In the last part of this “Success Stories” Series, I interviewed HubSpot’s Rebecca Corliss on why she hired Lindsey Kirchoff. For this post, Lindsey talked to me about her strategy for landing her dream job. Her first and most important step was to start a blog about how to market to millennials (“How to Market to Me”).
She wanted to attract HubSpot’s attention and stand out from the crowd by writing about HubSpot and about the business they are in: Inbound Marketing.
She explains her job-search theory through a very simple image: the hiring funnel. As a candidate, you start at the top with all the other candidates so you do things, like writing a blog, that will ensure you are the one to make it all the way through to the bottom: Being the one getting hired! (Lindsey created a website to explain her theory called “inbound job hunting”.)
Lindsey also uses the funnel image to describe her approach to networking: Have lots of professional contacts at the top who will help move you through the funnel. The more people at the top of your funnel means the better your chances of being the one who works her way with the help of her contacts through to the bottom! Lindsey talks more about networking on a LinkedIn blog post)
So first things first, how to you attract the attention of key players in your industry? Interact with them: interview them for your blog, comment on their blogs, retweet their tweets, ask them questions on LinkedIn, etc. Interact with these people as often as possible so they begin to see you as a fellow practitioner of their “art” instead of just another person looking for a job.
The most important thing you can do is to BLOG! Create a professional blog about a niche in your industry. This will showcase your skills, demonstrate your industry knowledge, and give you the opportunity to talk directly with the most important people in your industry.
Through blogging, you can network in person with the people who can make a difference in your life. You can interview them for your blog and then stay in touch with them via social media (especially Twitter and LinkedIn).
Your blog should establish yourself as something; for Lindsey, it was a “Millennial Marketing Writer”. Sounds professional, eh?
It makes finding you easier if you are established online!
Lindsey has developed four steps to describe how she created an online presence and landed her career-launching job at the company of her dreams (HubSpot) only three months after graduating. During her pursuit of HubSpot, Lindsey was very precise and calculating in the steps she took to make sure she stood out from the crowd of potential employees.
One of the most important things Lindsey believes you can do in order to land your dream job is to define your filters: What kind of companies are you looking to work for? What kind of work do they do? What makes them stand out for you?
Just as a hiring manager sees things that make you desirable to them, companies must stand out for you. When companies stand out for you, you know they truly spark your passion.
After learning about inbound marketing in college, that became her filter. Looking for companies that excelled at inbound marketing, Lindsey fell in love with HubSpot, perhaps the premier practitioner of inbound marketing in the world and the actual coiners of the phrase, “inbound marketing.”
Lindsey was always clear about her interest in HubSpot. She wrote many blog posts about the company and about topics that pertained to her filter/passion/niche: inbound marketing. She analyzed and discussed the company and their content.
Then she targeted people who could help her, starting with David Meerman Scott, a member HubSpot’s advisory board and one of the gurus of the new marketing world. Lindsey got a referral to Scott from her marketing professor at Tufts and ran with it, meeting with him several times and ultimately interning with him.
That internship with Scott resulted in a glowing recommendation from him as well as a blog post he wrote saying, “If I was hiring new graduates, I’d jump to hire Lindsey before anyone else does.”
What was ultimately one of the main reasons Rebecca hired Lindsey?“The incredible endorsement of David Meerman Scott,” said Rebecca.
Because Lindsey has such a passion for inbound marketing and content creation, she was able to follow all of her “inbound job hunting” steps successfully. Furthermore, she created her own content AND it was interesting and useful!
She added value to herself by growing an online presence. She showed potential employers that she was doing something productive and committed to the field she wanted to enter, not just waiting around hoping to find a job through Indeed or Monster.
So, take the Lindsey Kirchoff success story to heart:
- Define your Filters
- Build a Funnel
- Target Companies
- Target Individuals
- Start a Blog, and
- Market Yourself
For more information on how to use a passion blog to attract the attention of employers, check out our
series on the use of passion blogs in your job search:
Part One: Three Reasons Why Your Blog Hasn’t Helped You Get a Job
Part Three: How to Choose a Professional Blog Topic