How to Land Your Dream Job
By Amber 0
Last year, when Snapchat unveiled its video function, Connor MacDonald had the bright idea of adding the social media platform to his job-seeking toolkit. He made a few videos and short animation “snap stories” and sent them out to 100 or so companies, explaining why they should hire him. Within a few months he landed a marketing gig.
MacDonald isn’t a savant; he just applied the right tool at the right time to address an age-old problem—needing to pay the rent.
“It was about communicating that I was a creative problem solver. The video cover letter was just the vessel for the idea,” he says.
Jake Newfield decided to use an older approach—cold calling—but with digital tools that make the hunt easier. He listed 25 to 35 contacts per company and sent them all messages via LinkedIn, Facebook, or email to set up phone calls. From those, he received 10 replies from each company. From each of those 10, he arranged three phone calls. From those three, he landed one interview. End result: 30-plus interviews.
Newfield, who’s now in business development for the data company Cloudera, says the mass messaging paid off with connections. “I was surprised at how far you can get just by making an effort,” he says.
Or consider David Ly Khim, who was looking to change his career path from scientific research to digital marketing. A deeper dive with fewer people, he decided, would be more effective than casting a wide net. After taking a low-level internship to gain experience in his new field, he searched for people on Twitter and LinkedIn who had the kind of knowledge he thought could help him.
Khim, who now works as a marketing manager at HubSpot, didn’t send any applications during this phase. Instead he spent his time trying to connect with people who were doing what he eventually wanted to do. Once he made a connection, he shared his resume—and eventually scored a job.
All three of these guys pulled off what millions of us attempt each year—they landed the positions they set out to find. Although each man mapped out a different strategy, their efforts came down to one key principle, says Steven Netter, a director in strategic programs at Intel who has experience recruiting new talent. “What’s your unique story?” he asks. “You need to stand out from the crowd by demonstrating the skill set, acumen, background, and passion that an employer is seeking, without coming across as too intense or overbearing.” Here’s your plan.