How To Stand Out In Your Job Search: Amelia Ransom, Sr. Director of Engagement and Diversity at Avalara

An accomplished executive with over 20 years of experience, Amelia Ransom is an expert in leadership development, early career engagement, and strategy surrounding diversity and inclusion. She was formerly the Director of Talent and VP Diversity Affairs at Nordstrom and serves on the board of Seattle Goodwill.

On writing the perfect resume

Honestly, you probably shouldn’t write it alone. I say that because people often don’t have the ability to be passionately accurate about their own skills and tend to sell themselves short. Whether it’s a friend, colleague, professional, or your college’s advisors, it’s important to use your resources. 

On crafting the perfect cover letter

Give the hiring team a glimpse of you in your letter. Make it stand out from your resume and don’t make it so formulaic that it isn’t memorable. It’s okay to make it a little bit personal to help you stand out as an individual. 

On sending the perfect follow-up thank you note 

Just write one! The value of a thank you note comes from the simple fact that you took the time to write one. You should also write thank you notes to everyone involved–those that helped you prepare or land the interview, not just the people you interviewed with.

The best advice you’ve received for your career

A manager once told me, “You’ll give away your power by not realizing you have any. You have power in your role and you can do things, but if you don’t use it you will lose it. Don’t give that away.”

This was important because I was new in my corporate role and I needed to leverage the power I had for my team. This totally woke me up and made me realize that I didn’t need to be someone else. I just needed to be myself and use my voice.

The best advice you’ve received not pertaining to your career

My mom used to tell me that, “Experience is a fool’s wisdom. It gives the test first and then the lesson.” As someone who wanted to try everything, I quickly learned that you can’t do it all. This advice taught me the value of learning from others’ experiences and opinions on subjects that I didn’t know as much about.

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