How to Not Get Hired at redthread
Aj Blog 2

Over the past year and a half at redthread, I have had the pleasure of spreading my Human Resource wings from time to time, straying from my usual duties as a Project Manager any time we are in need of a new hardworking goofball to join our team. This happens about once every two months, and in all honesty, it’s a process that I look forward to quite a bit. Thus far, I’ve interviewed just shy of 100 people, and there have been some stellar applicants that have gone on to join the family, and applicants who need to be taken by the shoulders and steered in the right direction. I’ve seen it all folks - the good, the bad and the incredibly unprepared. We get many applications at redthread every month, and I’ve quickly determined what really makes an applicant and application NOT tick. Below are some quick tips that are guaranteed to make sure you don’t get hired at redthread:

  1. Name drop and avoid mentioning any accomplishments
    1. Your resume could be stacked with all sorts of awesome accolades and internships, but I’m way more interested in the impact you had being the Lead Client Development Engineer Intern at the startup with the cool name last summer in Kansas City. What were you able to accomplish? Did you bring in a certain amount of new business? Any chance you’d be willing to share a dollar amount? Was this goal spelled out for you? Were you able to benchmark and monitor your own success? Talk about the things you were able to do, and not just that you showed up for a few months. It also doesn’t need to be some cool Internship for it to mean something to me. Have you volunteered? What cool stuff are you doing at your current position? Have you made something uncool cool? Have you done any work for free that you’re proud of? What about your friends you like hanging out with so much. Have you done anything noteworthy with them? Those are the things I want to hear about, not that you were the Primary Resource Director at a cool open concept office in Austin.
  2. Don’t look for your middle ground
    1. We have to enjoy working together in some capacity. There aren’t a ton of people in the office and its an open space. Not getting along isn’t really an option, at least, not for very long. So it’s important that you’re able to discern when it’s cool to be silly and when to know when it’s time to get shit done. Love my fellow type-A homies that are obsessed with their lists and color-coordinated planners, but sometimes your day is gonna get decimated by a client fire, or a team member getting pulled onto a project unexpectedly. Are you going to freak out or are you gonna be flexible? Cause I need to know. My type-B creatives are amazing too. I love how the creative mind works, bouncing from idea to idea, but in all honesty there are some serious deadlines we need to hit. Can we count on you, or are you gonna pull up weird anime music videos and distract the other team members for hours on end?
  3. Don’t pay attention
    1. A lot of people say redthreads in their application. Don’t do that. That’s getting a company’s name wrong in an application. If you’ve ever written “detail oriented” on a resume or cover letter, then you should probably do an awesome job of proving it. Maybe have another person read over your resume before you go ahead and email it over to us. If details aren’t your thing or you forget people’s names easily, don’t be so hard on yourself! However, you will need to own up to it and compensate in some other arena.
  4. Be really good at only one thing
    1. This is a small business. Everyone has to wear a couple hats a day. You could be the world’s foremost expert on poster designs, but if we don’t have several months of poster work lined up and ready to go, then we’re probably gonna move on with a more well rounded designer. The best way, I’ve heard it described is the T-shaped skill set. Be really good at something, but ensure that your other skills are broad and can be useful in some other way.
  5. Don’t do your homework
    1. Are you following us on social media? Who does redthread work with? How does redthread determine success? Do you know anyone on our team currently? Reach out. Make some connections, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a groundbreaking thing to mention, but you have to have to put in a little bit of work to understand redthread. Anyone from the team will be happy to talk to you. It’s usually pretty evident within the first 10 minutes who knows what’s up and has done the research (hint: follow us on social media).
  6. Make sure we have nothing to talk about
    1. You don’t have any questions for me? Bummer. I’m an open book. Ask me whatever you want. Want to know what you need to do to get a 2nd interview? Ask me about it! The usual ‘what are your goals for the company’ and ‘what challenges does this role have’ questions are fine, but there is so much more you can ask. Seriously. Come prepared with questions.
  7. You are no fun
    1. I get it. I don’t love talking about myself either. We all just go home after work or school and binge watch the latest season of Stranger Things or rewatch Grey’s Anatomy for the 9th time, but we still have to connect about something. Do you listen to music? Yes. That’s awesome! What were your top songs on Spotify last year? Are you an artistic person? When was the last time you showed your art at an event? Let’s talk about that! Don’t be embarrassed about your weird hobbies either. Own up to your weird quirks, and don’t bore me with the usual ‘I like hanging out with my friends.’ When was the last time you and your friends booked a trip to Thailand? Let’s talk about that.

*Bonus Tip* Bring a notebook. You’re going to want to remember what we talked about in the interview. This will help.

**Disclaimer** These items do not necessarily apply to other hiring processes. Please don’t take them to heart and expect every company to want you to chat about the latest Oscar predictions or conspiracy theories for an hour. Some companies are pretty traditional, and you should DEFINITELY use your discretion when deciding how to proceed with a hiring process.

***2nd Disclaimer*** An applicant could literally be perfect for a position, but in all honesty sometimes it just comes down to timing, and the strength of the other applicants. Even if you’ve successfully avoided all of these hiring process pitfalls, there isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get the job. Best advice at this point, is to not be discouraged. Keep following along with redthread and be persistent. If our threads are meant to cross in the future, they will.

It’s been a hell of a year working here at redthread as the Creative Strategist — the person behind the scenes on many accounts making sure the analytics line up with the big ideas.
Now I’m here at redthread, calling myself a “copywriter” and learning what that actually means. It’s been a wonderful, challenging experience that’s led to a lot of personal analysis and critique of my current and previous work to find ways to improve.