How to get the job you want

The first step to getting the job you want is to have a successful application process. Most people don’t think strategically about this. They send the same CV to every company and they don’t do anything to stand out. Here’s a more effective way to apply for the job you want:


Step 1: Understand the role and the company’s priorities

  • This might sound obvious at first, but in my experience most candidates do not spend enough time doing the proper research.
  • Learn as much as possible about the company’s projects and priorities. Start by exploring the website and really understand the products and services they provide. You can also get up-to-date with their initiatives from social media. If it’s a public company, you should read the latest investor relations update. If it’s not public, you can read the investment memos from their funding round. It will give you great insights about the business and its priorities, and the industry overall. Last but not least, if it’s an international company, get a flavor of the local projects as well.
  • Read the role description carefully and make sure you have at least a basic understanding of what’s expected. Google the most common interview questions for this particular job, search for resources from people who are already in this role (articles, interviews, podcasts), and make sure it’s something that would fit your professional ambitions.

Step 2: Tailor your CV, from good to great!

  • After doing the previous research and deciding that you want to apply, it’s time to work on your CV.
  • This should go without saying but a good CV should be up-to-date, clear and clean, no typos, no longer than 1-2 pages, and pdf format.
  • A great CV is a tailored CV, meaning that you want to highlight experiences and skills that are most relevant for the particular role. For example, let’s assume that you previously worked in event management; if you apply for a sales role, you should highlight your customer relationship experience, while if you apply for a coordinator role you should emphasis the project management skills from organizing the events.
  • Another tip would be to try and use in your CV similar language & expressions as the ones from the job description.

Step 3: Show how you can contribute

  • Once you have a great CV, it’s time to do some “pre-work” and show how you can contribute. Doing this pre-work will also significantly increase your chances of being invited to the actual interview.
  • Here’s how you can show your contribution: are you applying for a UX position? Create a Google Doc, or even sketches, with a few improvement tips for the company’s website or app. Project Manager? Come up with a potential initiative, including high-level planning, that is aligned with their current priorities. Social Media? Draft 2-3 cool posts, or suggest ideas that would make their online communication better; etc.
  • Yes, you might not know exactly what they expect from this role, but through this approach you show proactivity, and it also gives them a glimpse on the quality of your work. If you have a portfolio to showcase, even better, but make sure it’s relevant for the role.

Step 4: Connect in advance with the team

  • Try to get a referral from a current employee, or even send your CV and pre-work to the hiring manager.
  • You can connect with them on LinkedIn, but it’s important to be respectul of their time. My suggested approach: be specific about the role that you’re interested in, attach the CV, and show how you can contribute to that particular role (as explained at Step 3).
  • Connecting with your potential colleagues in advance is also useful for understating the culture of the team. In the end, your work experience is mostly influenced by the manager and the team your work with, not by the whole company.

Following these steps will definitely increase your chances of getting invited to an interview and making a great first impression. Nevertheless, there could be other factors involved in this decision (e.g. some jobs are for recent graduates only, other jobs require certain qualifications, etc.) – so don’t take it personally if you’re not accepted.

If you enjoyed this post, I would really appreciate a subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Share this: