I met Melanie Feldman in December 2012 when she was compiling stories for BOLD: Get Noticed and Get Hired. Partly inspired by an article I wrote for Forbes titled “Success Stories About People Getting Business Jobs In The Tech World,” Melanie was talking to all of the people I spoke with and more. The book is now out (in paperback and kindle) and is a must read for anyone looking to gain the skills necessary to land that killer job they have been pining for.
The three authors: Melanie Feldman, Joshua Siva, and Liz Madsen, all got their jobs in various, unorthodox ways. Melanie sent a cold email connecting with someone on LinkedIn, Josh used his alumni network, and Liz used Twitter. The key for them was figuring out who it was they needed to get in touch with and then where that person was most likely to be accessible.
LinkedIn is a magical tool for networking because most professionals maintain an active account. Alumni groups maintained by each of our respective universities are also very easy to tap into. Even searching company websites will do the trick. The bottom line is to find the correct mode of contact for the person you care to meet.
The book gives great anecdotes, stories, and profiles about various individuals in different industries. I had a chance to connect with Melanie and ask some questions about the book.
Alexander Taub: What are your plans with the book?
Melanie Feldman: To integrate the book into college career centers and have it incorporated as part of a toolkit for getting their students noticed and hired. Within our own website, we’re developing a hub where people can share their job stories and provide feedback amongst the community of job seekers.
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Taub: What’s the best skill someone will acquire by reading this book?
Feldman: Our goal from inception has been to inspire our readers to push their pride aside and be BOLD by using our framework to ultimately get noticed and hired. The book is filled with countless tools, techniques, and ideas that the reader can apply immediately into their job search. Through our research we found that every successful person we interviewed wasted no time thinking about “what if” and just got it done with action.
Taub: Is this book for feel-good stories or does it also help in landing that killer job?
Feldman: Our book is an easy read, very informative, and entertaining for anyone that wants to land a killer job. It’s main purpose is to help today’s job seekers, and it definitely delivers. But at the end of the day, the book is a feel-good type of read because there’s nothing sweeter than getting hired as a result.
Taub: Talk about the rejection stories you listened to while writing this book. Any good tips on dealing with rejection?
Feldman: Every single person that we interviewed experienced rejection in some way. Matthew Epstein, for example, made a googlepleasehire.me viral video only to get rejected by Google. However despite the rejection, the boldness and creativity he demonstrated when creating the video ended up opening more doors for him than he ever could have imagined. Rejection is inevitable, but the key is to hold your goal close and keep persisting. As Neil Everett said, “You can ask 100 people out on a date, and if one person says yes, then you have a date!”
Taub: How did you decide who should be interviewed for the book?
Feldman: We searched the web and used our network to find as many stories as we possibly could. Our main targets were people with inspirational stories that had relevant tools that the readers could apply to their job search. We then mapped all of these stories, and refined our list to retain those which fit into the four key pillars which we wrote our book around: Building your Foundation, Being Different, Creating Value Through Networking, and Dreaming Big.
Taub: What’s your favorite story in the book?
Feldman: Our personal favorite is the story of Alec Brownstein, who essentially constructed his own path to success along his journey to getting hired. He wanted to enter the advertising industry which he not only had zero experience in, but was also facing incredible competition. He finally found an unpaid internship to get his “foot in the door,” but this was after he had just graduated from college. It turned out this role was limited to students receiving university credit. So, undeterred Alec enrolled in community college just to give himself the chance. From there, he started picking up extra work to build his skills and experience. Not long after, he had a portfolio of experience, but still wasn’t able to get facetime from the creative directors amongst the top agencies whom he wanted to work for. Thinking about what it would take to get noticed, he decided to buy google ads targeted to these creative directors. They noticed, and Alec was hired. For more info, check out our video interview with Alec who not only has an incredible story, but is just a fun and entertaining person to listen to!