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How to get a job

We’re hiring and digging 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, and 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 you 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 you 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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