A Candidate’s Perspective: What 2020 Taught Me

My name is Giulia (pronounced Julia), and I was born in Italy, hence the unusual spelling.  I moved to Vancouver about 6 years ago. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Diploma in Business Administration Sales and Marketing. Since moving to Vancouver, I have worked in fashion, events management, marketing, and administration. Despite the differences in each role I found myself always striving to connect with people and enjoyed building meaningful relationships.

I currently work for Arbutus Search Group and was originally a candidate that represented one of their clients. The experience I had working with the team at Arbutus was very different from other agencies.  

It all started in the spring of 2020 when I was unemployed and looking for a job. We all know how daunting this process can be. I knew I would eventually find my perfect match and that I just had to keep working at it. You know the deal, I spent most of my days doing much of the same, tailoring resumes, writing cover letters, and speaking with different recruiters about job opportunities. I found my experience varied with different recruiters and left much to be desired. My profile was often submitted for roles where I was either underqualified or overqualified and at times the work culture fit was not there.

One day, I applied for a position I was really excited for. The company was hiring through a different recruitment agency, Arbutus Search Group. I had my first interview with Leila, one of their Senior Recruiters and she was very pleasant, friendly, and personable. Her approach was refreshing as she made sure that not only my work experience but also my interests, personality and career goals aligned with the hiring company. Throughout the whole process she was very supportive providing me with very honest and transparent updates about the next steps and what I should expect. Before every round of interviews, she would give me a quick call to wish me good luck, making me feel like we were a team.

Well, at the end I didn’t get the position, but I was very impressed by the hiring experience. Honest, respectful, friendly and professional. I was so impressed by my experience with Arbutus that I shared my honest feedback with Leila. She was very happy to hear my appreciation despite delivering the bad news to me and I left with the feeling that we had created a positive connection. Eventually, I was lucky enough to get a temporary position with an amazing startup but 6 months later my contract was up and there I was, unemployed again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.  Around this time, I reconnected with Arbutus Search Group and more specifically Joel, the Managing Director. He presented me with an opportunity to work with them and I didn’t think twice about it. 

Today I am working with Arbutus Search Group as an Executive Assistant. I support our Managing Director, Joel, and I take care of the admin and operations for the company. I also support our Market Research Analyst with content creation and editing and I assist our recruiters. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would end up working with a recruitment agency, I would have laughed. I never envisioned myself working in this industry but after witnessing the way Arbutus operates, I was sold. Not only does Arbutus align with my values of honesty, respect, and compassion but they offer the work environment I had been looking for: collaborative, inclusive, flexible, fun, friendly and supportive.

What I like the most about Arbutus is that it is purpose driven and people focused, which allows me to connect with amazing candidates helping them find their dream job. They strive to build meaningful relationships, both with clients and candidates while making a positive impact in the community. Considering my experience within the recruitment space, the best way to describe the approach Arbutus takes towards recruitment is innovative.  

I know being unemployed can be stressful and frustrating, but I want you to know that there is hope. Don’t give up. Your next big opportunity could be just around the corner!

2020 has been a difficult year for a lot of people and we decided to put together a Candidate Training Program to help people who are looking to improve their job hunting skills. In this course we cover pretty much everything you need to know about how to secure your dream job. From job search techniques, to resume and cover letter writing, building your LinkedIn profile, interview skills, negotiating, and more.

You can find more information about this course here.

If you have any questions, comments, or just want to connect, drop me a line at giulia@arbutussearch.com!

Thank you for reading my story. Here are my candidate-to-candidate pieces of advice:

Suggestions for those looking to get hired:

  • Believe in yourself and in your worth.
  • Identify which values are important to you and in which type of work environment you can excel. This will save you a lot of time and disappointment! 
  • Be positive and stay resilient. Opportunities will come your way.
  • See challenges as opportunities and take any opportunity you can to build meaningful connections. You never know where they can take you.
  • Connect with a good recruiter today. You won’t regret it.

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