where a majority of our interaction happens over Slack, InVision, and in Zoom conference calls.
- You need to be a team player. At InVision our culture is one of supporting one another. It shows in everything from our team meetings, to the tools we use, to our charity donation matching, to the way the team comes together to support coworkers in crisis. A few examples: A co-worker lost her house in a fire, and within hours there was a GoFundMe set up by a teammate with InVision employees donating $, in addition to sending clothing and care packages. Two of our team members were stuck in Puerto Rico during the last major hurricane due to cancelled flights. Team members came together as a group to find passage for them to get out just before the storm hit, calling in favors from friends and family who work in the airline industry. My daughter ran into a really scary health issue last year, and a coworker immediately put together a GoFundMe to buy her an Apple Watch for fall monitoring. InVision just has a truly incredible, team oriented work culture. We work cross departmentally often. Sometimes people come from cut throat environments where they’re used to people having to throw knives to succeed. That’s not our thing. People here work hard to help each other succeed, and pitch in when help is needed. If you’re a “Me” person and not a “We” person, the company culture at InVision probably won’t be a good fit for you.
I hope these tips help, and that you decide to apply!
Sending the most enormous thanks to Jackie Velasquez-Ross, Julie Rathert, Frank Coppola, Amber Henry, Diane Thorburn, Kerri McKinney, Makenna Barley, Lorena Martinez, and Clay Cook for taking time out to provide these fantastic tips! You’re so very appreciated! ❤
You can check out our job listings and apply at: http://www.InVisionApp.com/jobs