You may feel like the hiring process is an incomprehensible enigma machine that you just can't figure out. Despite your awesomeness, nobody is even responding to your application letters, let alone hiring you. Is it bad luck? No, you're just doing it wrong. Follow these 5 steps to get any job you want.
1) Have your own personal website
First of all, why is the only thing that a potential employer can find about you online a LinkedIN profile? What use is that? It's basically your resumé in a different format. Why do you not have a personal website where people can find out more about you?
It's not difficult. Anybody with and an internet connection can create one. You can literally have your own personal website up in less than an hour.
It's not the money either. You can host a simple website for less than the price of two cups of coffee per month.
So go ahead and buy your firstnamelastname.com, right now. You can get the rest done 3 minutes from now, after you finish this article.
2) Build a portfolio
Now, what content should you feature on your personal website? Seeing that it's your personal website, it's all up to you. It can be anything you want.
Firstly, though, you need to get out of the preparation mindset: the idea that you can only start doing when you have finished the stage of preparing. Preparation is entirely overrated. Degrees and certificates mean less to a potential employer than actual work. And doing is the best way of learning anyway.
So start creating.
If you want to be a copywriter, start writing. I recommend starting with a blog-everyday-for-30-days challenge. I'm doing one right now and it's seriously tough, but it's so rewarding. It'll make you look at the world so much differently, it will cure perfectionism and you'll end up with a ton of great content in the process.
If you want to be a coder, start coding. Start by doing a simple project and learn out loud, on your blog. Most content-management-systems make it real easy to feature simple code blocks in your blog posts, like so:
If you want to be an artist, start creating art and posting multimedia of your art on your website. Make How-To videos about how you made what you made and what techniques you used, for extra credit.
The main point here is giving your potential employer something to look at, to get an idea of what you're all about. It doesn't matter if you're not very proud of what you've created yet, that's not the point. This is all about showing momentum.
3) Create a product for the company
At the portfolio stage, you just created stuff based on whatever sparked your interest. But now it's time to get a little more specific and create something of value for the specific company you want to work for.
So take your time to do thorough research, to figure out what this company is all about and what value you could provide for them. Then, create that value.
To give you a few ideas:
- You could write an in-depth article, comparing the software of the company you want to work for with the solutions the 3 biggest competitors have to offer.
- You could create a how-to video, of you using the product.
- You could write an elaborate product review, featuring pros and cons and ways the product might improve.
- You could create a brand new landing page from scratch, if you think the one the company has now could use some work
- You could create three stellar facebook ads, including images and short and sweet sales copy
What you will end up creating will depend entirely on what the company you want to work for does; what your skillsets are and how the two fit together.
So be creative.
4) Create a value proposition
Next, you need to create a value proposition. A value proposition is vastly superior to a résumé, because a résumé is all about you, and what you have done in the past, whereas a value proposition is all about the company you want to work for; and what value you're going to create for them in the future.
That is a way more attractive read for an employer. It shows that you have done your research and that you're already thinking of how you could move this company forward.
A value proposition is basically you taking the opportunity to pitch yourself, proactively, before you've even gotten an interview.
Startups use pitch decks as a format to pitch their ideas to investors; detailing what problem they see in the market, how they plan to solve it and why they have the right team in place to be successful.
Create your value proposition in a similar way.
Resist the temptation to merely list your skills, but instead make sure to write the value prop from the company's point of view, addressing which of their problems you're going to solve and how you plan to do that. Be as concrete as possible, building on the product you created under #3.
5) Offer to work for free for a month
Finally, as a cherry on the cake, you can offer to work the first month for free. This will take away a little bit of the risk that is inherent in hiring on a new person.
Pay attention, though: although offering to work for free is a nice gesture, it’s not as valuable as you may think. After all, you’re not very valuable to a company in the first weeks yet, because the company is going to have to spend time and resources to train you anyway. So you will still cost them.
But you offering to work for free does signal that you have great confidence in your own abilities. You're saying that you're so confident that this company will want to keep you after that first month, that you're willing to assume this risk. And that's where the true value lies.
So, there you have it. As you can see, it's not rocket science. It's actually really easy to stand out from the crowd, because nobody ever does anything.
Follow these 5 steps, and land any job you want.