The Job Hunt

On the Job Hunt? First, Master These Tools

Lolita Allgyer
February 2020

I have a problem with the way most people try to land jobs. The process goes something like this:

  1. Go to college.
  2. Graduate.
  3. Blast that resume out to hundreds of companies, hoping to get an opportunity.

Hunting for a job becomes a waiting game. Using this model, it’s hard to build momentum. Your every move depends on whether a company likes you or not. And you have only one card to play: sending your resume and a cover letter to as many jobs as possible.

Trust me, that gets old quick.

I have another proposition. This one starts with a state of action.

  1. Keep searching for opportunities (but stop blasting your resume at people; try something like this instead.)
  2. On top of that, focus on becoming more hirable. The best way to do this? Master the common tools that businesses use today, and document your knowledge of those tools.

Why does this even matter?

It’s simple:

And here’s the coolest part: the more tools you know how to use well, the faster your value compounds in comparison to the rest of the job candidates out there.

Want to hear about some of these tools?

The Google Suite

Mastering Google’s tools—like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more—will give you experience quickly in the art of organizing and systematizing data.

But instead of only saying you can use them, employers love it when you can show them proof of your skill!

So here are some ideas for documenting your Google Suite knowledge:

  • Write a blog series showing the little tricks most people don’t know about.
  • Make a tutorial series outlining the basic concepts of each part of Google Suite.
  • Create a short webinar geared toward people who quickly want to navigate Google’s products.
  • Write a Medium article detailing how you mastered Google Suite.

Microsoft Excel / Google Sheets

Spreadsheets are used in almost every part of business. This tool is also a must-have if you want any kind of analytical role. Learn Excel, and learn it well. Even for those who hate numbers and want nothing to do with data, mastering Excel will give you an edge in the digital world, where many people aren’t organized.

Here’s a great place to start your journey of becoming a master at spreadsheets.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Make a Youtube tutorial series (like this one)
  • Create spreadsheets with data from your favorite sports team, then write an analysis of your findings
  • Find a small business you love and help them build a simple CRM (customer relationship management)
  • Start tracking some of your routines and write an article breaking down what works and what doesn’t

Salesforce

Salesforce is today’s top CRM platform. If you’re considering a marketing or sales role, learning how to navigate a CRM is essential. Even if the companies you end up working for don’t use Salesforce, your basic knowledge of a CRM will be valuable for understanding the way sales and marketing funnels work.

Learn how to master Salesforce here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Build a basic CRM for a small business near you.
  • Create minute-long videos about your tips for learning Salesforce and post them to your social media.
  • Create a short podcast series where you teach Salesforce for those who have no clue where to start.
  • Coach someone through the process of learning the program.

Mailchimp

Email is still one of the biggest ways businesses communicate with each other and with their customers. It’s crucial to learn email management software, especially for anyone who is interested in marketing or customer service. Mailchimp is one of the more common platforms. (Hubspot would be another example of a tool that fits in this category.)

Chimp Essentials is a great course for learning Mailchimp. Or, you could sign up for a free account and learn by starting your own email campaign to your friends!

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Build out an email funnel for a company you’d like to get hired at. Make sure your copy is strong and that you have any files or images on standby so they can get easy access to them.
  • Create a simple mailing list of your own. Play around with signup forms, open and clickthrough rates, and email copy.
  • Teach a couple of small businesses near you how to use the platform for their companies.
  • Run a webinar where you teach the tricks you learned while studying Mailchimp.

Facebook Ads

This is pretty obvious for someone who wants to go into marketing. But I think it’s equally as valuable for a career in sales and or customer success to know what goes into running an ad!

Here’s a way to get started mastering Facebook Ads.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Build a small Shopify store and run ads to get people to buy your products.
  • Find an entrepreneur who has a small marketing budget and offer to run ads for them.
  • Write a daily blog post about what you’ve learned in the Facebook Ads world.
  • Put together a Tweet thread that summarizes what you’ve learned.

Google Analytics

Want to start your own business? Interested in sales or marketing? It’s good to master Google Analytics. You’ll be empowered if you know what the data means and how to act on it.

Access Google’s Analytics Academy here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Add Google Analytics to your personal website and write an analysis of what you learned and what you can do to optimize the site.
  • Make screenshare videos of Google Analytics functions that are helpful to you and upload them to YouTube.
  • Write a simple e-book on Google Analytics and publish it on Amazon.
  • Find marketing groups on Facebook and write up some blog posts on the topic to share with them.

Zoom

Video conferencing is a big deal in today’s world. If you’re in customer service, sales, or any other role where you talk to people often, it’s good to have mastered the ins and outs of a service like Zoom. Mastering this tool also means being able to walk other people through minor tech issues with the program, so make sure you can communicate what you’ve learned effectively!

Zoom has some pretty cool live training for each of its different functions. Check it out here!

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Create a tutorial teaching newbies how to run a webinar via Zoom.
  • Write a series of blog posts about creative ways to use the platform for business.
  • Record a live training session where you’re walking someone through the basics of Zoom.
  • Go on Quora and search for people’s questions about Zoom. Now that you’re an expert, you can answer them!

Trello

Want to manage a team someday? Thinking of starting a business? Then it’s good to learn how to master your workflow! Trello is one of the best tools to use no matter what your job description is.

There’s a pretty cool Trello course here. Or, you could sign up for an account and start playing around with all the features to learn by doing!

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Invite your friends to Trello and plan a couple events on the platform.
  • Try managing a project you’re completing solely through Trello. Write a Medium article about what you learned.
  • Create an Instagram or Facebook story showing people how you use Trello!
  • Create a time management course and showcase how Trello can help time management.

Final ideas

  1. You can host all these tools and your other skills on a (you guessed it) Crash profile! You’ll be able to show your work in a beautiful visual format and create personalized pitches to companies you want to work for. Starting building yours here.
  2. Remember to build skills in as many areas as possible. If you’re in sales, that’s great. Lots of people are in sales. But if you’re crushing a sales role and you have a bunch of marketing tools in your back pocket, you’ll be able to leverage many more opportunities. In today’s world, it pays to have a diverse portfolio.
  3. Documentation is the most important part. You can master all these tools, but if no one else knows what you’ve accomplished, it’s not going to be nearly as valuable to you in the long run. Be open about your learning process, and create value for others with the skills you’re building!

Ready to become indispensable? Let’s do it!


This post originally appeared on the Praxis blog.

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