You can burn your resume, even if it’s a great resume.
Instead, think of the saying, “If you want to be interesting, be interested.”
It applies when you’re looking for a job.
If you want to be interesting to companies, be interested in them.
Interest is even more important than openings (or a great resume)
Corné didn’t send a great resume. He sent us a pitch, so way better.
It was really good. You can see it here.
But Career Hackers(formerly Crash) wasn’t hiring anyone. We had no open positions advertised and were focused on growing the company with the current team. In fact, we were very much in lean mean mode, not looking to add personnel expenses and feeling no major need for a larger team.
But Corné got an interview.
His pitch came with the email below:
His pitch was awesome and full of energy.
He took the time to “do the job before you have the job” and created not one, but two marketing assets for us up front. He demonstrated that he was clearly very familiar with Crash(now Career Hackers), had read and listened to tons of our content, and wasn’t bluffing when he said he was passionate about our mission.
He was interested. He was excited.
So much so, that I got this email, viewed his pitch, and felt like I owed it to the guy to at least give him an interview.
He offered to do a free two-week trial for goodness sake!
It is so rare to find someone this excited about your company’s mission, and it made me feel good. Someone thinks we’re doing something so cool they can’t wait to join!
A trial and then some
What’s funny is Corné originally pitched us on doing tech work. He’s got some skill there, but after talking with our lead developer, it was clear he was still pretty green as a coder for our needs. We’re a small team, so we don’t have a lot of space for junior developers right now.
In other words, not only were we not hiring, but Corné wasn’t quite at the experience level we needed even if we were.
But his story doesn’t end there.
Since he made some marketing videos with his pitch, I had him talk with our marketing director. Just like our lead developer, our marketing team loved him, too. And he had enough ability and hustle to add some value to our content marketing efforts.
I couldn’t say no, so we gave him a two-week trial. We even paid him a little bit. But I made it clear we weren’t hiring full-time, and this was just because he had such a great pitch, and I’d try to help him find another job while he was working with us.
Money, meet mouth (forget polishing your “great resume”)
Corné was excellent. He did good work, he hustled, he was optimistic and joyous to work with, and everyone liked him. He squashed a few bugs and did some basic dev work, did a bunch of marketing content, and anything else anyone asked (and volunteered to do a lot of stuff no one asked about). So much so that after his two weeks, we offered him a six-month gig to keep working with us.
Remember, we were NOT hiring.
But Corné showed so much genuine interest and made the initial bar hard to so say no to. “Just give me a shot for free.” We had to interview him. The interview was more of the same excitement. We had to give him a trial—he made it so easy, how could we say no? And in that trial, he made us not want to lose him.
Yes, there’s always more to the story, but don’t ignore excitement
It’s true that excitement alone doesn’t grant wishes.
But it’s also true that most people approach the job hunt as a dull, boring, fear-based process where they blast some paper version of themselves out a hundred times and hope some only moderately sucky company is willing to pay them enough to eat. Ugh.
When you lead with your interest and excitement—and let your interest and excitement lead you—you find a few companies you genuinely love, create something genuinely unique for them, and make a genuinely hard to ignore pitch, you end up with a genuinely cool career.
You’ve still gotta hustle. You’ve still gotta learn. You’ve still gotta put in the work. But if you’re excited, those are easier. And if you let that excitement show, and prove it in tangible ways, it’s easier for a great company to say yes to you.
So what are you waiting for? Go pitch someone today!