Career Warrior Podcast #286) How to Authentically Market Yourself as a Job Seeker
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Today, we’re going to talk about how to authentically market yourself as a job seeker. In this episode, I brought on Emily Rezkalla!
Emily is a Toronto native residing in the beautiful Vancouver, Canada. After receiving a job offer from every interview she’s completed in a variety of industries (Consulting, Policy, HR, Accounting, Research, etc), she decided to take her knowledge online in the form of content creation on TikTok.
Emily’s content, as well as her 1:1 coaching, has helped hundreds of thousands of people with their job search, interview prep, salary negotiations, resume writing, networking and confidence. She currently has 123k followers on TikTok with an average of 500 daily profile views on average and 100k average video views per day across my content. Follow her on TikTok @coachemrez
Chris Villanueva 0:04
Welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Carrior Warrior Podcast.
And welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Carrior Warrior Podcast where our goal is not only to help you land your dream job, but to help you live your best life. Today we’re going to talk about how to authentically market yourself as a job seeker. Why does authenticity matter, especially in an interview, and why are we marketing ourselves? We’ll get into these things which sound a little too deep, but I guarantee you that the depth of this episode will make you a happier, professional and a better job seeker. You’ll find jobs faster, you’ll stay with those jobs because they’re aligned with your values and those jobs will make you feel like a valued asset. Today I’ve brought on Emily Rezkalla. Emily is a Toronto native residing in the beautiful Vancouver, Canada. After receiving a job offer from every interview she’s completed in a variety of industries, she’s decided to take her knowledge online in the form of content creation on Tik Tok, Emily’s content as well as her one on one coaching has helped hundreds of 1000s of people with their job search, interview prep salary negotiations, resume writing, networking in competence. Oh my gosh, Emily has over 124,000 followers on Tiktok with an average of 500 daily profile views on average, and 100k average video views per day, you can find her on the platform as coach and res that’s coach en are easy. And I’ll make sure to leave that within the description of this podcast as well. I spoke with Emily before recording this episode. And I can tell you that she has an amazing personality. And she has a really good way of explaining the job search in a down to earth fun and empathetic way. So let’s rock and launch right into Episode 286 of the career warrior podcast. Emily, welcome to the show.
Emily Rezkalla 2:05
Hi, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to just be here and chat with you more about just everything job search competence, career, all of it.
Chris Villanueva 2:15
Oh my gosh, and we are going to get into it. So the first question I was going to ask you was what was it about your story that resonated with your job seeker following on Tik Tok? And I know we spoke a little bit about this, but how did you get into the space and really what was resonating and clicking with people as you started posting content?
Emily Rezkalla 2:39
Honestly, I realized as my content was growing, I kind of realized why at first I was confused. I was like, Oh, like this is common knowledge, at least to me. And I realized that a lot of the content out there, which by the way, the internet is oversaturated with information and you know, advice, but it’s oversaturated from a lot of HR experts and people who are, you know, in the bubble, right, who are inside the HR world, and are giving advice and giving very expert and technical advice. Whereas me, I think, I honestly think it’s because a lot of people look at me and go, you look kinda like me, you sound kind of like me, it’s me. Yeah, that’s me, I could probably do it. Because I’m not really as technical. I do provide a lot of technical advice and steps and guides. But I tell stories at the same time, from my experience. And whenever people hear it, they go, I could have experienced that too. And they probably have, they just didn’t boil it down into the tips and advice that I kind of broke it down for them and went, Oh, I’ve done that. I can do that, too. So I think a lot of people really just relate at the end of the day with me a bit more.
Chris Villanueva 4:05
And I love the types of questions that you’re posing in your videos, like the types of things that you’re making available for people because like, these are the things that job seekers are actually wondering, and we’ll get into some of those questions during this episode here. But I think it’s really important to give out content from a form of place of empathy, really, because it’s like these job seekers need to know these questions. And so for your listeners, I’m really excited to get into this episode, because we’ll make it real. And perhaps Emily will have questions for me. I don’t know, she said she did before this episode. So we’ll see. But the first thing I do want to ask is I do want to dive into the interview and the art of the interview. And something that you mentioned previously was that we’re marketing yourselves really in interviews, and we want to make sure we’re doing it in an authentic way. And that can be tricky, I think for a lot of people. So what do we mean when we say First of all marketing ourselves I know that’s a kind of a buzzword and catch all and in many cases, but what do we mean when we say marketing ourselves? And why is marketing ourselves in an interview important?
Emily Rezkalla 5:12
Oh gosh, well, first of all marketing people relate to sales, right? Because usually market a product or service, and when they hear selling, thank you, I don’t like to be involved in consumerism, or I don’t like to sell, right, it just sounds inauthentic. But there are ways to kind of frame marketing in an authentic way. And the way I explain it to a lot of my coaching clients is that, like, for example, Chris, what is something that you bought recently that you’ve loved, that you like, loved before you when you saw it, and you’re like, I need to buy this, and you bought it, and you still
Chris Villanueva 5:50
love it. I mean, this is a service. So I don’t know if you’re looking for a product here. But I bought a mixing service for some of the music that I produce online, and I partnered with somebody to help mix my music, it was the third time I use the service, and I was blown away for the third time in a row.
Emily Rezkalla 6:08
Okay, so it’s the third time you use the service, like how long ago was the second time?
Chris Villanueva 6:12
How long ago? I would say it was three months ago,
Emily Rezkalla 6:15
Three months ago. Okay. So the way I explain this to my clients, and for example, you using this sound mixing service, it’s likely that the sound mixing service was not, you know, marketed to you once before you bought it, you probably saw it my Oh, I think I need that. I think I need it. I want it. I know I want it, but I don’t know how badly I need it. And you realize how badly you need it. And you want it when it keeps getting marketed to you not necessarily the same way always or from the same source, whether it’s the Internet, whether it’s on television, ads on YouTube, wherever it’s coming from,
Chris Villanueva 6:54
Yeah, Spotify, in my case, the the ad I have received it a bunch of times.
Emily Rezkalla 6:58
Exactly. So it’s likely that you don’t buy a service the first time you see it, you usually do when it’s been shown to you a few times, whether that’s conscious or subconsciously because some people don’t realize they subconsciously see a product while they’re scrolling, whether that’s on Amazon, like the front page, you’ll see an icon but really, you didn’t click it. So how that relates to interviews, is I tell my clients that you need to be intentional about your core themes and values throughout an interview. Okay, be repetitive about it, repeat, repeat, repeat, ironically. And I think people get so caught up in the words that they want to say and you know, overcomplicating it, but at the end of the day, if you just keep to a certain set of themes and values, whether that’s, I’m a project manager, I’m an innovator. Yeah, all of those themes are identifiers. They mentioned it once or at the beginning of their interview in the Tommy about yourself, but then they’re not consistently repeating it throughout strategically as well, because they get lost in the questions and the technicalities, and it’s really just been overcomplicated and marketing yourself is about consistency and repetition. Because if you’re consistent and you repeat things, so at the interviewer, the interviewer is more likely to remember it, yeah, as you and know that you believe that you are that theme or that value that you’ve just consistently repeated throughout the interview.
Chris Villanueva 8:34
That makes a lot of sense to me. And I’m thinking about like the, you know, I don’t know how much this applies. But it’s like the I think like the marketing or sales rule of seven to like, repeat something seven times before somebody feels like they’re going to buy your product. But I guess I would ask like, How many times should I repeat something in an interview, we only have like, kind of a short amount of time with the interviewer? And how do I know what to repeat? You mentioned? I think values sounds good, but like how do I really know what points I need to drive home to the interviewer over and over again. So there’s a certain level like of adaptability that you need to have when you’re going into the interview. You shouldn’t be like, stubborn about I’m going to say X amount of times. You know, like I’m gonna just plug it in, like checking it off a little list.
Emily Rezkalla 9:21
Yeah, you really need to connect with the interviewer about where they’re driving the conversation. And really, at the end of the day, an interview is just a conversation. But yeah, right. And the core themes and values, the number of times you mentioned, it doesn’t always have to be an emphasis like I am an innovator. It’s like no, you can say and you know, I use my innovative skills to do this. Or, you know, for example, if you’re a project manager, I used project management principles X Y Z throughout this project, and you just kind of you Is the similar language people tend to kind of get really deep in the depths of you know, instead of saying you problem solved, you say, you know, I mitigated an issue. And it’s like, What do you mean you mitigated an issue? Or problem? Or you filtered through your priorities? Like, what do you mean you filtered through? What exactly did you do when you went through priorities? So you project managed all of the priorities you had, and using the specific technical language within project management. So when I say core themes and values, I’m not saying repeat those specific words, literally, it’s important to do that occasionally. But there are a subset of words that go within each core theme and value being innovative means that you are, you know, adaptive, it means that you are a critical thinker, you’re a problem solver. So identifying those words and creating subsets within them to might help as long as they’re simple and not overcomplicated.
Chris Villanueva 11:02
I love it. That makes sense. So a good segue here. How do we answer the question, which is often the first question of an interview? Tell me about yourself. This is I think, one that a lot of people see as a loaded question. I’m not exactly sure how people answer it these days. But how should we answer this question?
Emily Rezkalla 11:24
So this might sound silly, but I’m going to answer your question with a few other questions. And that is, well, how do you answer it? Do you ask who you are? Do you ask to yourself? Why are you qualified? Or, you know, why do you want this job? Because you wonder the interviewer might ask me these questions later on, like, why do you want this role? Why do you want to work here? I shouldn’t include that in my question. But the point of the tell me about yourself is they want to see how you approach it. They want to see how unique you are, I think people get really lost in wanting to meet expectations, right and fitting a mold, which is completely contradictory to the whole. Tell me about yourself, they want to see why you’re different than the next person. Right? Yep. And because it’s the first question they ask, they literally give you the driver’s seat. And immediately to do that, they don’t wait for them to give you an opportunity later. So the tell me about yourself. Do you ever find that when people ask you that, that you get like an existential crisis? Like,
Chris Villanueva 12:34
oh, yeah, every happens all the time, even in parties? I’m like, who am I?
Emily Rezkalla 12:38
Yeah, exactly. In context is
Chris Villanueva 12:41
so important. My musician on my podcast goes, exactly. It’s
Emily Rezkalla 12:45
you said, you’re at a party, like context is so important, like who you’re talking to so important, what do you want them to? Think you are? And I don’t advise my like clients or even my community on on socials, to think that way to think oh, what do I want them to think I am, or believe I am, it’s like, no, you need to have a set of, you know, themes and values that are consistent throughout, you can just pick and choose from those themes and values, a set of which one you want to highlight or showcase and emphasize based on your audience. I’ll give you an example. My set of values is I obviously authenticity. I like to be innovative, I am patient patients is a new one for me this year. And another one is communication. So when you’re in a party, for example, versus an interview, which one do I feel like, you know, talking about more? Well, I also forgot to mention that I want to be more creative and outgoing. So I would mention that at a party versus if I was applying to a data analyst job, I would mention that I’m more focused on patients because I’m detail oriented. And I am you know, authentically connecting with my teammates, all of that stuff is very relative to your audiences. So my first answer to the question of how to answer Tell me about yourself is well, who are you talking to first? Who are you talking to? Who is the company? Who’s the interviewer? Then who are you based on that? And I’m not asking you to conform or mold but I’m asking you to just pick and choose which value you want to emphasize the most that aligns well with them. And then people forget to mention who they are as a human. In this answer, a lot of the time everyone gets so lost in the what your qualifications are, which you should mention, right? Yeah, right. The common theme is, I’m a researcher, I have X amount of years experience, and I’ve done you know, these projects, and then they go into, you know, why they want the role? Well, I don’t know. Like, what’s the difference between you and the next person? I just kind of told me your resume,
Chris Villanueva 15:01
you’re hiring a person at the end of the day, right? I mean that you have to work with other people. So that stuff matters.
Emily Rezkalla 15:07
It does. And also, you’re not showing me your capabilities, because really, you’re just doing what the next person can do. They could also, you know, highlight their portfolio. Yeah. But yeah, anyone can do that. What Not everyone can do is mention what they are outside of work. So I always advise people to slide in somewhere, you know, not at the very beginning. But slide into who you are part of, you know, my colleagues know me as the glue, and the glue of the team. I really bring everyone together to bring ideas. And I’m always like, just coordinating everything amongst the projects. And then I also outside of work, I love to snowboard, I love to go to check out new coffee shops and travel, and then you move on. It doesn’t need to be a big deal. But it’s important to mention, because shows that you have passions outside of work. And people like to see that because it becomes a connector, which is really important to the interviewer because they’ll peek they’ll go, Oh, I like to ski. That means that they do those things. They’re just picturing themselves connecting with you subconsciously. It’s a Yeah, it’s strategic, but it’s also humanizing,
Chris Villanueva 16:23
humanizing, thank you for using that word, it makes so much sense to me, because like, this episode is about authentically marketing yourself. And so much of what you said in the last few minutes are about authenticity and being who you are. And not just being who you are just because it feels good to say that like, Oh, I’m I’m being myself, but using those as an advantage when you’re applying for jobs, because there are certain things that you have that are going to make you a different than the other person and a better candidate at the end of the day. So it’s, it’s about figuring out what those things are. And just being honest about them, I think, and I will say just like the resume, it’s really hard to do this, you know, we’re I have a resume writing service. And usually I don’t advocate for showcasing personal interests and hobbies and things like that on the resume, usually. But in an interview, it’s a little bit different in that we have that chance to showcase a little bit more of who we actually are. So I love delving into these things. I think everything you’ve said is excellent.
Emily Rezkalla 17:24
Yeah, I agree. I wouldn’t put it on a resume. And I also wouldn’t mention it in any other questions other than the tell me about yourself. And it that’s really it’s just an opportunity to, again, like you said, be authentic, and not have to fit a mold of like what this structure of the answer needs to be.
Chris Villanueva 17:40
So tell me about tone of voice. If it’s a really interesting one, I don’t think about my tone of voice very much. I think I probably should. But why does this matter in an interview and any tips here?
Emily Rezkalla 17:51
Yeah, I mean, the story behind why I found out tone of voice was so important was because I started working at a boutique consulting firm, and they asked me to do like the call voice. You know, it’s like, if you’d like to speak to Emily, please dial one, you know? Yeah,
Chris Villanueva 18:09
I like that a lot. You know, I did that for hotel one time, but that was like 10 years ago. So got that in common? Yeah,
Emily Rezkalla 18:15
I mean, it’s not on the resume. But it’s, you know, it’s in the repository of, you know, little things that I’ve done throughout my, like, career growth. And so what was funny about that scenario is because it was a startup, you kind of do you know, all those different things. You’re not stuck to one role. I spent an hour doing it, because I didn’t know how to do it. And then I finished it and gave it to my boss and he went, that’s what this is not. This is nope, do it again. Go back, do it again. He didn’t even tell me how to do it again. He sent me back. Yes, he sent me back. He’s like, Nope, you need to fix it. And I’ve said how it’s like, Nope, doesn’t sound professional enough. And I’m like, okay, so I go back and do it again. And I and I bring it for a second time. And he goes, No, it doesn’t sound professional enough. And I’m like, okay, like, Well, can you give me some advice on how to fix it? And he says, okay, yes, because I can tell you’re getting better in it. But this is what you need to do. you’re ending your sentences on a high note. And it sounds very, like, you know, it sounds too young. It sounds too unprofessional and casual. Sounds like a question. There’s so many parts to tone. And he really gave me like, tone 101 class. Yeah, just for this one TA. Yeah. So, tone of voice. That’s kind of where my experience started with that. And I did more research on that. I’m a researcher at heart. So when this happened, I’m like, oh, what this is sounds so important in the consulting world. And I guess in my career, I need to kind of take this seriously. So I call it the customer service voice. You know, that customer service voice. It’s like, Hey, can I help you? Yeah, yes, yeah, absolutely. Have we all tap into it? At some point? It’s like, well, you go to grab, you know, dinner somewhere and the server kind of has it or you adapt to it, you’re like, Yeah, that’s great. Thank you, you know, you adapt to it. And what we’re trying to avoid is that really, it’s called up talk. And there are a few things you also need to avoid. But up talk is the most common, especially amongst women.
Chris Villanueva 20:21
So inflections at the end of your voice is what specific technical thing that’s happening, the technical
Emily Rezkalla 20:27
is the influx of your voice going high,
Chris Villanueva 20:30
which at a higher tone, sounds like a question almost,
Emily Rezkalla 20:33
it usually always does. And it’s really giving, not a confident and impactful answer. And there are also you know, issues with monotone. People can be monotone, but up talk or the customer service voice if we want to just simplify it as most common amongst women, and it’s avoidable. I use it all the time in my videos. I’m trying my best to do it now. And the ways to avoid it like do you find yourself doing up talk or customer service voice by accident when you get excited about something?
Chris Villanueva 21:10
Yeah, I think when I’m excited about something I thankfully I’ve worked on that I think I used to be really bad at that back back in the day. But I think I’m more likely to be monotone than having that like upward inflection. So yeah, no, I have to think about my tone of voice now. A little bit extra here. This is really good. But
Emily Rezkalla 21:29
yeah, it’s good for right now, especially since we’re here. But yours is great. I have no notes. I just know that everyone eventually when they get super excited about something does shine sometimes. Yeah, especially me,
Chris Villanueva 21:43
what are some of the other things that people are doing, like with tone of voice that can be improved?
Emily Rezkalla 21:49
Yeah, so the reason why tone of voice happens is because of a few things that could be avoided. And the first thing is your breathing. And that, like when you don’t have control over your breathing, so many problems happen, your nervous system starts to get you know, agitated. And yeah, so first that, and then you start to speak faster, because you’re running out of breath, your tone of voice goes higher. And all of those things that are happening kind of cycle like they circled together and create this, you know consequential flow where they all impact each other and just get stuck in it, you just get stuck into that flow, because you’re nervous, you’re gonna, you know, breathe less, or you know, not as frequently, and you’re going to speak faster. And because you’re not pausing it all just kind of endless cycle. And really, at the end of the day, I find that the baseline is breathing, and pausing, breathing and pausing. You control your tone of voice, you control your pace, you control your thoughts and intention while you’re speaking, when you pause. People hate silence. People don’t like it. I agree.
Chris Villanueva 23:11
But I think first of all, just I took like a conscious breath. As soon as you said breathing is so important, something I have to remind myself to do but whenever I do it, I find that the thoughts come so much more smoothly. Whenever there is that breath there, and whenever I am taking pauses, and it’s it’s really the same for interviews. I mean, if you’re at an interview, and especially if you feel we talked about nerves, if you’re running high on nerves, one of the best things you can do to physiologically control how you’re coming across and how to actually do even better is to take advantage of breath and pauses too. I know a lot of people feel uncomfortable with pauses. But I think those go hand in hand and showcasing confidence and letting it come out more authentically and more smoothly. So, so glad you mentioned that.
Emily Rezkalla 24:04
It also kills all the arms and ahhs and all of those, you know, buffer words that we all don’t like to say, because we’re uncomfortable with silence.
Chris Villanueva 24:13
Yeah, I love it. Okay, so I think we’ve covered a lot in regards the interview, I’m gonna ask you a little bit about job seeker mindset in a second here. One of the themes but I wanted to interject just a quick question before we get into that it’s what’s this concept of flare? I think you wrote about in one of your pieces of content or something, but just I want to hear about that and drawn from your past experience in the service industry. Yeah.
Emily Rezkalla 24:39
Oh, I love talking about flair. And it’s actually a new concept that I didn’t start with in my coaching it kind of just, you know, evolved. And basically flare, flare is when you you know, walk into the bar or a restaurant and you see the bartenders you know, throwing around the shade. GIRS tossing, you know glasses, doing fancy pours, fire, all of that fancy stuff smoke. That’s all flare, the juggling, that’s like the probably the most common when you see flare, and how I relate this and I bring this up because like you said, my past experience I used to bartend. And flair was just a person’s way of making a drink exciting. And making a drink isn’t exciting as much for the bartender, it’s just, you know, pouring ingredients together. And flair is what makes it fun. So, you know, the fanciest drink I probably had was something that was like, poured in one hand, and it stayed in the cup, and they like, throw it across the room. And they didn’t need to do any of this stuff that’s
Chris Villanueva 25:51
extra. Makes the
Emily Rezkalla 25:53
drink tastes better. None of it needs to like really happen for me to enjoy the drink once I get it. Yeah, right. Like it’s not really a part of the ingredient list. So flitters cool, because the interviewer, so pretend the interviewer knows what drink they want to drink is your answer, right? They want or you even if you want to make it no more conceptual, they know what drink they want. They know exactly what they are looking for. They have this set of criteria, the ingredient list, and they’re gonna get several drinks that look the same. But how the drink is served up. And who you are how the answer served up, is what I like to call flair. And really, it’s just a concept of you’re giving the interviewer what they want, but more without actually, you know, being an authentic because you’re not putting fake ingredients in the drink. That’s not what you’re doing. You’re just presenting the ingredients, and you’re just presenting how you’re making the drink in a more fun way that showcases your personality and creativity and your uniqueness. So that really like that’s kind of how I conceptualize that mindset.
Chris Villanueva 27:08
So in oh my gosh, I feel like I could go into this in a second. But I wanted to make sure we get enough time for the last question here. But like, just practically speaking here, how do I showcase flair? I’m kind of a showman myself. So this excites me. I did theater in high school way back when? But yeah, how can I I guess show off some of those personality. I’m not like quirks or tics but like, what is it exactly that I’m doing during an interview?
Emily Rezkalla 27:32
So I would probably say, look at the structure of the answer that everyone thinks you need to do. So for example, star, you know, you know, stars situation task action result for those listening, and it’s an way to answer behavior based questions. And people think, oh, I need to just stick with that. It’s like, no, here’s how I kind of add my own flair. I do star. But then what I do is I add a little bit more at the end. And what I add is a reflection and a summary. But I do it in my own way. And I mentioned like this is how I reflected from that scenario. And people don’t really talk about how they reflected and you’d mentioned empathizing and being authentic. I reflect on past experiences, whether they went well or where they didn’t go well, yes. Because I’m always looking to improve. Yes. So even if it went, Well, I go, I reflected back. And I actually think I could have done it better and done this way,
Chris Villanueva 28:27
which people don’t normally say people normally don’t do these things. So you’re standing out, you’re being creative, all in one.
Emily Rezkalla 28:33
Exactly. And then summarizing it at the end, which people don’t do they leave it to the interviewer to do the work to break down your answer. When if you do it for them. If you just summarize in their ways people think that it’s I see people think it is difficult, it is difficult. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. But if you put in the work to summarize your answer in one sentence, say this is the scenario, my task was to do this, and these are the actions that I took to get this result I reflected so much on how I could have improved. And I am looking forward to being the same situation and applying those new goals. And that’s one sentence and you summarized it for them at the end and they’re left with the answer even if they got lost
Chris Villanueva 29:18
in it. Love it that’s so powerful and something that’s never been expressed on this podcast before. So thank you for your flair, Emily,
Emily Rezkalla 29:24
no worries like that.
Chris Villanueva 29:26
I am going to wrap it up here with probably our deepest question here, which is job seeker mindset. And I think it’s something that’s so important because this transition for a lot of people who are going through the job search, find it challenging, it’s stressful, and usually it’s being done on top of not usually but in many cases it’s being done on top of other things that we have to do in life. We have to take care of a family member we’re getting married, were doing another job that stressful that we want to get out of So the job search can be so tough. So what would you give a job seeker right now? What type of advice? Would you give that person who is going through their job search and needs to look at their mindset a certain way? What advice do you have for mindset
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