Let's Talk Tri Delta

Amplify Your Job Search with Amanda McRitchie Park

Episode Summary

Join us for an episode that is sure to amplify your job search! Professional recruiter and owner of AMP Recruiting Solutions Amanda McRitchie Park, Southern Methodist, shares her wisdom and practical advice that will inspire and equip you to take the next step in your professional journey with confidence.

Episode Notes

In this episode, Amanda delivers straight-talking, no-nonsense advice from her years of recruiting and career consulting experience. Her approach is direct yet comes from a place of genuine care for helping people in all stages of their careers, from college upperclassmen and recent grads to moms re-entering the workforce and seasoned professionals.

Amanda delves into all things job hunting: resume building, using social media, finding the right cultural fit and the importance of soft skills. She also catches us up on how Tri Delta still plays an important role in her life and how it gave her confidence, independence and a home away from home which she says is “way better than career prep”!

Find Amanda on Instagram @amp_recruiting or visit her website at AMP-recruiting.com.

Episode Transcription

This transcript was created using automated technologies and may contain errors.

Hello Tri Deltas, welcome to another episode of our podcast. I am Mindy Tucker, I'm Tri Delta’s interim CEO and today I'm excited to sit down with actually a chapter sister.

We both went to SMU and she is a member of our Theta Kappa chapter there, but Amanda Park is the founder. and owner of AMP Recruiting Solutions. She brings over two decades of experience as a passionate recruiter to the table,

so I'm really excited to get to talk to her today. I want to gain some insight into advice she can give us about our job search and really just any stage of our career, not even beginning,

but any stage of our career. What can we do to sort of enhance our job search? So without further ado, Amanda, welcome to the podcast. - Thank you, Mindy. So happy to be here and talk with everybody and see if I can help clear up any unknowns or frustrations or questions about career search,

whether that's college to career transition or stay at home moms that want to get back to work, et cetera, so happy to be here. - I think a lot of people are gonna benefit from hearing the conversation.

Before we get into all the recalling, and job search stuff, I want to hear a little bit about you. Tell us about your journey from getting into college, pledging Tri Delta,

communications major, and then how you became a recruiter. Sure, I'll try to keep it brief. I am from San Francisco and I went to SMU.

I got there in fall of '93, pledged Tri Delta in in what, spring of '94. What brought me to SMU was actually it was broadcast journalism that I was going to major in.

They had a good department. I ended up changing my mind and majoring in communications because mainly because I took some classes that I was like, I didn't know there'd be so much statistics involved in broadcast journalism.

So I kind of pivoted and I went into communications which fit me better. I'm a strong writer and I actually majored in English and it just kind of fit into a lot of the public relations and all the writing and I loved it.

So that was my major. Pledging Tri Delta was an easy decision for me. They were just kind of my people. I got very lucky when I went to SMU,

a lot of the girls on that show. floor ended up pledging Tri Delta and we were fast friends and we can talk more about that in a bit. But it was really a nice home away from home for me because again I was far away.

I was from San Francisco and I really didn't know but one girl there at SMU. So it was like I said a nice home away from home. I ended up graduating going into more of the PR role for that first six months out of college.

I was an editor at a news service called PR Newswire, which is still around. But, you know, shortly there, I was there about six months. It was incredibly high stress.

We were running news releases and making sure that they were meeting disclosure points for publicly traded companies. It was very stressful. I had never taken any business classes. It just...

about maybe six months into it co-worker of mine who was more senior said I have a friend who works at Accenture, which at the time was Andersen Consulting.

She said they're looking for a junior recruiter for their technology You know a technology junior recruiter. They'll train the person. They're looking for a kind of that soft skills someone they can bring on and and grow into the role do you want to give them your name?

And I said, yes. So anyways, I ended up interviewing, getting the job, and that was my first stint in recruiting. That was, I think I started with them in February of 1998. I've been in recruiting ever since.

I was always an internal recruiter. In 2006, no, 2007, October of 2007, I had my first baby. I thought I was gonna stay at home and about nine months,

I'm sorry, nine weeks into it. I thought, you know, just I missed work and I loved my baby, loved everything about it. I just sort of missed work and recruiting is very flexible where you can kind of,

it can be a pretty flexible schedule. I was talking to a former manager and she said, just we'll give you business, start your own company and see how it goes. So that's what I did. I think I started the company in January,

I guess technically January 2008. And that was the launch of AMP recruiting solutions. And now my children are, I'm about to have two high schoolers. So they're just finishing up their sophomore year in high school and their eighth grade year.

And I'm working more and more because as it goes, it's kind of bittersweet, the older they get, kind of the less, you know, the more time I have to work. So I'm working a ton I'm loving it half of my business is direct hire search so what a lot of people call headhunting and that's I do a lot of that at the manager and above level but the other half of my business is more career consulting and a lot of times

it's that college to career transition phase a lot of my clients are are junior especially seniors in college that are really starting to look at that work world and need help making that transition.

And then of course sometimes it could be a stay -at -home mom that wants to get back to work. You know she hasn't worked in 15 years and I kind of help create a resume and interview prep and give them confidence back to be able to go and do that.

Yeah, you know it's funny you talked about the nine weeks. You really don't know until you have the baby what you're going to want to do. And everyone's asking you, are you going to come back to work? But you really don't know until you get into that situation what it feels like and what you really think you can manage and balance and what you're missing.

- Well, right. And it's such a sensitive topic. And I want to be so considerable and sensitive to how I phrase that because I have mad respect for people that stay at home and take care of the kids.

It is so hard. It is so hard. Luckily, recruiting is a it is a career where I got lucky. I had supportive managers who gave me the idea to start my own company and they were generous enough to give me business.

Not everyone is that lucky, but that is a profession that that I could work around. You know, still I did hire a nanny and she was home while I was home.

with the baby and, you know, we made it work, but I fell into a pattern where I really could carve out that time to be, you know, Amanda the recruiter and then step outside my office and be,

you know, Amanda the mom. Yeah. That's important. And we all do it differently. We all feel differently about it and it's great that we all have options. We can all sort of figure out what we want to do and do it our way.

Okay. So we talked about it. and we talked about the services that you offer. This time of year feels really relevant to have this conversation because there's so many people I just returned from my niece's high school graduation.

She's off to college. Everybody's in this transition stage of life moving on to this thing. Why do you think, what could we be doing better? Why do you think college people that are in college,

I'm gonna say college women because I what we focus on but as they make this transition what's missing what are they not getting in college that really prepares them for the work world? What could we all be doing better in this space?

What's missing out there? Well that's a because I could go so many directions with that but look how long do you have really really can you clear your schedule for the day um what I really think is that different than when you and I were in school.

Social media, this 24 /7 access to scrolling and the iPhone in general. This wasn't I. And so that 24 /7 access to social media,

it distracts a lot of people. or they're looking at bloggers, a lot of people are looking at these bloggers that have this Instagram perfect life and they're forgetting to put that down and start worrying about their own life,

like really start doing your research. I think it's distractions. To answer your question, it's distractions. That is what prevent, that's what is,

I think really preventing a lot of people, especially to your point at that college, to career transition point at that senior year. I think it's just overall readiness,

because it's so hard. You know, there's something going on 24 hours a day. There's not to mention all of the social stuff that you're doing. with with college. That stuff's not new.

But the scrolling, the constant, or looking, always thinking you're going to find this perfect scenario like all the people on Instagram have. And I can think of several people who are asking me frequently,

college students, do you know of a really good, like, stylist's job in New York City where I could maybe travel And these are, you know,

no, I don't. And again, I want to say that was sensitivity, but it's because there's such a, I don't know,

a false, I don't know, a false narrative of what is realistic in the work worlds these days. You know, you got to grind it out. You got to put your grit in.

You got to work your way. And I think somewhere along the line, that's been lost. - You know, I see that too, just from this vantage point of being a executive now and having a large team of people,

and I'm hearing this from others out there too. There's just, there's this generation that is coming into the workforce, and maybe some of our younger employees, they want to be hired for the job before they do it.

They don't want to hustle and show so they can do the job. then be offered the job. They want everything to be upfront. There's, I remember when I graduated and I started college that I was,

I'll do whatever. You want me to add that extra thing to my plate? Sure, 'cause I'm gonna show you I can do that 'cause I want the next job. And it seems to be lost. It's, they want it all upfront. - Yeah,

it's, but again, it's so tough, Mindy, because we didn't, you know, they're, they're looking at things constantly. I say they, let's talk generational, the college students right now are just looking at,

um, you know, mainly these big personalities, celebrities, reality stars, and just wondering how they can be the next influencer and how they can, you know, have this kind of jet -setting lifestyle.

And I think it's, um, it's been, you know, what's happened with social medias. has been amazing in many ways, but it's also been a bit of a disservice because there's just its perception versus reality.

And I think maybe it's at the college level that there needs to be more with maybe the counselors at college, the career counselor, or not the career counselors, but are they the academic advisors that need to really start making more of an impact?

about, you know, what are you doing to prepare for this next step? I don't know, but that's part of where I come in. You know, I come in when they're starting to freak out and then they can come to me and we'll work through some of their concerns or maybe what they've procrastinated on.

But, you know, I say it all with a lens of trying to be really open and almost sympathetic, because I didn't have those kinds of distractions.

I worry about my own boys. I've got a sophomore. He's about to be a junior, so I'm about to have two high schoolers. And I don't know that they understand what is a realistic starting point in a job.

You know, they think they can hop. on and be, I don't know, the next influencer making money on YouTube. I don't know, it's like, you gotta start somewhere, you gotta grind it out,

it's the grit, it's the grit that's missing. - We're in the same space, I've got a, they're just finishing seventh and 10th grade. And there is an element of like, you know, if they get interested in something that is like that,

how do I, you know, I used to know how to prepare kids for a career, you went to college and you did all the, things that I did, but preparing them these days is completely different if they wanna go do something different in that space that didn't even exist when I was growing up.

- Yeah, yeah, well, and there are, and to that point, I mean, you can go to college and major in video game development. You can do that. So, education is starting to mirror what is out there in terms of,

you know, what this generation is looking at when there are online watching these YouTube guys talk about how they've made a fortune on Minecraft doing development or whatever.

There are some really cool majors now that you can go and you can study in school, whether it's about video game development or obviously social media, you can make an entire career out of being a social media expert.

There are all kinds of cool things. education is catching up to what, it's obvious. I mean, we're gonna need these people. So it's just, I think that where the gap is,

is you gotta start somewhere and you gotta work. You gotta work hard. - Work your way up. - Yeah. - Mm -hmm. - Let's talk about the soft skills. You mentioned that earlier. In terms of how you got your first recruiting job.

What are soft skills for those who don't know what we're talking about here and why are they important? It's not the stuff on the job description. It's not two to four years of recruiting technical people or if you're a developer,

two to four years of job development or 10 years leading integration architects, whatever. It's the other stuff, the stuff that's not on there.

It's the ability to, it's your personality. It's chemistry with whoever you're interviewing with. It's the ability to show your aptitude and attitude.

I got my first job based on attitude and aptitude. And that's soft skills. I certainly didn't have anything to bring to the table. But they said, that they could train me. And sometimes that's gonna make the difference.

I mean, somebody who has everything on that job description may be interviewing, no matter what the level, an executive or a brand new entry level person, they may check every box on that job description.

But if they don't have that quality that says, gosh, they're gonna be a long -term contributor to this team, they... have that it factor. They walk in and they know,

you know, they looked at my picture and said, "Oh, is that your child? Do they road crew? I road crew." I mean, that's trying to make a connection. That's a spark. It's the ability to relate to people,

to also know, though, that fine line of where to stop. Otherwise, you're going down the route. hole and you're talking too much and that's the opposite of what you're trying to do.

You're just trying to say we're both people and I'm so excited to be here and I'm gonna let you see my true, my authentic self.

Those are soft skills and sometimes it's not a fit but sometimes it's exactly what they're looking for and they might have seen a Java developer that could you know do it in their they didn't have any communication skills.

They couldn't talk. They couldn't have a conversation like you and I are having 'cause they just wanted to heads down and not contribute to the workplace culture. So it's that stuff that's not on the job description that says they're gonna be a great teammate.

- And that culture fit is huge. - The culture fit's huge and the culture fit is huge. - And the culture fit's huge and the culture fit's huge. it can be the difference in you having a successful career or not.

I mean, somebody can go in and out of a job, I see it all the time. I've got a stack of resumes on my desk, people who switch jobs every year to two years, maybe every 18 months to every 24 or 36 months and eventually,

you know, an executive, right? My clients, who are my the companies I do recruiting for, they'll say to me, too much job change. I mean,

too much job change because something's off if this person's changing jobs every 12 to 24 months. And I can tell when I'm doing interviews, I know now, when a person is really going to be successful with the client interview.

And it's when they have tenure at other companies. They can talk about best practices. They can talk about how they watched a company grow from 100 employees to 1 ,000 employees,

and they have that growth mindset. And if you're constantly leaving jobs, you don't have that growth mindset. - Yeah, yeah, so much to think about there.

So we talked about social media. being a hindrance, but it's also a tool in the job search What do you think are the positives and how should job seekers be engaging with social media?

That's a good question and it depends on the field. I mean if you're trying to be You know if you want to take that influence around or you're a college student graduating in fashion design that's going to be very different how you know somebody who's a coder.

It's going to be very different how they use social media. So it just depends on the industry that you're in. I mean if that's what you're going towards or you want to be a you know anything in retail or merchandising or product then you'd want to be on social media kind of if it first of all,

to do research. Secondly, a lot of times that's where people are connecting with, I don't want to say hiring managers, but people who work at that company,

you might start to engage and say, "What are your experiences?" I've been looking at this company and they might respond. Usually, that's more a LinkedIn place to talk about career stuff. But I think it just depends on what you're doing.

it's anything fashion related, you definitely want to follow anybody that you're trying to work for. And you want to be liking stuff. They'll look at that. You want to be liking things. And for that matter, I guess no matter what job you're interviewing for or what company,

you can at least be following them and interacting and liking it so that when you're talking to them in an interview, you can say, "I've been following you on social media.

And I've been following you on social media. And I've been following you on social media. this and or I really saw you guys are trying you know this from a branding aspect I think it's really working so in some ways it's really imperative like in that fashion route you absolutely need to be commenting liking asking questions about the brand or saying I really like how this went together but if it's just any other

position a coder a marketing a marketer for anything in HR person, a recruiter, whatever, any technical role, it would help to just be following and commenting every now and then so that you can show engagement during an interview or in a cover letter or whatever.

But it shows, it's part of your prep. Right. What about LinkedIn? LinkedIn is where you would want to engage with people and ask them directly about their work experience,

or you can ask for informational interviews. LinkedIn is not, that is not social, that is 100 % professional. Your head shot there,

your photo, should absolutely be a professional shot, not in a t -shirt, certainly not with friends, not with a partner, just you, a professional shot.

AI can even do that for you. I mean, it's just you and a professional shot. And that's where you can absolutely reach out to professionals. For example,

a lot of people in college again think, "Well, I don't have a network." Yes, you do. Let's talk about SMU where I went. SMU is a network. You can easily filter your search into alums from SMU.

you can even search by their degree, you know, what they graduated in, where they live, any of that, and you can say, you can send them a message and say, you know, I am graduating,

I also attend SMU, or I saw that you graduated from there, I'm about to graduate, I majored in what you majored in, or we're from the same hometown, I have some questions,

I see you work for Johnson & Johnson, or Procter & Gamble. You know, that's a company that's on my shortlist. Would you have any interest in just having a 10-minute informational interview for me? I would love to just pick your brain.

I mean, that is absolutely something that should be happening. And all they can say is no or not respond to you. And you're not, the difference is you're asking for an informational interview.

You're not saying, "Can you hook me up with a job?" Or, "Hey, are you rearing?" You're saying... soon to be alum, to alum, could you help out a fellow Pony, and,

or whatever, a Baylor Bear, or a Buckeye, Ohio State, whatever. Can you help me out? And just 10 minutes, I'd love to pick your brain. And a lot of people who've got jobs that way. - For sure.

- So you know what's gonna come out of this. They'll connect you with someone else who ends up being the job, or they'll help you. I mean, it's just, you never know what's gonna come out of this. So I highly encourage this as well. - Or even. Tri Delta I mean Tri Delta is a network and some people you might even have I have to go back and look but it could absolutely be that people Have tried Delta on their

resume or on their LinkedIn profile. You definitely do as an executive there So there but you could also follow them. I mean you can search by groups that are followed I mean, there's all kinds of ways,

but Tri Delta is another example of a network We started encouraging our collegiate members to list their officer experience in Tri Delta. So it shows that they've got experience but also connects them to Tri Delta.

And it helps us when we, you know, I search at least once a week I go into LinkedIn and search Tri Delta psychologist or accountant or something, I'm looking for something. - Exactly, exactly. - So yeah,

I love that. So for resumes, what are some quick, easy, actionable things people can do to spruce up their resume? real quick? People that are in the middle of their job search,

what would you tell them, top three or four things you would make sure they do? - Sure, sorry, I was just writing a note down that I wanna revisit something with you. Keep it current. Don't embellish.

If you don't speak Spanish, you took it for two years in high school and you're now graduating college, don't say you speak beginner Spanish. You don't. Chances are you don't.

you know. I mean, yes. So don't embellish. Definitely keep a current. Be consistent. Same thoughts. Don't put periods after some bullets and no periods after others.

That drives me crazy. Don't capitalize random words. I don't know. I mean, I could write a book on resume, like all the weird things I see in resumes. People will just randomly capitalize.

school, like just the word, S -C -H -O-O -L. It's like, why? Why is that capitalized in the middle of a bullet? I don't get it. Um, so, you know,

be, uh, grammatically correct, um, use correct punctuation, spell check, that is such a basic one. I see such sloppy errors on spell check.

I mean, I, just caught one. Her name was spelled wrong, spelled incorrectly. Her name. So you got a spell check. I mean, that's the easiest one. That's the lowest hanging fruit spell check.

And then just don't embellish. Make sure that you are consistent in the approach of how you're doing it.

And don't underestimate things like, if you don't have much to put on your resume, then if you did a really, again in college, say you did a really interesting project for one of your classes,

you can put that on there. And the heading would be applicable academic work. And you can list some cool projects you did. And I could do a blog post and direct you guys to that later.

But there's... absolutely things you can do to fill your resume that people just don't even think about. Those are good tips. If I am a single mom, or not to say I am a single mom,

that's why that came out that way. If I am a stay -at -home mom ready to return to the workforce, what takeaways and advice do you have for them as they head out on that journey?

Here's what I have to say. Most of the questions I get about that start with, I have no experience and I wanna go back, it's been 15 years. And I'll say, okay, well, tell me what you've been doing.

Well, I was the PTA president, I ran auction. I mean, I'm like, hold on right there. You have tons of experience. You have tons of experience. So I would say I just did a resume for a woman that hadn't been in the workforce for 15 years.

I think it had been 17 or 18 years. She had left as a very, she had a very successful career when she left to have kids in pharma.

She was a pharmaceutical person and med device. And so bright, you could tell by talking to her, she was so bright. She said, I've just been, I was really, you know,

I made the decision to stay home. I was really involved in my kids' schools. I did all of these things. I was PTA president, I did this, I did that. I said, you're gonna have a resume better than most because you think you don't have experience,

you have tons of experience. She had done so much stuff. I mean, the person, she had personally put together a campaign to raise like 250 ,000 for a local nonprofit. I mean, that's huge.

So you have experience. You think you don't have experience. do. And anybody, if you really haven't been doing anything, if you've really not been engaged in the child's school or didn't do any volunteering or weren't really involved in your community,

I would advise anybody to start getting involved so that you can have something to put on your resume. It's easy. They're looking everywhere, anywhere around you in any city there are volunteers.

opportunities. So start getting involved there, because that's absolutely something a professional like me, I could work with that with a resume, absolutely. So there's always something you can be doing.

Or another thing, continual training, do some training. That's advice I gave somebody recently. They said I'd really love to know more about AI because I haven't been working,

but I think AI could be a really great entry point. for me to kind of pick back up with marketing and try to get into a company focusing on that artificial intelligence space,

AI. And I said, that is a great idea. You should go get some online training and you could do that, do a quick Google search. We'll give you a ton of AI training so or access to where that would be.

So you can do training. You know, there's all the offers of miniMBA. no, I didn't. - And it's paid, it's self-paced. So you can do it when however you want to,

whenever you want to, and it's online. And so I always encourage people to do that. But I think it'd be perfect for a mom who's trying, you know, balancing a lot, doesn't have a ton of time, but could jump in,

take those courses over time and then walk in with this miniMBA on their resume when they're ready to go find. - Bingo, that's great. It's so there's all the time. a step to take.

I honestly think the hardest thing is to get started. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. - Yeah, where do I start? - You just gotta get started, you just gotta do it. - Just do something.

- And there will be people that hire you, I promise. - Yes. - Not you, well, you're already hired, but anybody listening, you will get hired. You just gotta put in a little bit of work on the front end to get some...

meat on your resume, but it is so attainable. So how do you think Tri Delta prepared you for the real world? That's funny you said that.

That's why I just wrote Tri Delta. Loop back to it. That's what I was writing on here because you asked me that and I went on to, I was telling my journey from San Francisco to how I got into recruiting, but I didn't talk that much about Tri Delta,

pardon me. So how it prepared me, I think, I'm gonna be just really honest. I don't know that Tri Delta necessarily prepared me for like the work world.

What Tri Delta did was give me so many other gifts. I mean, my best friends came from Tri Delta. I had, it's been, oh my god oh it's hard not to get sad happy sad about it but one of the biggest gifts has been one of my best friends that um was a pledge sister and we graduated in 97 together.

Her daughter has now Katherine Delagarza um just graduated from SMU this weekend and um a lovely lovely girl she was on the equestrian team there and it's you know Andrea I got to see her Andrea lives in New York so I've been able to see her over the past four years while her daughter Katherine was at SMU and so she is one of my very best friends and it's been such a gift to be able to be almost like a

substitute mother for her daughter Katherine while Andrea's in upstate New York where they live um I could say the same my Regina Frederiksen I graduated with.

She pledged sister. She introduced me to my husband. It's just been honestly I mean I could go on and on you know Amber, Kristen like we're all thickest thieves and none of us live in the same city.

Most of us don't even live in the same state but no matter what you know we graduated in 97 and I just pinned one of their daughters at initiation. When was that in March?

I mean, it never goes away. It's been such a gift. So, you know, well, maybe that wasn't like career help. What it was, what it gave me was confidence and a home,

which I think is way better than career prep. Right? And you can't get it. other places. You can get the career prep other places. - Yeah,

yeah, no, it's been a real gift. I mean, it's, yes, and that's been, you know, that's, it breaks my heart because do you know that now, you know,

sometimes girls, I'm not talking about SMU, I'm talking about sororities, and I'm not talking about Tri Delta, sororities in general. Sometimes there's just too many girls in not enough spaces. or enough houses and girls don't get any house.

And it makes me so sad because I know what it did for me. And I just, I don't know. - I don't want every woman to have this experience, right? - Yes, I want everyone to have the experience I had because it really was such a gift.

And it just, it prepared me in ways just more about becoming, I mean, an adult, a woman. somebody who, independence, it taught me independence.

I mean, Amber, Amber Atchley Cokins, again, pledge sister, graduated in '97. I'll never forget, she taught me how to do laundry in the dorms of McIntosh,

SMU's freshman campus, and freshman dorm, and how to write a check. She was the very first person, we were going to buy cowboy boots together. And I was like, how do you write a check?

And so, you know, it's just-- - Life skills, yeah. - Yeah, life skills. - Mm -hmm, love it. Well, how can our listeners find you online if they're interested in seeking your help?

- Yeah, so on Instagram, I'm Amanda _-- No, I said that wrong, I am amp_recruiting. So @amp_recruiting.

or, I mean, my website is amp-recruiting .com. But I'm happy to, you know, I don't know if there's a storage spot when this is listed somewhere,

but I can give. - I can put all that in the comments of the series. - Yeah. - Thank you for joining us today and sharing this. - I answered your questions. Was there anything I didn't answer?

- No, you did. I think this was great. I think people will gain a lot from listening and also there's probably some people that will reach out for more help. - Happy to help always. Yes.

- Thank you so much. - Lovely speaking with you. Thank you so much, Mindy. Take care. - I encourage everyone to take the advice Amanda has so generously shared with us and use all of her great steps if you're in a job search.

Remember Tri Delta is here as well and we are happy to help however we can. through our transformational programs or connecting you on CONEECTDDD or LinkedIn or wherever, just reach out. I love to be a networker myself. So help us help you and we will connect you to other Tri Deltas that can be helpful. We hope you enjoyed the podcast. Please like, subscribe and rate our podcast. We have three stars in our Crescent but we love those five star ratings.

Thanks for joining us. Until next time, Delta Love. (soft piano music)