If you haven’t read this book, drop what you are doing and get a copy right away. It’s written for entrepreneurs and business people, but any jobseeker will benefit from the priceless information it contains. If you’re looking for a job for any of Australia’s hottest, more desirable employers, you need to be on the cutting edge of hiring practices.
Think beyond the paper resumé. Everyone know the paper resume is a lame representation of a candidate. People exaggerate. They blow their experience out of proportion. They fudge the dates. Sometimes they even fudge jobs. What can you do to stand out from the pack? What about a photo essay introducing yourself. You’re not printing them yourself and handing them out all over the block, so don’t restrict yourself to black and white. That brings me to my next point.
Companies are hiring personalities rather than resumés. Smart companies know how important it is to bring in employees that fit the spirit of the workplace. Personalities that jive means good communication. Good communication means new ideas can blossom and grow. Choose wisely before sending your application. Would I fit in here? A bit of research can help. Connect with employees on LinkedIn. Try and generate conversation. See how much chemistry you can going.
The length of your experience is irrelevant. According to authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, six months of experience is as good as five years experience. The initial learning curve can be quite steep, but after those six months it pretty much flattens out. That means you shouldn’t ignore a job listing solely because you don’t have the necessary experience. Apply anyway. Make your case.
Your education doesn’t matter. At least, not as much as you think it does. Lots of intelligent people did poorly in college. Some companies have policies about only hiring people with certain degrees. Does that sound visionary to you? Some would think twice about applying to such a company. If you’re really set on it, use it to your advantage. You’re the wild card candidate. Show why you’re different. Why should this company break the rules for you?
Forget about geography. This is the real cutting edge of the cutting edge. It takes a special company that can see across borders and languages. If times zones are an issue, ideally there are a few hours of overlap. You might need to shift your schedule a bit to accommodate that, but it’ll be worth it. (Don’t forget to subtract all that commute time you’re going to save!)
Never say no to a test-drive. Lots of companies are doing this. Even after a great interview, the truth is you just never know how an employee is going to work out on the job. Some businesses actually hire people for a two or three day project. Others might ask you to complete a task at home. This is especially popular with new graduates who don’t have much experience. Inevitably, a few people will say no. (“I’m way too talented to work for free. I’ve got better things to do.”) Humble yourself. You’re being given an opportunity. Have you got something in your schedule that’s more important than opportunity?
Do these ideas seem radical? The times they are a-changing, my friend. If your profession isn’t quite there yet, this may be where things are headed. So take heed. That book, once again, is called Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, owners of 37 signals.
Amy Knapp is a business blogger for InsideTrak. If you’re ready to get looking for that new job , you’ll find it all there.