How I Stood Out from 437 Applicants To Get Hired At My Dream Company

How do you get hired at one of the world's best companies?

You know, one of those fun companies with great culture, a challenging environment, and has unlimited perks of seemingly everything. With everyone applying for these jobs, I asked myself a question:

How can I stand out from the hundreds of other applicants?

Well, I'm excited to say with a little bit of luck and a little bit of planning, I figured out how.

Now I'm surrounded by incredibly smart (and fun) people, propelling my marketing career forward, and experiencing perks such as unlimited vacation, health insurance, 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, free books, free beer, and more. So where am I working? Well, it's a rapidly-growing 900+ person company and ranked as one of the best places to work in America — HubSpot.

And the exciting thing is that this process can be used for salespeople who are sourcing, creating relationships, and hoping to stand out in their prospect's eyes.

If you're looking to land your dream job, or your dream client, I'm here to share my experience of exactly how I landed mine. Below is the step-for-step process you can follow.

Step 1: Find the job listing that fits your experience and goals.

I have a background in using content to grow a business. So when I found the job listing for “Growth Marketer - Content” for Sidekick on Inbound.org, I thought, “Whoa! HubSpot is hiring!? Cool.”

Except here’s the crazy part: I wasn’t even going to apply for the job in the first place.

I, and millions of others, hold HubSpot in high regard. So my next thought was, “But it’s HubSpot. I’m probably not qualified.”

The next day, I found myself revisiting the job listing.

Damn it. I would really love to work for HubSpot. I’M JUST GONNA DO IT. I’M GONNA APPLY.

But first, I knew I had to do my research.

Step 2: Find the person you would directly report to.

I want to stress that I did not immediately apply.

Instead, I took the time to research who my future boss and/or co-workers would be. So I went over to LinkedIn and found the company page and the list of people who work there.

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My goal was to find someone with a job title that sounds like they would be my direct manager or at least on the same team. Finally, I found the right person:

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From there it was easy to find Anum’s website and Twitter profile with a Google search. I learned about her experience on LinkedIn, reviewed her slide decks, and gauged her personality via Twitter (someone who refers to Mindy Kaling must be approachable).

Step 3: Research the company further to better understand the culture.

After researching the people, it was time to research the company. I browsed the:

1. Career Page: Here I wanted to see how they presented the company to prospective employees. It was obvious that while they're growing a large company, they don't take themselves too seriously. I found their culture code and their list of perks here.

2. Culture Code: I wanted to understand the company values, what their mission was, and how they embodied those values. I had to be sure that my personal values aligned with their company values.

3. Glassdoor: This is where I found common interview questions, salaries, and overall reviews of the company (they're rated higher than Google!)

Now, why did I do all this? Many applicants rapidly apply to job postings without much thought or effort. But I wanted needed to show that I knew what I was talking about and develop rapport.

Step 4: Prepare your materials and tweet a tease.

After my research, I updated my resume and a crafted a tailored cover letter that included 12 examples of my work (to spare them the trouble of asking for work examples later). Instead of providing examples as email attachments, I included them as links throughout my cover letter.

Once I had my cover letter and resume ready, I tweeted at Anum.

QUICK TIP:

I didn't ask for permission to send her an email. I simply let her know I'd be reaching out. Instead of asking for her email, I found it on her website and verified that it was the right email on my own.

She was receptive, which meant she would be looking out for my email.

Step 5: Lay it all out in a compelling email.

Here’s the email I sent to her:

Application for Growth Marketer - Content position with Sidekick by HubSpot

Hi Anum!

I'm David Ly Khim (reached out to you earlier today on Twitter). I found the Growth Marketer - Content job listing for Sidekick by HubSpot on Inbound.org and had to get in touch with you.

I also went through Dharmesh's slide deck about the HubSpot culture and recently read your presentation about how to launch and grow a blog. It's great. I believe I would be a great addition to your growth team for the following reasons:

  1. I'm always learning, whether it be through books or articles (currently reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown).
  2. I focus on getting stuff done.
  3. The thought of helping HubSpot grow gets me excited (:

Attached is my resume and cover letter explaining why I would be a great addition to your team (it's much easier to read than an email). I've also included writing and audio interview samples in case you wanted to review my work.

Looking forward to hearing from you, Anum! Hope you're having a great Thursday!

Best,

David Ly Khim

send-now-sidekick-hubspot-content

QUICK TIP:

The email I sent was by no means short. But aren't you suppose to send short emails?

A brief email for the sake of being brief doesn't equate to being effective. I treated the opportunity as my one chance to make an impression and I didn't want to screw it up by sending a short, vague email. This long email was effective for four reasons:

1. I built familiarity beforehand and reestablished that familiarity at the beginning of the email.

2. I provided information that showed I did my research.

3. I gave three specific reasons for why I'd be a great addition to the team.

4. I didn't ask for permission to send attachments.

These four factors worked together to keep Anum's attention. She didn't have to ask for any more information because I laid it all out. The only decision she had to make was whether or not she wanted to move me forward to an interview.

She responded in two hours.

Shortly after, I was speaking with recruiters, Anum, and even their VP of Growth, Brian Balfour. I was hired two weeks later, joining the Sidekick blog team.

By doing my research, personalizing my outreach, and hustling through quickly, I stood out from 437 other applicants. Now, here I am today, excited to be creating content for this blog.

My hope is that this story of landing my dream job helps you push forward to land yours. Good luck!

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