Note: This post originally appeared in 2015. It got a ton of views, so we’re sharing it again. You got this.
Enjoy – js
Every company, every startup, everyone who hires people needs this person.
The hiring managers at companies try to figure out how to post a description for this job, but it’s impossible. Sometimes they don’t know what the job is called or who the successful candidate should report to.
But companies know they need you. They need you badly. They just don’t know how to say it. They don’t know how to find you.
I’m about to tell you how to increase your chances of getting a call back by 50%, maybe better. This is not a trick. You can do this today, now. All you need to do is answer the following question:
Who are you, anyway?
You’re a student or an alumnus. Maybe you’re older but vastly experienced. But you’re so much more than that. You’re this unique person, with skills and strengths. You are really good at something. Are you and editor or a producer? Do you love the camera and does the camera love you? When you write, do words fly off your keyboard? So you want to sell a brand or a product or do you want to educate people about issues important to you?
You might be saying, “I really don’t know.”
It’s okay. You think you have it tough. There are people who are 50 or 60 years old who still don’t know the answer.
Cut and paste this. Rewrite it in your voice. Just so you know, it took me 20 rewrites to get it right.
I am a _______ who has strengths in ______, _______, _____ and _____. I have proven examples of my experience at ________________ where I successfully ______________________________. I’m most interested in learning more about_____ and _____. Doing this kind of work is very fulfilling to me and I’m excited about the future.
Now you’re ready.
The job opening is for Problem Solver, and you are that person.
I often use this example when I meet with students. Let’s imagine you love dogs. You love all things about dogs. Researching online you discover a pet adoption service that features profiles of dogs up for adoption. These short videos introduce the animal and are designed to be a call to action.
Here’s the problem – the videos are not shot well, are badly lit and have crappy sound.
You love dogs, and you are a great shooter and editor. You produce a short video that is similar to the ones you saw online. Yours is awesome.
You contact the adoption agency and say “I am a video producer and I love to tell stories through video content. I have examples of my experience on my YouTube channel, where I created a dog adoption story that will move you to tears! I’m most interested in learning more about your mission and plans for the future. Doing this kind of work is very fulfilling to me and I’m excited to talk with you about how we can tell more stories about these wonderful animals – and find them loving homes.”
You, for the win.
All companies in all industries have problems.
You can do this job search one of two ways – you can upload a resume and hope for the best, or you can go to them, identify their problem, and show them you are the problem solver.
If you try the second approach, I like your chances.
John Scott is the Career Services Manager for the School of Communications and Media Technologies at Academy of Art University, San Francisco. He splits his time between San Francisco and Sacramento, piling up frequent rider miles on Amtrak.