Ask Me Anything 3

In the 3rd episode of our AMA series, we touched on a forever-hot topic of job hunting, with a well-rounded panel with rich experience in recruitment.

Nora Tawast is a Tech Recruiter and Consultant Manager at Academic Work. She works especially with new talents who have between 0-5 years of experience.

Thoa Nguyen, Project Manager at Topcon Oy, has interviewed and hired numerous fresh and experienced professionals.

Ida Husberg-Veikkolainen is Talent Acquisition Partner at ICEYE, who has experience in HR in start-ups and scale-ups.

On March 20th, more than 80 people joined our webinar and actively participated in an insightful discussion on the topic of recruitment.

Content highlight:

Several questions from our audience were discussed during the event, and in this blog, we are summarizing the main points in three main areas. 

Best practice for CV and cover letter:

The first step in any job application is to submit your CV and cover letter. Recruiters have to read hundreds of application packages every day, so it is crucial to make sure your application can impress the recruiters and leave no question mark during their screening process. 

Our speakers advised the applicants to tailor their application to fit the company and the specific role that they are applying for. Your application should be able to highlight your relevant education and skills for the job. The recruiters would expect to see the connection between the requirements of the job and the competencies that you have acquired through your past projects and study. When in doubt of any specific job requirements, do not hesitate to contact the hiring manager to make sure you are a good fit for the position.

A cover letter is a powerful tool to express your motivation – why you want to be a part of the team. In many competitive positions, it might help provide an additional advantage to your profile by adding more personality to the application. One tip from our speakers: next time, you can try to be creative with a video application. It will for sure bring uniqueness to your profile and attract more interest from the recruiters. 

If there is a possibility, you should always ask for feedback from the recruiters during the hiring process. This will provide you with ideas for improving the next time you apply for a job.

Interview skills:

One of the burning questions among our audience was how to stand out as a competitive candidate for the position. In addition to the necessary skill set for the role, our speakers agreed that it is important to express your passion for the job, your motivation to learn, together with a positive attitude. In specific, if you are truly interested in a certain subject, you should show how you have learnt more about it, for example, by taking relevant courses, reading books, carrying out hobby projects, or participating in the community with like-minded people. It is also highly recommended to provide your answers during the interview with concrete examples and stories based on your past projects and study, rather than just giving general answers.

For experienced candidates, our speakers advised the applicants to show what you have learnt and done in your previous work, and more importantly, how to utilize those skills to help contribute to the growth of the team and the company. In addition, be prepared to share about your future aspiration and how you want to further grow and develop your career path.  

Salary request:

Salary is another interesting topic during our discussion in the webinar. Before applying for a job, you should always do research on the relevant salary range of the position. There are many sources for reference, for example, our friends who are doing similar jobs, collective agreement reports, or salary recommendations from trade unions. Our speakers also advised determining for yourself the minimum level of salary that you find acceptable and feel comfortable working with the job. 

Salary requests can be a sensitive topic for many people, but our speakers encouraged the applicants to not be shy about it, and be willing to discuss it openly with the hiring managers. This is also applied for those who are already working in the company. If you have performed well and believe that you deserve a raise, just bring it up with your superior for discussion. 


Overall, we have received very positive feedback from our audience, who truly enjoyed the session and learnt a lot from our speakers. Belows are some of the feedback for our event:

“Thank you for organizing this event, I have enjoyed it! The event has been organized and executed very well: the moderator did a great job, it was nice that we could add questions and vote on them, the speakers were also quite knowledgeable about the topics discussed.”

“Nice events with great panelists! I highly recommend everyone to join VPF.”

“2 hours seem to be too short”

“Great speakers, great moderation of the event from Hai! Very pleasant atmosphere!!”

“Once again, thank you for organizing today’s event. It was amazing and filled with insightful thoughts from all panelists.”