😡 Why companies don’t care about you

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“But I did everything right! Why aren’t companies hiring me?”

If you’ve thought this before, I’m about to give you some tough love.

Because - sorry - companies don’t care about you.

Imagine this.

You spend 20 hours on a project for a company, hoping they notice your skills. You research their business and create a case study for them.

Then you present it to the company, only to get rejected - or worse, ghosted.

You think you did everything right. You showed off your experience, your skills, and you tailored the project to the company…what more could they want?

Now, let’s imagine something else.

Pretend you’re a key decision maker at the company.

A random person reaches out to you and shares their project with you.

It’s impressive, but the project isn’t relevant to your company’s current goals and doesn’t solve your problems.

You know this person wants to get hired, but you can’t hire them - their project doesn’t solve a problem for your company. What would they even work on if you hired them? There’d be nothing for them to do.

And this is why companies don’t hire you, even if you try out-of-the-box strategies.

Your project is focused on you - what skills you can show off - rather than them - what value they can get from you and what problems you can solve for them.

So what can you do instead?

Try these:

  1. Problem deep-dive
  2. Building your legend
  3. Making a promise
  4. Secret tip that’ll make or break your job search

Let’s deep dive into each step.


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Step 1: Problem deep-dive

Every project starts with a well-defined problem.

If you’re an entrepreneur, product manager, UX designer, or data analyst, you should be very familiar with defining problems.

In this stage, you need to deep-dive into the company to find out what problems they currently face.

Example

You want to work in fintech. You discover a fintech startup that recently raised funds and may or may not have started hiring. If they started hiring, look at the job descriptions to see what problems each role is supposed to solve. If they haven’t, dig up everything you can about their goals, priorities, and values.

In this situation, the fintech startup has an app. While doing your research, you notice the app does not have many reviews in the app store. The onboarding UX of this app is also very poor - as a user, you’re confused as soon as you try signing up. This fintech startup also has very little social media presence.

Right away, you can see some problems in the funnel. To learn more about funnels, check out EntryLevel’s marketing program.

Every project starts with a well-defined problem.

Let’s dig deeper. You assume the company wants to grow - they want to get more users, and eventually convert those users into paying users. There are several ways they can do this:

  • Develop a social media presence by adhering to a posting schedule
  • Partnering with influencers to promote the app
  • Starting a blog to improve SEO
  • Creating effective ad graphics
  • Changing the onboarding UX of the app to retain signups

You can use prioritization frameworks learned in EntryLevel’s product management program to figure out which potential solutions are quick wins for the company, and which ones are problems they can hire you to solve.


Step 2: Building your legend

Superman didn’t become “Superman” after his first heroic deed. He has many adventures, which built his legend as more people got to know his story.

Similarly, don’t expect companies to believe in your superpower tech skills if you’re completely new to solving the problem.

This doesn’t mean you need years of work experience. You just need experience solving the problem effectively, which can take you just a few weeks.

Example

Let’s say you decide the best way for the fintech company to get more (paying) users is through ads.

Study marketing psychology. Study winning ad designs. Study copywriting.

And most importantly, study metrics that companies care about.

Ads are everywhere. Think about the last compelling ad you saw. What made it effective? What can you learn from it?

Then go create some ads for people - whether you’re freelancing, doing favours for a friend, or starting your own project.

Your goal at this stage is to build your legend through getting results. You want to show you’ve solved user acquisition effectively before. If you can get these results, any company would be impressed (if they’re hiring for performance/ad marketers):

  • Increased ROAS (return on ad spend) by X% (replace X with your result)
  • Improved ad conversions by X%
  • Achieved ad CTR (click through rate) of X% (research industry standards, and aim to exceed it)
You just need experience solving the problem effectively.

Psst: looking for examples on what gets freelancers hired? Check out this Twitter thread.


Step 3: Making a promise

Dive back into your target company.

You’ve achieved results in other projects. Now it’s time to show you can achieve those same results for your target company.

Create a portfolio tailored to this specific company. Remember: focus on their problem and how you are the perfect person to help them solve it.

Don’t just focus on yourself and your skills.

Companies don’t care about that. They want to know how your skills can help them.

Then back up your claims with proof - the results you achieved in step 2.

Example

That fintech company you want to work for has 20+ employees. You can reach out to at least 10 of them - especially if some are in HR or have influence regarding hiring decisions.

Send a quick intro (remember: focus on the company and their problem, not about you and your skills) and a portfolio. This portfolio must be tailored to the company.

If you’re a founder, this will be easy for you. It’s just like creating a pitch deck. Tell a story in the slides.

If you’ve taken an EntryLevel program, you can follow the portfolio guidelines we gave you.

Remember to follow up (respectfully) at least 5 times if you don’t hear back. People are busy - make it easy for them to say yes.

Companies want to know how your skills can help them.

Step 4: secret tip

This isn’t really a step, because you should be doing it throughout your job search and portfolio creation process.

You need to talk to people.

Get as much feedback as you can. Improve. Repeat.

Following this iterative, agile process will help you get results much faster than if you did everything yourself. Imagine spending 13 hours on a project, only to get feedback that you worked on the wrong thing.

So get lots of feedback, and get it early.

Get feedback from:

  • Peers
  • Mentors
  • Random strangers
  • People at your target company (if you’re bold)
Get as much feedback as you can. Improve. Repeat.

People are more willing to help you than you’d think.

Just shoot your shot and learn.


Summary

Feeling like companies don’t care about you?

Here’s how to fix that:

  1. Do a problem deep-dive
  2. Build your legend
  3. Make a promise
  4. Get feedback and iterate
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