The vast majority of people apply for an internship, a job, or startup funding as if it’s a college application. They knock on the front door just like everyone else and ask to be let in. A better way is to create content and publish online to market yourself to potential employers. This backdoor approach sets you apart from the crowd.
Please consider passing on a link to this post to the young people in your life.
I strongly encourage young people to create something of their own on the Web. It could be a website, blog, podcast, video channel, or something similar. Unlike a presence on a social network like LinkedIn, when you create your own channel with your own URL, you are driving people to your real estate, something you own forever.
I'm not saying ignore the social networks. Just realize that you don't stand out.
Having a channel that you own on the web is a fabulous way to showcase who you are and what you are interested in. It’s a way to explore ideas and meet interesting people.
Potential employers love finding somebody for an internship or entry level job who has created content about something they are interested in. It doesn't even have to be business related, just focused on something you are passionate about. A potential employer can learn so much more about you from your passions than a boring list of what schools you attended.
Imagine 100 people applying for a job. It’s likely that all 100 have a decent resume and a basic LinkedIn profile.
Now imagine that one candidate has those things plus, say, a podcast about some aspect of the kind of work they want to do or something they love. The podcast includes a companion site with show notes and a bio. Who will get the job?
Interview people who work in your area of interest
A great backdoor to a company is interviewing experts for a blog or video series.
These conversations expose you to people at the top of their fields. For example, you could create an interview program where you meet with people in an industry you want to work in on Zoom and record the interviews. Then you can share them on a video platform that you use to populate a video blog on your own site.
If you built topics for an interview show around the industry you want to work in, you’re building your professional network with every episode.
Each company you profile could be a potential employer.
The backdoor to your dream gig is wide open and waiting.