CareerLaunch

Custom Projects: The Golden Ticket for Job Interviews

Joel Bein
December 2020

Companies are blown away by custom projects.

Think about what a treat it is for a company. Without permission, a job applicant emails with, “hey I built this, just for you!”

Before they even look at the project, you’ve signaled to them:

– “I go above and beyond.”
– “I’m bold and creative.”
– “I researched your company.”
– “I’m not a cog-in-a-wheel.”

Wow! With that alone, how could they not interview you?

Couple that project with a Crash video pitch, you’ve got a 1-2 punch that makes you too good to ignore.

Ideas for custom projects

You don’t need to be perfect with your project. Be thoughtful and deliberate, but remember that you’re going to blow them away by the very fact you made something.

So just create something.

Custom projects for a sales role. The recruiter loved it (“best application in 20 years”).

Make a Chatbot, a leads list, a call script, a landing page, a logo, an FAQ page, a blog post, a podcast version of a company blog post, a marketing analysis, or a 30-day plan of “what I’ll do on the job.”

Create, make, build, deign, tweak, test, play. Try to solve a problem! (I flesh ideas out in this post).

It takes a little prep work, a little focus, a little lifting. It takes asking, “huh what’s this company doing right now, and how could I improve that? If I were running this business, what would I do to better serve customers?”

It’s all about seeing things from the company’s viewpoint.

Now you might say, “it’s hard to do that when I can’t see the behind-the-scenes of the company!”

Absolutely, you won’t have 100% of the information. But you can learn.

Build some social capital and connect with team members of the company via social media or LinkedIn. Express curiosity and enthusiasm, and ask for 15 minutes to learn more.

Take that data and go build something.

You’ll be in the top 1% of the 1% of job apps.

Dish it out

Again, start with your Crash video. That’s like offering them a tasty, gourmet cake.

But when you add the project, you’ve got frosting, birthday candles, and a chorus exclaiming, “surprise.” 😀

Who wouldn’t want an awesome surprise in their inbox?