10 July 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
Back in April, a woman showed the world what it’s truly like to stand out in your job search. Nina Mufleh, a marketing professional from California who had returned to the US from a 10 year post-college stint in Jordan as a social media strategist to the Queen, had found that her years of absence from the American job market had put a damper on the momentum of her career. Despite her impressive credentials, she had little success with her job search, especially through traditional means like searching and applying on online job boards. This is a problem many can sympathize with these days: it can sometime seem like no matter how qualified you are or what you do to stand out, there’s always the possibility of losing your resume to the “black hole.” So how did Nina confront this challenge? By creating a one-of-a-kind online resume that was part CV, part report targeting the very company she wanted to work for: Airbnb. We covered this approach and what made it work in our article “How This Woman’s Resume Caught the Attention of Her Dream Employer,” but since then, Nina has expanded on her strategy when speaking to the School of Multimedia Communications special career panel on how graduating students can tackle their job searches: Anyone looking to stand out in their job search would do well to follow Nina’s strategy, which she described as the following: Step 1: Delve as deep as possible into one company and ingrain yourself in their culture. Nina wasn’t having any luck with firing out numerous applications, so she decided to hone in on one company, giving her the opportunity to show how she could help them specifically. By focusing on one or a few companies you’re particularly interested in, you can put more effort into the quality of your application—something that’s almost always more effective than sheer quantity. Step 2: Show a deep understanding of that organization. As a frequent customer and recent host of Airbnb’s services, Nina was familiar with the company and showed that through her website. From creating a detailed report of expansion opportunities for Airbnb to mimicking the layout of the website, itself, she demonstrated a deep familiarity with the company and its services. Step 3: Highlight the value you can bring to the organization. “I think one of the most important things to keep in mind,” Nina says, “is how can you as an individual—with the experience that you have and the creativity that you have—actually add value to their organization.” While it’s important to give employers a snapshot of your career and experience (which Nina also does), it’s equally—if not more—important to show the unique value this experience can bring to the company. Nina did global market research to put together a report that details the value of expanding Airbnb services to the Middle East, which is an area she has personal experience in. This shows her focus on the company and how she can use the skills and experiences unique to her to make a difference. Nina acknowledges that standing out is more important than ever, especially for new grads and those who don’t have local experience in the area they’re searching in. “I expected that because I had spent the last 10 years building a really great resume and building some great experience, that I would walk into San Fran and a lot of these companies would open up their doors and arms to me,” she says in the video. “And I was humbled very, very quickly.” The result of her efforts? Two major decision makers at Airbnb reviewed her website and invited her in for an interview. Though it isn’t verified if she is taking a position with them or not (“I’m exploring many opportunities,” she says in the video), her unique approach fulfilled her goal: to get noticed.