Image: Shutterstock / lOvE lOvE
"How to get a job at:" is a series of interviews with hiring managers at companies in order to provide specific and useful insight into… well, how to get a job. Read the first installment here.
Imagine standing on the red carpet of the Met Gala, photographing Rihanna’s ensemble and immortalizing this moment for years to come. That’s just another day in the life for photographers at Getty Images. For the Getty Images team, photography is the purest form of communication –– embodying the company’s core values of trust, transparency, and openness.
Getty Images’ powerful visual content appears every day in the world’s most influential newspapers, magazines, films, books and media, and the company has job opportunities all around the world. The best part? You don’t have to be a pro photographer to have a chance at this company. I sat down with Getty’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Katie Cushing, to find out how to get a foot in the door at this innovative organization at the intersection of creativity and technology.
Rachel Bitte: What does Getty Images look for in applicants? A love of photography or creative pursuits in general?
Katie Cushing: Outside of our photographers, we’re more about finding people who can appreciate creative visual work versus produce it. I’m by no means a good photographer, but am constantly humbled and in awe of the work our teams do. For marketing, sales, or finance, for example, you still need to have a creative mindset. It’s about the way you work yourself out of problems. We look for people who can bring solutions –– quick thinkers and problem solvers.
The Takeaway: Creativity comes in many forms—your employer should respect yours.
RB: I love that. So being a household name in the photography industry, I’m sure you have hundreds of applicants for every position. What makes someone stand out, from their resume to the interview?
KC: A well crafted resume goes a long way — one that tells your story succinctly can be all it takes to open the door. It’s important to show your career progression and increasing responsibility. Being able to quantify your experience is critical, whether that’s driving revenue, enabling cost savings or even serving a large sales territory effectively –– numbers allow us to see the impact you’ve had even before we get to an interview.
Once in an interview, I think the questions a candidate asks tell us just as much about them as their responses to us. Of course we want to know about their experience, work history, and what drives them, but I always leave a lot of time for the candidate to ask questions. We want to make sure they think we’re the right fit as well. I love hearing questions that show they did their research on Getty Images, and use those as a starting point for a deeper discussion. It’s important for candidates to know what’s going on with us and our industry, and how that impacts their opportunities here and where they could see themselves fitting into that bigger picture.
The Takeaway: Highlight your experience, do your research, and ask questions.
RB: I feel like most interviewers have a favorite interview question. When you’re looking to hire someone, what’s the top question you never fail to ask?
KC: That’s easy: why Getty Images? The most popular response is, “I’m into photography.” That’s great, but you could choose any company with a visual platform or product. We’re interested in digging more into why and how someone connects to Getty Images. My favorite answers tend to do with people reflecting on current events. In a world where journalism can be skewed, a picture is its own story. From triumph to tragedy, the Olympics to the refugee crisis, we document the whole human experience, and candidates need to grasp that. The best ones can articulate how they relate to our mission to move the world with images.
The Takeaway: Think critically about your passion.
RB: Feels like you truly have a great grasp on what candidates need to show to shine through. What’s your biggest piece of career advice for young professionals?
KC: Exploring various career paths doesn’t have to start right after college or stop once you’ve achieved a certain level –– you should take advantage of any opportunity to learn more about another part of the business you work in, whether it’s a different team or perhaps a different location globally. Be resilient and persistent, because making a career change can be difficult, but growth comes from hardship. If you’re in a rut at work, pick yourself up, dust off your resume, practice interviewing, and get yourself out there — there are always opportunities, but sometimes you may have to look hard for them.
The Takeaway: Explore and be resilient.
If you’ve always dreamed of capturing and sharing powerful imagery with Getty Images, remember that creativity comes in all forms. Perspective, critical thinking and problem solving can help you thrive in any field from photography to technology. Your resume should succinctly reflect your experience and use concrete examples wherever you can.
Taking the time to research the company and preparing thoughtful questions before interviews show you’re serious about the position. “Why Getty Images?” is a simple question that carries a lot of weight –– think about your talents and your connection to the brand. And always remember: don’t be afraid to explore your options.
Rachel Bitte is Chief People Officer at Jobvite, a.k.a., head honcho of finding and keeping the geniuses who work there. As Jobvite’s Chief People Officer, Rachel brings with her a wealth of HR experience—particularly in the tech industry—with a focus on change leadership and talent management. In her free time, she is all about anything outdoors that burns calories, including road riding, mountain biking, snowboarding, and backpacking.