The Pre-Employment Project – The smart, fast way to get hired.
Don’t we all just love the word? It’s a great door opener and relationship-sweetener in every part of the world, cutting across generations and indeed across civilizations.
When it comes to your job search, you can use the same tactic to get hired faster. You may present an effective, balanced resume with the right combination of skills and experience but your job application still hasn’t answered the classic ‘WIIFM’ – ‘What’s In It For Me?’- the invisible sign hanging on every employer’s neck.
Today you need do something new, something different and over and above the conventional norm. I call it the classic ‘buy one and get one free’ approach. Why not impress the hiring manager by bringing to the table a complimentary project along with your resume? Even Harvard Business Review endorses this approach. [Google: HBR.org – “Projects Are the New Job Interviews”].
The only reason the job opening exists is because the organization has a problem that you can solve or a need that you can fill. If you can deliver a Free Project that proves to them that you have the relevant skills, you instantly separate yourself. In other words, ‘do the job before you get the job’. You may not have the relevant ‘Canadian experience’ but a complimentary, pre-interview project can easily help you overcome that very hurdle.
Here are a few ‘stand-out’ suggestions:
If you’re applying for a sales or marketing role, a good side project could be demonstrating how you could market or actually selling some of the company’s products and presenting a document about it.
If you’re applying for a web or graphic designer related role, you could mock-up some new designs for the company and present in the ‘before-after’ format and rationalize why you recommend your new designs.
Maybe the company is looking to simply increase sales or reduce costs. Your ability to do either will certainly make the hiring manager or the company CEO take notice.
Why not take with you a 30-60-90 day plan to demonstrate that you can help generate money, save money or both.
IT / Product Development:
If you are applying for product development related positions, you can run quick usability tests on the company’s products, document your strategy and approach, support it with some implementation suggestions and share at the time of the interview. And if you are keen in entering the game development field, you can showcase a portfolio full of work in game development.
Do remember that credentials and, certifications and paper qualifications do matter for industries like law, finance or medicine, but for most other fields you can stand out by working on some side projects. Choose a project which you find interesting, and which you feel has a depth or complexity that you can explore. You can read through the Job Position to get an understanding. Now that you know what the company expects you to do day to day, you can actually do it ahead of time and prove to them that you can solve their problems.
You don’t have to always do projects in isolation. If you work with any other individual or in a group, it will show an employer that you can work in a team and collaborate.
You can upload a Power Point Presentation on free sites like Slideshare.net and share on your LinkedIn Projects page. Or better still create a free, themed website through portals like Branded.me, Wix.com or Strikingly.com.
The pre-employment project is an excellent way to showcase your soft skills – your ability to take charge, be driven and creative, conduct proper research and put together a project with enthusiasm – all these valuable traits do influence the hiring process positively. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, take up a project and make a definitive, distinct statement without saying a word!