How many job applications have you pumped out only to get a generic rejection or no response at all?
Are you willing to put in the effort if it means guaranteeing a job interview?
If you want to meet with the person making the decision of whether or not to hire you, you need to bold and unconventional.
You have to stand out from the crowd, while also demonstrating that you want the job and you have the skills to get it. And what better way to do this than to act like you already have the job, doing some work and submitting work to management?
LinkedIn has made it easier than ever to track down managers and recruiters for companies. Shoot them a DM or email with your work attached.
Product manager example
For example, if you are applying for a Product Manager position, pick one of their products.
Write and conduct consumer feedback interviews.
Develop competitor reports.
Put all that information into a slide deck, where you propose product changes or refinements.
Are you looking for a design job?
Throw together a few designs, sketches, renders, drawings or models.
Maybe a simulation or two.
Include a report justifying your design decisions so they know how you think about a project if you were to work with them.
Why submit your work?
Sure this seems a little crazy, and takes a lot more effort than reworking the sample cover letter template you've been using for the last 6 months.
Worst case scenario, you have a nice work sample you can add to your portfolio in your next job application. But I've worked in recruitment and I can tell you, any hiring manager would be very interested in meeting the person presenting that.
What if I don’t have the skills?
"What if I don't know how to do the job, without them hiring me and training me?" I hear you ask.
Well, that just means you need to put in even more effort. I know it's not fair, but finding work is more competitive than ever, and you need to work to stay ahead of the crowd.
There is a multitude of free resources where you can learn the exact skills you need to do whatever it is you've chosen to do.
You're already hours upon hours of Youtube, so you can always explore some of the skill-focused content available there.
If you struggle with accountability and find yourself falling off the productivity wagon often, EntryLevel (www.entrylevel.net) is a free alternative with cohort-based learning, so your peers can keep you motivated.