- Find a job listing on LinkedIn that sounds like a position you would like to do
- See if you have any connections to the company
- Send a cover letter and resume to your connection (if you have one) or directly to HR
- Hope you have a bit of luck and that they call you
While this is a decent strategy, the problem is that it’s the SAME strategy that everyone else is following. If you want to get a job — and believe me, I found this out the hard way — you have to do more than just show you can fit in with the company. You have to stand out! So what does this mean in practical terms? Well, let’s give an example. Let’s say you are applying for a specialist position at a digital marketing firm. This digital marketing company helps its clients by providing blog content, email marketing, on-line promotions and video content. Say this digital marketing firm has a number of clients in the food industry. Well, knowing that if you get the job, you could be working with a number of these firms, you could set out to develop a digital marketing portfolio that mimics what you would do in the job. For example:
- You could create a blog about the hip foodie events happening in the city that week
- You could also make a top 10 list representing who you think are the best chefs in the city and why
- You could do a video of the top outdoor markets in the city
I would recommend creating a few of these so that you could mention them in a cover letter. What better way to catch a recruiter’s eye than by showing them that you are serious about the job from day one? Think this is too much work? Well, then ask yourself how much do you really want the job. If you cannot find it within yourself to take the extra couple of hours to needed to create this content then you probably don’t really want the job that badly. Companies are going to pick the best person for the job. Prove to the company that you are the best by taking that extra effort from the beginning and demonstrating it at every interview along the way. If you are focused on a particular industry such as app marketing or website development, then it makes sense to create content during your downtime and then tailor it to the specific company as needed.
Of course, you will need to pass the other check-points along the way in order to get the job. These are the ways to show that you will be able to fit in. You need to read over the company’s website, know if the company has currently been in the press, know the company’s main products and know who the company’s directors are. Know who the company’s main competitors are and what challenges the company faces. Knowledge of these points will demonstrate your interest in the company and that you want to know more about them. Also, be familiar with the LinkedIn profiles of the folks who will be interviewing you. It is quite appropriate to ask the individual coordinating your interview who you will be meeting with and what will be the focus of the interview. Specifically, as you get later in the interview process, the questions and expectations will be more directed where as the first few interviews will be a test of whether you have the skills the job demands.
Just imagine though how much easier those first interviews will be if you can demonstrate from the beginning that you do have the skills the job demands. The interviewer will know it because you have already demonstrated as much with your online content. Even if what you have to show isn’t digital, you can showcase your craft with pictures on pinterest or slides using slideshare
It was Sun Tzu who wrote “Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles”. While a potential employer is not an enemy, Sun Tzu’s message is appropriate none-the-less. By standing out with your work, you show that you know your enemy. You already know yourself. Make sure your prospective employer is aware of your knowledge as well.