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How to get a job

We’re hiring at GasPedal and pouring through resumes.  Most candidates shoot themselves with silly mistakes. Even senior-level executives.

If you really want to get a job, follow these tips.

1. Write an amazing cover letter. 
If you can’t write a simple, persuasive letter, then the rest of your credentials just don’t matter. You can’t represent a company if you can’t communicate.  Executives who can’t write are useless.  And if you won’t take the time to tell me why you want the job, I’m not going to take the time to talk to you.

2. Zero errors
No typos, no weird fonts from your cut-and-paste resume blasting. Again, if you can’t get a simple job application right, how can you possibly represent my company?

3. Tell me what have you done … specifically.
Job titles and chronology don’t matter much.  Tell me what you did, and what the results were. Built a department, saved $X, produced Y event, created Z.

4. Can you do THIS job?
I ran an ad — that means that I have a problem. I need it solved.  I have one salary, one desk, one phone, and one PC available. If I hire you and you really want to do something else, I’m stuck with my problem unsolved. The more you zoom past the problem, around it, above it, or give me a zillion ideas … I don’t need you. As much as I’d like to have a company full of geniuses, my need is still there and I need someone to focus on it.

5. Don’t take the wrong job just to get in the door.
If want a marketing job, don’t take an admin job and hope you get promoted.  Take a junior marketing job. You’ll be an awful admin, you won’t get the training that other junior marketing folks get, and won’t get the promotion.  This is probably the #1 reason we let junior staff go.

6. It’s about me, not you.
I wish you the best in your personal life, I hope you have great ambition, and I hope that we’ll be friends if I hire you.  But I have a job that needs to get done.  Prove to me that you can solve that problem. If you can, you get the job.  Your career path is something that a good employer will help you with. But that’s secondary to you doing a great job on the job at hand.

7. Show industry expertise and interest.
My favorite interview question: What do you read?  I’ve never hired a successful executive who didn’t enjoy reading the trades, blogs, and business books. If you aren’t genuinely interested in my business (and business in general), you’re going to be bored and unsuccessful.

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Comments

  1. erica conway January 24, 2008 at 1:22 am #

    HEAR HEAR ANDY!
    I serve as a representative for creative professionals, so I see a lot of resumes. Most of them are laid out with great design and typography, but I always find errors! It’s usually something like QuarkXPress or Photoshop (software applications used by designers every day) with erroneous capitalizations or misspellings (Quark Express, QuarkXpress, PhotoShop…) This is usually followed by a bullet point saying the writer of the resume is “attentive to detail.”
    I find it difficult to convey the points you so clearly and concisely outlined. I am going to forward this post to every student and young professional I have in my address book as well as to the creative talent on my roster! Thanks for the great resource.
    Well said Andy, well said.

  2. Michael E. Rubin, GasPedal January 24, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Terrific post. Here is one I would add: “Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for.” A lot of people are generalists and have a variety of experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re going to apply for a product management position, don’t list five bullet points about how you’re a great Web designer.
    Disclaimer: I work with Andy at GasPedal, but my opinions are my own.

  3. evanimoriss June 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    There is a need for competent administrators in the education system so that educational institutes operate smoothly. If you have worked admin assistant jobs in the past, you will understand the importance of a competent and organized administrator for all operations to run smoothly. There are many tasks performed by administrators. For example, administrators provide leadership and manage daily activities in schools, preschools and other educational centers. In a day care center or preschool, an administrator might oversee all admin duties such as record keeping, preparing the budget, supervising teachers or staff, handling relationships with the parents, and many others. However, in universities or larger school systems, there will be a number of administrators sharing the duties involved in such a sophisticated and intricate scholastic system.
    evanimoriss
    http://administrationjobsuk.com/administration-work%5Dadministration job[url]

  4. Vic of BusinessAccent July 23, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    Determining what’s the employees interest and enthusiasm is very important. One big reason of inefficiency and ineffectiveness of an employee is his fading interest and passion. For an employee, it’s better to show – off your energy on the job to impress an employer.

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