When Nina Mufleh moved to San Francisco in hopes of landing a job at Airbnb, she quickly realized just how competitive obtaining a position at the company was. She had been a host at Airbnb for some time and decided it was time to take on the transition to working directly for the company, but didn’t take into account how difficult it would be to get her resume past the hordes of others coming in daily. Catching the attention of the CEO and/or hiring manager(s) of her target company didn’t prove to be easy, so she took matters into her own hands; rather than submit a run-of-the-mill resume and wait for a response that may never come, she created a unique online report that was part presentation, part resume to help herself stand out amongst the masses—and it worked.
Nina registered a domain at www.nina4airbnb.com, where she set up a report that explored unchartered territory for Airbnb in the Middle East and what the benefits would be of expanding into that area. She provided solid numbers, examples, and resources for the company’s potential expansion, before wrapping up the presentation neatly with her own qualifications and how she could help the company achieve those goals. She then tweeted the report directly to Airbnb’s hiring managers, who caught sight of it and offered her an interview on the spot:
@ninamufleh I am reviewing right now. Very impressive 🙂
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) April 21, 2015
Ok. You floored me with this brilliance. We’ll set something up for us to meet. I love your smarts. Very much. https://t.co/EaIwOHSywo
— Jonathan Mildenhall (@Mildenhall) April 21, 2015
When you’re as passionate as Nina about a certain company’s mission, such responses coming from your dream company’s CEO and CMO are beyond ideal. So, what exactly is it about Nina4Airbnb that made Nina so attractive as a candidate?
- It shows initiative and creativity. Nina created an unsolicited report on potential opportunities for the company, showing not only that she’s a creative and insightful professional, but that she’s proactive and seeks opportunities rather than expecting them to come to her. This portfolio wasn’t created in response to a specific job posting—it was crafted with great attention to detail to speak directly to the company, itself, and offer her services wherever they could be of use.
- It shows dedication to, and in-depth knowledge of, the company and its mission. Nina includes information on Airbnb’s past and present that assert her as a well-informed and educated consumer of their services. She isn’t just looking for a job, she’s looking for a career with a company she’s passionate about—so much so that she can form a solid business plan specifically for them, complete with potential partnership opportunities, stats on travel and tourism habits in the Middle East that Airbnb can capitalize on, and market challenges and opportunities in that region.
- It focuses on the company’s specific needs and how she can fulfill them. Resumes are often extremely one-sided, providing an array of information on the candidate and their skills without directly linking that person’s abilities to the company’s needs. This application gives the traditional resume format a one-eighty by focusing first on potential opportunities for Airbnb, then exploring how Nina’s particular skills, experience, and background can help make them possible. Furthermore, it’s identifying an entirely new need the company isn’t yet focusing on, therefore carving out a path that isn’t already cluttered with competition.
- It features a call to action. Nina4Airbnb features contact information up front— her email, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog—then follows up the report with a contact field hiring managers can fill out if they want to reach her. “I want to work at Airbnb,” the profile atop her report reads. “I realize thousands of other very talented people do as well, so to show the kind of value I’d bring to the team, I’ve decided to be proactive and have analyzed the global tourism market to give you my two cents on where Airbnb should focus next. Please scroll through the report, and get in touch when you’re done!” This short-but-sweet summary of her goal, followed up by contact information for the employer’s next move, is an excellent strategy for sparking interest and engagement.
While Nina has in fact landed an interview, a glance at her Twitter shows no updates as of yet on the status of her application. Many are anxiously awaiting to learn if she’s been hired; in the meantime, take a look at our tips for making blogs and social media work for you in our social media series.