This is a true story. It’s the story of how I got my job here at Officevibe as the Growth Manager.
There are a few important lessons that I’ll share for job seekers about how they can really stand out from the crowd.
First, some background on why I’m writing this post altogether.
Last week, I released a post about unemployment in America, and really took some time to talk about how many people there are that are still struggling with finding work.
At the end of that post, I mentioned that I would write more posts like this, with job seekers in mind, to help them.
Instead of writing some arbitrary “10 Ways To Get Your Resume Seen” type of post, I figured a much smarter, and more real way to do it, was to share my personal story.
Lesson #1 – Be Smart On Social Media
This is something I was always very aware of, and I never posted nude selfies of myself on social media.
I always wanted to maintain an image of myself across all of these networks that I’m very well-read.
So for the most, part, you’ll see me posting links to articles instead of pictures of myself.
Whether you like it or not, recruiters are looking at your online presence, and judging you for it.
Whether they know it or not, there are psychological biases that they have that might be either preventing you from getting that interview, or helping you.
I was also very active on most social platforms, especially Twitter and Linkedin.
They’re both very good for professional networking, and I wasn’t afraid to use either of them to reach out to people.
True story, I would have never heard of Officevibe had it not been for Dan, the product director (who I later discovered was the founder) not following me on Twitter.
If you’ve read some of my earlier posts from when I first started, you would have probably noticed that I wasn’t too fond of the last place I used to work.
So one day, while at my old job, I decided to send Dan a private message (or DM) on Twitter.
I asked him if he knew if his company was hiring, because it seemed pretty interesting.
He told me that they were, but the positions he was looking for didn’t match my skill set at all.
I was pretty bummed, but then a few hours later, Dan told me to send him an email anyways.
The reason why he told me to send him an email, is the start of my second lesson.
Lesson #2 – Brand Yourself
A few months before that happened, I had read an article on Forbes by Dan Schawbel, who’s a very famous career expert, called 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 Years.
That’s when I decided to take my personal brand to the next level.
Instead of only having a presence on social media sites, I wanted my own online CV at jacobshriar.com.
I really recommend anyone reading this that’s looking for a job to go to GoDaddy.com and buy your domain name with your full name.
I’m actually not satisfied at all with how mine looks, and I’ve been meaning to change it for a while, but I’ll get to that eventually.
Even though I didn’t have any of the skills for any of the openings they had at Officevibe, Dan told me to send him an email anyways.
He told me, that he had taken a look at my website, and that I seemed like a “pretty cool guy”, and that I should send him an email.
This is the actual email I sent him:
Out of the 3 skills you’ve mentioned I’d say I’m most comfortable with content generation. I love the idea of growth hacking, but if I’m being honest with myself, I have no experience in that so I’m sure you could find someone better for that role.
Either way, let me tell you a bit more about myself, and attach my CV, just in case anything comes up in the future, or you think you might find a good place for me.
I’m very passionate about culture, and team building. I really believe in working smarter, not harder, and my favourite book is ReWork by Jason Fried (founder of 37Signals).
My favourite company is Hubspot. I love what they do, what they stand for, and what their culture seems to be like.
I’m very into reading about technology and startups, and read Techcrunch, Business Insider, and Hacker News daily.
I have solid experience in online marketing, and have my certification from Google Adwords.
I also am familiar with using Basecamp, Zendesk, and JIRA.
Attached you’ll find my resume, and below you’ll see links to some of my online profiles
My website http://www.jacobshriar.com
A few things I think I did right in this email were:
- It was properly formatted, so it was easy to read
- I was honest, I told him straight up that he could probably find someone better for the role
- I kept it informal, to show him that I’m geared more towards startup environments instead of corporate environments
- I mentioned what I liked and what I was passionate about (notice I use the word “passion” twice in the email)
Lesson #3 – Hustle
This is the most important lesson of them all.
If you want to make yourself stand out, you need to put in that extra effort, and make sure you show them that you really want this job.
Instead of applying to 100 different jobs, the best advice I can give job seekers is pick 3 or 4 that you really want, and hustle hard.
So Dan and I exchanged a few more emails, and he asked me to come in and have a chat with him.
So I went in on a Friday afternoon.
The chat went very well, and as a test, Dan asked me to write a blog post for them, called 6 Shockingly Simple Ways To Be More Productive.
This was the first blog post I had ever written, I definitely was nervous, but I wanted to show hustle, so I stayed home Friday night and wrote.
I had made great progress, and woke up early Saturday morning to finish, and sent him a Google doc asking him for feedback on Saturday at 10:06am.
To this day, it’s one of the most popular posts on Officevibe’s site, and has generated a huge amount of traffic.
I had to keep Dan updated through Trello, the project management app that we use, and I noticed one of the other ideas they had for a post was around the word “Team Building”.
To show Dan how much I wanted this job, I wrote another blog post, called Why Team Building Is The Most Important Thing For Tech Companies.
Lesson #4 – Be Responsive
Show them that you care.
Also, show them that you’re serious, and you’re not taking this lightly.
When Dan would write me an email, I made sure to respond back within the hour.
I also made sure to respond to every single point that he mentioned in his email.
Not only does this show how responsive I can be, but it shows that I pay attention to detail.
If in his email he asked me for 4 things, when I responded, I made sure to answer those 4 things.
I also went above and beyond, and wanted to show initiative, so I offered to handle all webinars and sales demos, even though that wasn’t technically part of my job description.