Searching for jobs really does suck. I’ve worked on products for a small handful of recruitment startups — Presumi and Sumry being the most prominent two — so I’ve seen firsthand the gruelling work that goes into a résumé, just so a job seeker has a glimmer of hope to get their foot in the door.
But on the other hand, as an Entrepreneur, I’ve seen how small companies with scarce resources and big dreams manage to seal partnerships and effectively grow using incredibly simple methods. I’ve found that these same methods can solve a large chunk of the problems job seekers experience.
So hear me out and let me show you how to apply for jobs like you’re growing a tech startup.
The Feedback Loop
One of the foundation stones within the Lean Startup methodology is the Feedback Loop concept, more formally known as the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. We can break the cycle up into three main stages:
- Stage one — New ideas and features are developed then published to the user base.
- Stage two — User data is collected, measured and tracked to create user insights.
- Stage three—User insights allows new information to develop and forces you to pivot or persevere.
The Lean Startup methodology is what we generally perceive as positive reinforcement. It encourages us as Entrepreneurs to continually learn from our ideas, whether the lessons are positive or negative, and to change them to suit the needs of our users.
When we apply for a job we enter into a similar cycle, but one that we perceive as negative reinforcement. How many of you feel encouraged to try again when you are constantly rejected? It’s not a very enjoyable experience. When we apply for a job, we tend to fall prey to this cycle: apply for a job > get rejected > cry deeply > try again.
This ties into what we’re doing at Presumi. We’re giving you the data on the performance of your résumé so you can start making real decisions that improve your résumé. We’re encouraging a new, data-driven method of applying for jobs inspired by the Feedback Loop.
Search Engine Optimisation
You’ve probably heard of SEO from the marketing team at your last job, but never really thought what it actually meant. So what does it mean and how does it even work?
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is well optimised for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site.
Sound like a familiar tactic? That’s because employers use a similar strategy to judge candidates and essentially put you up against that other guy who’s applying for the same job. They’re called Applicant Tracking Systems and they’re used to isolate the résumés that are more suited for the job.
Marketing teams can hack their own website’s growth by optimising their site’s content with specific keywords for Google’s search algorithm. Turns out, you can hack your résumé’s performance in a similar way by optimising its content with specific keywords.
JobScan is a nifty tool that allows you to achieve this. It compares and grades your résumé against a given job description and provides you with information that you can use to perfect it.
Plus, if you like the sound of this tactic, maybe you should consider applying for a Growth Hacker role at your local startup!
When you first create a startup, you learn how to define your niche market. If you’re going to create something, then someone, anyone, will have to buy your product in order for you to succeed. You want to target a specific group of people, start small, so you can easily validate what you’re doing. Then it’s up to you to pivot and broaden your horizons later on.
One successful growth tactic startups typically use is to create tailored landing pages for each of the adverts they publish on social media. This allows them to create a copy of their homepage and cater it towards a specific target market who were led there from the advert.
Few efforts improve conversion results better than the implementation of targeted or dedicated landing pages.
This tactic works for job applications too. Doing something as simple as tailoring your résumé to the position and company — taking the time to truly understand what each employer is looking for — is a sure-fire way to get noticed and stand out from the other candidates. All it takes is a little researching and targeting a specific audience.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Until next time!