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I want to thank our Guest Contributor (A recent New Graduate) for this spectacular post. To protect his privacy we will not reveal his true identity.

This story is a great example of how a new graduate can be creative in their Job-hunt, and by standing out thus eliminate the competition and secure a rewarding career.

If you are a new graduate and have been struggling to crack the job market this article will be an eye-opener.

Now, let’s hear his story in his own words.

The Success Story of a New Graduate’s Job Hunting

The question on a lot of new graduate’s minds is how do I get the job I want? This can seem like a hopeless search sometimes.

Finding a job is tough in this economy. The world is getting more and more competitive. The technology was supposed to make the process easier, but it has only made it more complicated. Your resume is far more likely to get lost in a company database or sorted by a computer algorithm than get seen by an actual person.

Unfortunately, the strategy most people use is to simply apply through online job postings.

Career consulting expert Don Asher calls online job openings “Fools Gold”. By the time you see them, hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people have already applied. Only the most qualified will even make it past the initial screening. You’re odds of ever getting a response are slim – unless you’re a Harvard Ph.D., with 20 years of work experience at various fortune 500 companies.

For us regular folks, especially with less marketable degrees, like psychology, English, history, or gender studies it can be much more challenging.

Therefore, you need to find more creative ways of finding a job as a new graduate. Here’s how I got hired at a really innovative marketing company.

New Graduate

I was a new graduate with a degree in psychology and wanted to pursue a career in marketing.

Although I had no “formal” work experience, I had worked on my own websites at the time and taught myself a lot of online marketing skills such as creating landing pages, doing email marketing, social media, paid traffic, and using analytics to make better marketing decisions. However, I wasn’t sure how to convey that to employers. I knew that if I just got a few moments to speak with them, they would be impressed with what I had to say and hire me.

Despite my passion for psychology, I was well aware that it isn’t the most marketable degree. If an employer knew nothing about me, they would rather hire the business or accounting major over me 90% of the time.

I would have to not only get past computer algorithms but also an implicit bias among employers that favors business/ STEM degrees. Therefore, I had to go straight to the decision-makers and get them into a meeting where I could make my pitch.

In any organization, there are always key decision-makers. Any salesman worth his salt knows that the best way to make a sale is to go straight to them. Instead of applying and getting ignored, I realized I would have to go straight to the head of the marketing department or the founder of the business.

I went through my entire list of contacts and asked them if they knew people in the digital marketing world. I wasn’t asking for a job just a potential lead that could help connect me to a key decision-maker.

I got the email address of a man who had started his own marketing analytics company. He was a successful entrepreneur with a lot of experience.

I got a script from Don Asher’s bookHow to get any Job” and slightly modified it for my own needs. Here is the email I sent him:

Dear {name of founder},

Our mutual contact {name of mutual contact} was kind enough to share your name and email with me. I’m very interested in opportunities in digital marketing, and as I understand it you’ve done quite well in this field. I wonder if you’d have a moment to speak with me and share any advice, or ideas with a young person trying to break into the digital marketing field. I won’t take too much of your time as I understand you are very busy.

Thanks for your consideration.


{Your Name}

(NOTE: I didn’t include names to protect their identity.).

Did you notice what I did there? I didn’t ASK him for a job, I asked him for some advice. Now some of you may think that’s deceptive, and I won’t deny that it is a little sneaky :).

However, the reality is if I asked for a job directly, his guard would have gone up. He would have most likely replied by saying they are currently not hiring right now and that would be the end of that and I would be stuck on my broke ass.

(Ironically, employers are more likely to offer you a job if you just ask for advice than if you flat-out ask for a job.).

He replied the next day agreeing to meet up with me at a coffee shop.

You may not get a reply from your first lead. Don’t get discouraged. You must find more leads and keep trying until you find someone to speak to.

As soon as he agreed to meet up with me, I spend the rest of my time doing as much research as I could on him. I researched his background, all of his companies, etc. I tried to get a strong understanding of who this person was and how I could contribute to the business. I thought of creative ways that I could offer value, and increase his bottom line.

I didn’t just stop there. I didn’t want to just TELL him what I’ve done, I wanted to SHOW him. As everyone knows, a picture is worth a thousand words. I went over all of my work and made screen-shots of my social media profiles, my various landing pages, Google analytics sales funnels, etc. I prepared all of that content into a marketing portfolio that demonstrated my experience. I went to Staples and printed it out in color to add a greater visual impact on my presentation.

Here’s an important point, I didn’t make up my experience. I might have been a little sneaky getting the meeting, but I would never recommend lying about what you have accomplished. Not only is that highly unethical, but it will come back to bite you later on.

Throughout the week I practiced my pitch in front of the mirror. I worked on my vocal tonality to sound as confident as possible.

The day before, I made sure to scout the location. I determined how long it would take to get there and the best place to sit (away from busy foot traffic, away from direct sunlight, etc.). I sat down in my intended seat and visualized how I imaged the meeting to go.

On the day of the meeting, I made sure to get there at least one hour ahead. Coffee shops are usually busy in the morning, so I wanted to come early and grab the ideal seat.

Once he arrived I immediately offered to pay for his coffee as a courtesy since I had asked for the meeting. We started off with small talk to get to know each other. I made sure to prepare a solid introduction about my background and included unique parts of my personality to help me stand out.

For tips on social skills and charisma check out the “Charisma Myth” by Olivia Fox Cabane.

When he asked me for my experience, I pulled out my portfolio and began to walk him through what I have done so far. He was immediately impressed by my work and asked a lot of questions. After I had finished my presentation, I could tell he was interested.

That’s when I gave my pitch. I told him I didn’t ask for this meeting just to get career advice. I wanted the opportunity to work for his company. I was very candid about my intentions and how I got the meeting with him in the first place. He was very impressed and told me that very few people would have the guts to pull off what I just did.

He asked me to leave a resume (which I just happened to have printed and in an envelope) and told me he would get back to me.

He called me back in a few days and hired me.

The moral of the store is this. BE BOLD! To stand out in the job market, you need to think outside the box and leverage social connections to find work.

I hope you found the story of a new graduate helpful, best of luck finding a job!

Written By
Nissar Ahamed is the Founder & CEO of CareerMetis.com. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. Podcast

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