Simon Sunde

"Fail early and fail often."

Apply with heart

When you’re searching for your dream job there is only one question that applies: How do I get noticed and stand out from the pack?

The bad news is, todays market is a tough market. The good news is, it’s to your advantage! I know many people who are struggling to find a job these days, so who am I to say it’s a good thing?
Truth is, I been there myself. I applied for all my dream jobs, but no offers were coming my way. Eventually, I broadened the filter, expanded more and more, and eventually I landed a job in a 7-eleven (yeah, that’s right). I was fresh out of high school at the time, so I had no degree or real work experience. I really had to fight for that job and it was minimal pay, long hours and bad conditions.

It wasn’t until afterwards I realized how to apply for a job ‘the right way’. It became clear to me that I’ve failed in three main areas. First of all, I turned down every job description with a requirement I didn’t met. Second of all, when I applied for a job I did it like everybody else, either filled out a form or send a resume by email. Not that there’s anything wrong with these two application methods per se, however, unassisted they’re seemingly ineffective. And (thirdly), come to think of it, in my application I was focused on what I did and how the employer would benefit from that. But I was yet to realize that I couldn’t have been more mistaken…

What I did was to appeal to the rationality of the employer, by sticking to the facts. “I’ll be a good fit for this position because of my experience, skills and education etc.” – you should hire me!
But that’s not how it works (for 99% of applicants), ‘cause only if you’re in the top 1% you might get hired exclusively due to does features. But in my experience most people aren’t in the top 1% (shocker!). So what are the rest of us supposed to do?
Well, in my experience one should appeal, not to cold facts, but the fuzziest of things – feelings. However, it’s to be noted that I’m not talking about sympathy. I’m talking about the reason you get up in the morning. The reason why you do what you do, and why you can’t stop doing it.

To give an example, here’s my latest application: microsoft.simonsunde.dk
It was a job as a student worker in their marketing department. The idea was to illustrate my believes above my skills. I wanted them to know, that I should be working there, not because I was the best candidate (on paper), but because I shared their believes. And that’s far more to valuable than just a dutiful employee. That’s what I wanted to share with you. I’m not saying you should make a page like mine, but I’m telling you to put in the effort – be creative! Would you hire someone if you knew they were only applying for the pay, prestige or the network? (I know I wouldn’t). As a company you want to have people who believe what you believe. Employees that shares you vision. Not someone who doesn’t give a damn.

So lastly I want to encourage you guys to go on and apply for your dreams and be true to what you believe in. If you don’t know what that is, it might be a good starting point, before you apply for your next job.

(If you’re wondering my application did open some doors, but eventually I went other ways, because I went with my heart… which I’ll never regret!)