How I Got Employed After Two Weeks Of Graduating College.
If you’ve heard or read my rants for the past 6-8 months, I’m constantly trying to convince people to begin working on their personal brands. Until now, the only results I could show on the benefits of working on my personal brand is being ranked number one for my own name on Google SERPs (search engine return pages). However, now I actually can prove that what I’m alluding to when I’m speaking about my brand is the fact that it only took me two weeks to get a job after I graduated. Mind you; I didn’t even apply for the position.
Let’s start with the context.
Just like the majority of these scenarios go, yes, I did get the job based on a recommendation from a friend of mine who has been working at the company for over six months now. What’s significant in this scenario is how he came to the conclusion of recommending me. I had built leverage in our relationship over time. If there is one thing that my personal brand has done so far, is that it’s shown my friends (at the very least) I know what I’m talking about when it comes to marketing. Even if they didn’t read any of my articles, look at the articles I share from other publications, or check out the videos I share from Gary Vaynerchuk—they know that I’m someone they can recommend for a marketing position. And that is what my friend did, he saw my value and shared it with his team.
How did I leverage my brand in my interview?
If there is one thing I am 1000% confident in being true is this: in the hiring process, your interviewer will always Google you beforehand. Particularly in a startup, where I got hired, any hiring manager worth their paycheck is going to make sure they do their due diligence in making sure they aren’t hiring anyone who could potentially hurt their company’s brand because of the content they produce and share on their social media platforms.
I’ve made sure that when I’m searched on the Internet, even if my potential employer doesn’t care about my personal website, at least they will check out my LinkedIn profile. Optimizing your profile to the industry you want to work in is key, sure you may have worked a couple of retail positions here and there, perhaps even worked in a cafe. However, make sure you highlight key skills from each job you have and most importantly, the accomplishments you’ve done while working in those positions.
“What better way to show someone you can do the job you’re applying for, than by doing the job before meeting them?”
Doing the work the position requires before even going to your interview.
In my particular line of work, there are always at least 6-7 people competing for the same position in any given opening. I knew I needed to stand out. What came to my mind while contemplating how I would do so, was a book called Rasputin for Hire: An Inside Look at Management Consulting Between Jobs or as a Second Career that I read a couple of months ago. In the book, it covers how to be a good consultant. What remains in my list of lessons gained from reading that book is doing spec work before meeting with your client.
If you put your frame of mind in thinking about your interviewer as a client and not a future boss, it takes the pressure off the situation. What helped me was preparing one deliverable, in this case, I did keyword research (a task my position would be regularly assigned to do) on the company beforehand and gave it to the person interviewing me. What better way to show someone you can do the job you’re applying for than, doing the job before even meeting them?
The takeaway: how can you apply this to your own context?
No this isn’t feasible if your job has to do with sales considering you aren’t selling to the companies key audience yet. You can, at the very least, do as much research about the company beforehand, showing that you’ve taken all the extra steps. The steps that put yourself in a better competitive advantage than the other job candidates wanting the same job you want.
If you’re still in the job search, this should be the takeaway: you need to try harder. We’ve been taught that having a prim and proper resume, good contacts, and prior experience are key to getting employed. And this is true…if you just want to just mail it in. But if you want to stand out, you have to do more. It’s the only way you’ll be able to excel at the job hunt, and get job opportunities. Without having to even apply for any positions.