How I hacked my way to land a job
Via LinkedIn : Before I tell you the story about how I got myself a job at iflix, let me give you a brief introduction of myself. My name is Akanshu from India with a degree in hospitality from Switzerland. My hobbies include travelling and I have always nursed a dream. My dream was to own a restaurant where I will serve my customers the tastiest meals in a very lovely environment and hence my reason for studying hospitality. In fact I went ahead to work as an intern in restaurants and hotels but I lost my passion for this, as I felt that the industry was slow and wasn’t as engaging as I first thought.
It was then that I discovered a deeper passion to solve meaningful problems and work on innovative projects. However, hospitality offered me the opportunities to travel and meet with smart and passionate individuals. I met with a lot of startup entrepreneurs who inspired to follow the same path. I began to learn coding, digital marketing and the basics required to start my own web based company.
I was all set to graduate and was looking forward to join a startup when reality hit me. Having an Indian passport with a hospitality degree doesn’t help much when it came to securing a job in an international company. I hustled and got some interviews lined up but couldn’t get the job because of my experience,degree and nationality.
Eventually I landed a job with a tech startup. I will explain the process in stages.
Step 1 → Self-awareness
This is the most important step. This helps you to get to know yourself and identify what you are best suited for. Whatever you want to start in life, you have to know beforehand what you are good at.
Step 2 → Narrow down your search
Now you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you have to identify which organization is in line with your skills and interests. Instead of applying for any sales or marketing job, look for a product market fit. Before sending in an application, look at the founders, the team, the product and the impact they are creating.
Never make your choice based solely on the financial angle. I am in my 20’s and I know that focusing on money will not take me far. Instead focus on self development as much as you can.
Make sure you get out of your comfort zone. There is a famous saying that goes thus: “Magic happens out of your comfort zone so.” So choose a job which is challenging not easy.
After narrowing down your search, you should have about 4–5 companies that suit you.
Step 3 → Research
Whatever we do in our day to day lives, we must inculcate the habit of researching before we take any action, same goes for the company you are applying for. You have to carry out a background check on the company’s values, mission and culture. This step helps you to determine what your next step should be i.e. how best to make your application. Therefore it’s really important to do the research properly before jumping on to the next step.
Step 4 → Approaching the company
This involves sending in an application that will stand out amongst others. Every day, a recruiter receives hundreds of resumes thus sending in a commonplace application would only send your request to the recycle bin along with most others. You need to get creative, that’s what I did. One thing to keep in mind is to never send your application to the general HR email or an info email. Make sure that you always connect with an actual person. I used LinkedIn advanced search to get the emails of all the decision makers in the company.
To approach iflix and to make sure they notice me, I designed a HTML email(Check it out!) using an email service called MailChimp. You can design amazing emails using the templates available on MailChimp and if you know a little bit of coding, you can design one yourself, and the best part is, it’s free! I designed the email and wrote the content after researching iflix’s company culture (It’s pretty cool, check it out!) and made sure it’s fresh & playful. I divided my email in four parts –
• Why Iflix?
• Why Me?
• How I can contribute?
• My contact details.
I was able to track the open rates and click through them. They opened over a hundred and fifty times! Incredible, right?!
— > Cracking the interview
An interview is like a date. You and company both try to make sure if you are compatible and share the same goals. Just be confident and remember the third step, it’ll come in handy.
The most important thing I learnt from this process was patience and perseverance. It’s okay if you don’t get a job right out of college, just give it some time and ask the big question — what do you want to do fifty years down the line?
I’ll be joining iflix in Kuala Lumpur and scaling this really cool product worldwide. Let’s Play!
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