Madeline Mann is a people operations leader in the blockchain industry and the creator of Self Made Millennial YouTube channel, which provides rapid-fire, battle tested advice on how to find your career and excel in it. In this exclusive interview with Manning Global, Madeline gives tips on how to achieve the ultimate interview wow-factor, plus offers some innovative job search strategies for millennials to try…
You’re a keen blogger, vlogger and writer – what recruiting topics do you enjoy presenting the most?
The short answer is: ALL of it! I weirdly love talking about recruiting and career development constantly. But if I had to choose, my favourite advice to give is the kind that gets people to rethink the way they view the job search process. Small tips and tricks for resumes and interviews are helpful, but most of us were never taught how to fundamentally approach career planning and interviewing to show our true value. For example, I did a video on how job boards mislead us to approach our job search in a backward way, and another video (see below) on how to rethink the way you respond to interview questions that will quickly impress interviewers. Topics like these are the reason I started the channel, because we all need to unlearn the outdated approaches to finding a job!
Your YouTube channel – Self Made Millennial – as the name suggests, is targeted to a certain group, so what are your top tips for how Millennials can deliver on their potential?
The tip I’ve had the most success from is how to build your own ‘BAMF Binder’ for a job interview. This is how I was able to land job offers for roles that I wasn’t totally qualified for. A BAMF Binder is a physical portfolio of a person’s work and accomplishments, all laid out in a simple and compelling way. It’s excellent for people who want to articulate the value of their experience, especially when the relevance isn’t directly apparent. Such as if you are switching careers or have non-traditional work experience like volunteering in the community or projects completed in school.
I get many emails from people who have stories of going into interviews and the company being so impressed that they are fixated on the BAMF Binder, pass it around the office, and one person even got a job offer on the spot because of it. Two reasons this creates an impact: first, it makes your experience feel real to interviewers, and second, almost no one puts that much thought and effort into a deliverable for an interview. Give it a try, here is the walk through of how to make one yourself, and I reveal my own binder at the end!
Do you have any innovative job search strategies for Millennials to try?
What Millennials or graduates should know is that education means very little to an employer in quite a few industries (I’m thinking of technology, but there are many others). Often they’ll be applying for jobs, feel as if they’re getting nowhere, and will start looking into grad school programs. This is where I encourage them to re-evaluate and approach their job search in an unconventional way. This means having informational interviews, building projects, finding your own clients – getting experience in ways where people do not grant it to you, you create it for yourself! Click on the video below to discover more on this topic…
How essential has Youtube been to getting your message across?
You’ll see me writing articles, answering questions on Quora, but YouTube is truly where I put my all into content creation. You can learn anything on YouTube, and there are excellent career and job search YouTube channels in existence, however, none of them had everything I wanted as a learner. So with Self Made Millennial I combined all the elements I craved: advice that is rapid fire, immediately actionable, straight from the source, and with a bit of silliness. At this point I have a core of avid subscribers who write to me regularly with their success stories – that’s what makes this all so much fun!
Your video career tips /advice are very helpful – please could you explain the process involved from the original idea to its execution…
I have a Google doc that is over 220 pages where I write down all my ideas and flesh them out over time. I put stars next to topic titles as I make progress writing the episode, and once an episode has two stars next to its name it’s then on deck to be filmed.
I do most of my filming and editing on the weekend, with generally bulk filming on Sundays. For every minute of content you see, it generally takes me 10-15 minutes to film, so I will explain things several different ways and then pick the best take.
From inception to posting it on YouTube, the entire lifecycle of creating a video takes around 11-17 hours. It’s a lot of work, but it’s something I look forward to every week!
Let’s talk about your day job. You’ve led People Operations at Gem for close to three years now – please could you give our readers a quick update of your key tasks for this role and how you implement these in the workplace…
As the Director of People Operations at a blockchain startup, I take on every flavour of the People Operations function, including organisational development, culture initiatives, recruiting, training and development, plus traditional HR. I was fortunate when I was brought in at Gem that the CEO, Micah Winkelspecht, didn’t see my role as a reactive one to take care of company issues, but a proactive one to build a company culture where employees are engaged and thrive.
I see company culture as a garden – without a gardener things will still grow, but with a great gardener tending to it regularly, the plants will truly flourish. I tend the garden in several ways: identifying areas of improvement in the organisation and then coming up with a plan to address it, creating situations where co-workers can build meaningful relationships, hiring people who fit our values, and understanding individuals’ needs and motivations to empower them to have their best possible experience.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention?
It’s truly all about the Self Made Millennial YouTube channel, I don’t hold back on there: I reveal real-life emails, templates and resumes. I release new videos every week, and the results people have seen in their professional lives has been tremendous.