If you haven’t read Purple Cow by Seth Godin, I strongly encourage you to do so. The book is littered with interesting insights, but none more so than the section on job-hunting.
Godin argues that advertising is dead and that companies, design teams and individuals should focus on being remarkable. When applying this concept to job hunting, he explains:
“Odds are that the last time you switched jobs, you used a resume. Following conventional wisdom, you may have sent it to hundreds or thousands of employers. You may have posted it online or emailed it in an effort to “network” your way to a new job. All of this effort is really nothing more than advertising.”
Instead Seth suggests spending more time cultivating “sneezers”, his term for influential people, that will network for you by sharing your name when interesting opportunities arise and vouch for you when questioned.
I can attest to this strategy as I have found multiple job opportunities through introductions and unsolicited offers from members of my social network. Most recently, VP of Sales with TopScore.
Job Hunting Quick Hits From Seth
Job-seeking techniques are overrated - Focus on the job(s) you do in your day to day life. Do you kick ass at your part-time job? You boss probably notices and would recommend you. Do you work exceptionally hard for your club sports team? Your coach would be a great ally in a job hunt. Remarkable people are offered jobs because of their track record and reputation for great work.
“References available upon request” Is a waste of space - Godin says, “Your references are your resume.” Either provide them directly and stand out, or don’t bother.
The Pile is a bad place to be - Sites like Monster.com are piles of resumes waiting for someone to find them. Spend your time becoming remarkable to so you never have to play the waiting game. It’s not fun.
Additional Tips from Aaron
Update, or create, a quality LinkedIn Profile - I started mine as a junior in college and have slowly improved the quality of my profile with tips and tricks from folks like Lewis Howes and Koka Sexton.
Produce Original Content - I don’t care if it’s a blog, podcast, vlog, or painting, you need to flex your creative muscle and share something with the world. You’ll build valuable skills (that you can talk about in an interview) and meet new people. My podcast offers an excellent opportunity to network and meet people with whom I can collaborate. These are my sneezers.
Go the Extra Mile - It is not enough to just send in an application and pray. Take the opportunity to swing by the office of where you’re applying and deliver a physical copy of your resume on cardstock paper (it costs less than $5 at Fedex). Write a handwritten thank you to the recruiter you met at the job fair. Exceptional behavior is rarely impossible to execute, it usually just requires a little extra effort.
Connect with me on LinkedIn if you want to continue the conversation or share tips.
By now, Seth Godin is a widely known author and well-regarded as a thought leader and business strategist. However, before Purple Cow he did not have broad appeal or fame.
Purple Cow changed the game by declaring purely creative marketing dead. He accurately predicted massive advertising campaigns would decline in effectiveness and companies needed to focus more on building “Purple Cows”, his pet name for unique, remarkable products and services.
To accomplish this, entrepreneurs and other decision-makers had to take more risks and avoid the “safe” and “traditional” strategies. Designers and marketers needed to be working hand-in-hand, or better yet be synonymous, to bake marketing directly into every product.
The book is full of informative case studies and is at the top of Ryan Holiday’s top books on marketing.
Who should read this; Any designer, marketer or aspiring entrepreneur. All C-level suite executives and job seekers.
Who should skip it; Folks who can’t overlook slightly dated references or don’t want to come to grips with the changing economy.
Interesting tidbit; Otaku the Japanese work for something that’s more than a hobby, but less than an obsession is the breeding ground for Purple Cows.
Buy it here
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