How to Get Hired By a Millennial
- Posted by Leigh Drogen
- on August 22nd, 2012
I know there are a lot of undergrad, graduate, and young professional finance types who read this blog. You are looking to learn and do interesting things with your career. You obviously accept the fact that the world is changing quickly and the Wall Street Journal is no longer your only or even primary source of information.
I want to impart some knowledge which I’ve gained from experiences on both sides of the fence, for getting yourselves hired by whatever firm it is that you want to work for in whatever role it is that you desire. And believe me, I am by no means an authority here as I’ve literally been fired from every job I’ve ever had where I was not the one running the company. So take it all with a grain of salt.
The unemployment rate is 8something%, the real U-6 unemployment rate is something like 16%, people are getting replaced by robots and software and little Chinese (now Cambodian because the Chinese kids are too expensive at 10 cents an hour) and you are sending resumes and canned cover letters to HR departments and hiring managers? Excuse my language but what the fuck are you doing?
You people need to learn how to stop thinking like your parents and start thinking like you. If you were running a company and needed to hire someone to come work on biz dev, sales, data analysis, community building and a host of other things, would you give a crap about where that person went to school, what their GPA was, what clubs they were in, what projects they completed at their investment banking analyst job? Would you?
You don’t care about any of that, the thing you care about most is that this person is really fucking enthusiastic and driven to help your company and grow with your company and do whatever it takes to make your company succeed. You care that he wanted this job because he really believes in the company and your vision and what you’re trying to build.
If you want a job you need to stop thinking like you’re getting hired as a cog in a wheel and start thinking like you’re getting hired by someone who needs you to be a superstar. Superstars don’t send in resumes and cover letters and hope the person gets back to them.
So here are some very simple things that you can do to stand out, to prove to the founder or hiring manager that they should spend the time to meet with you and not the million other people applying.
Find someone who knows them and get a warm introduction. Remember someone hiring you needs to trust that you’re not going to turn out to suck and waste their time and money once you’ve been hired. One of the great ways for someone hiring you to trust that this won’t happen is for you to go through someone they already trust. It’s not that hard, LinkedIn is pretty awesome for this, use it. Networking isn’t what it used to be, if you reach out to 10 people through social media that know the person I’m sure you’ll make friends with at least one, then they will give you a nice intro from a trusted source.
Go comment on their blog or talk directly to them on social media. Create a rapport, just be friendly. Believe me, people are really egotistical, and that’s not a bad thing, even those people on Twitter who have 50,000 followers still love when people talk to them, that’s why Twitter is amazing. No one is too cool for you, act that way, don’t act like a peon, no one wants to hire a scared peon.
If you have the ability to use their product, you must go use their product. Howard Lindzon and Phil Pearlman hired me at StockTwits because I had spent 6 months as part of the community and knew the product well, I understood their vision.
That brings me to the most important part. Speak your mind to the founder or the hiring manager regarding how you feel about the product, the company, the industry, the specific position and how you are bringing a unique view and ideas. It’s not your ideas that matter, it’s the fact that you care enough to have them. People who hire you want to see passion, that you’re driven to help them, show it by thinking deeply about their company or industry and put it out there. Get a warm intro and write them an email that knocks their socks off.
I see Business Insider posting these things about how some investment bank analyst got hired with some crazy video or whatever once in a while. That’s fine, it grabs attention, you don’t need to do that. All you need to do is prove that you REALLY want that position and can bring someone unique that the other 800 people can’t. It’s not about intelligence or skill, although you still have to meet the general requirements for the position, after that it’s about desire and being scrappy.
Last piece of advice, if the person is younger than 40 do not call them Mr. or Ms. and then by their first and last name, it’s just strange. I know you’ve been taught to be all formal, but put yourself in their shoes, are you comfortable being emailed like that, no. Use their first name and write in conversational language, not all formal and dry like you’re scared. Be a real person, show your character.
Do these things and you will have a leg up on 95% of other applicants. But remember you can’t fake this stuff, they will see right through you, you have to really think hard and believe that you can bring them something others can’t. Not all people are cut out for all jobs, be a little introspective and understand which ones you’re cut out for.
At the end of the day always ask yourself, if I was hiring someone and I had 800 applicants, how would I choose?
P.S. We’re hiring at Estimize right now.
Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see the Disclaimer page for a full disclaimer.
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Leigh Drogen is the founder and chief investment officer of Surfview Capital, LLC, a New York based investment management firm employing an intermediate term long/short momentum strategy. More »
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