Here’s what goes on behind closed doors-
Credentials and paper qualifications DO matter for some (mainly academic)industries like medicine or law, but for most other fields, job requirements are surprisingly negotiable.
Companies can sometimes receive over a hundred applications for a single position, so they need to have some way of weeding people out to keep that number manageable.
What they are really thinking is “we don’t want to go through a number of applications of people who don’t know what they’re doing.
-a person with at least 5 years of experience or more maybe qualified to do the job without having the same stated degree requirements..
So how do you prove to them that you are a good problem-solver?
Do the job before you get the job.
This is called the “pre-interview project.” - For example, if you’re applying for a sales/marketing role, a good pre-interview project could be selling some of the company’s products and writing a document about it.
If you’re applying for a design related role, you can mock-up some new designs for the company and tell them why you made those decisions.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Zoom in on a few existing jobs -
This process is not as quick as sending your resume out a many times, but it is more effective.
While everyone else is spamming their resume to a hundred companies just to get a few interviews (if any), you’ll pick just a handful of jobs to apply to and crush them all.
First, go on some job boards, and choose 3–5 jobs you’d like to have.
Here are some good rules to keep in mind when you’re looking at the requirements on job descriptions:
- It’s ok if you’re a few years below the minimum experience level, but not too far below.
If you’re just a college grad, don’t go for senior level jobs that require 7–10+ years of experience. But you can go for jobs that require, say, 3–5 years of experience even if you only have 1.
- It’s ok if your educational level is a little below the required amount, but again, not too much below.
For example — even though I never went to graduate school, I’ve been able to get interviews for internships that required an MBA, and full time jobs that required a masters, but jobs that require PhDs are out of my league.
- Make sure that you can actually do the job.
You might not need credentials, but you do need the skills to get results.
Once you have your 3–5 jobs, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Outline what you’ll be doing on the job
By getting a good understanding of what you’ll be doing everyday on the job, you’ll know exactly what the perfect pre-interview project should be to prove that you’d be the right fit.
The only thing you really need at hand to figure this out is the job description.
Make a special note of the day-to-day tasks you can do right away. For example, “analyzing data” isn’t something you can immediately do (because you need a good amount of internal information for that.)
On the other hand, helping a local business to form partnerships is something you can help do without working at the company.
Step 3: Do one pre-interview project per company
Now that you know what the company expects you to do-day-to day, you can actually do it ahead of time and to prove to them that you are capable of solving problems.
When I was applying for a business development role in a given company, I pitched in a few companies for potential business partnership. I went further to introduce them to the business development team, the company extended me an offer.
When I was applying for product development related positions, I ran quick usability tests on companies’ products, documented my process, created some design suggestions and sent it to the head of each design team.
Step 4: Send your project in
In order for your project to get noticed you would want to find the right person within the company.
If you’re applying to a smaller company, this is pretty straightforward, you can send it to the head of the department you’re interviewing for, or even the CEO.
Most people have a personal page online you can reach out through — if not, you can easily guess their work email.