How To Kill The Resume And Get The Interview


A lot of people who are in the job applications phase face the scourge of “perfection paralysis”.

– “Before I can apply for a job, I need to have my resume fixed up.”

– “If my resume is fixed up it’s going to have my LinkedIn on there too, so I need to fix that up too.”

– “Well for my LinkedIn to be updated, I need to have a solid portfolio, and better define my value.”

– “Ah but am I valuable? I haven’t really done anything special. Why would they want me?”

… and down the rabbit hole you go.


You’re getting all up in your own head and it isn’t helping you. It’s hurting you… a lot. In fact, think about it… How many jobs did you ACTUALLY apply for this week? This month? I know you’ve thought about a lot. And the fact that it’s constantly on your mind is exhausting, and even though you haven’t actually applied for any jobs, the infinite list of things you have to do before you’re “good enough” or “presentable enough” to apply makes you feel hopeless.

Take a deep breath. You’re not alone. I’m going to help you.

The reality is, there are a lot more factors today that we have to consider when we’re applying for jobs than people 20 years ago. Social media presence, a blog, LinkedIn, a resume, volunteer experience, work experience, education, external skills. You name it.

But we need to stop worrying about all of that and focus on the bare minimum and start taking things one step at a time. And by the end of it, I promise you’ll be better off, and WAY more motivated because you’ll start to see some progress.

Below, I’ve outlined a few steps you need to take as quickly as possible to pump out some results. Read on:

1. Research & Design Your Career

2. Find The Key Influencers

3. Reach Out To Them And Ask For Help


Are you ready? Let’s do this thing!

1. Research & Design Your Career

Forget about what everyone has told you. Forget about your work experience. Forget about your education. Forget about absolutely everything that’s stopping you.

Now… if you could have any job in the world. What would that be? Does that job exist? If not that’s ok. Write it down anyway.

Start Googling things that sound like what you want to do. If you’re not qualified to be an astronaut, you might still be able to do something you care about within that field. You could working for a company that does research on space exploration. You could work for a research lab that analyzes the mineral content of meteorites. You could be a writer, journalist, editor for a magazine about astrophysics or space exploration.

People need you in ways you can’t possibly imagine until you get out there and talk to everybody you know. Eventually you’ll find some cool things within the realms of what you’re passionate about, even if you don’t end up becoming an astronaut.

2. Find The Key Influencers

In all the work that you did reading about the topic you’re interested in who did you notice is writing all the articles? Who are the authors, speakers, influencers that are talking about this stuff?

Make a list of all the people you come across. And do some Google searches of people in your area that relate to this field.

Google Search Method

I just Googled “toronto + astrophysics” and clicked on the “news” tab to find recent articles that were written about the topic.

Here we go. First result: ‘Deep and beautiful work’ on quantum materials wins Nobel physics…’. Sounds interesting. After I skimmed over the article, I found this sentence:

“… said Harald Pfeiffer of the Canadian institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto, and a member of the consortium that was involved in the historic detection.”

Sounds important right? Bam… influencer. Add him to the list, rinse and repeat with other articles/people/influencers in your area.

Twitter Search Method

Go to Twitter Advanced Search and in the search fields:

In Words/All of these words, enter “astrophysics” (or whatever the topic you want to look up is).

Scroll down to Places and enter your location.

Woah! Look at all these awesome astrophysics influencers and researchers in Toronto! I feel like a kid in a candy store! Check them out, read their stuff, visit their blogs/websites etc.

Awesome. Now put those on your list.

Let’s dig into Renée Hložek. Here’s her Twitter bio.

If I click on the link to her website in her Twitter bio, it brings me to this blocked/broken page. BUT, if you look closely, her email is listed at the bottom.

When we type in her email, it may be validated by Google (and Hubspot Sales if you’ve got the Chrome Extension installed)

3. Reach Out To Them And Ask For Help

Ok, so this may not always work, but you’ll be surprised at how often it does. And I’ve got a few tricks to help your odds.

  1. First, try to fish out their email address from their website, blog, somewhere else online. If they work for a company, you can use tools like Hubspot Sales, ClearBit, and EmailHunter to help you out. (here’s a more in depth look at how to do that).
  2. Write an awesome authentic email that conveys your passion and why you are in pursuing this career, interest and research on the person you’ve emailed, and genuine willingness to learn from their expertise. (Make sure to track the email opens using Hubspot, so you’re not in the dark and know if your email has been opened and read).

(Download the email template here)

Why all of this works

The reason these techniques work really well is because you aren’t asking for a job, you are conveying your genuine passion for an industry, you’re showing that passion through your hard work and research, and you’re taking the time to find specific people to reach out to and learn more.

The possible outcomes from this are:

  1. She doesn’t reply at all.
  2. She opens the email (which you will know if you use Hubspot) but doesn’t reply.
  3. She reads and replies and says no.
  4. She reads and replies, and can’t meet with you but gives you some ideas.
  5. She reads and replies and agrees to meet.
  6. She agrees to meet and gives you new career ideas and places to look.
  7. She agrees to meet, gives you new career ideas, and directly connects you to them herself.

If you are coming from a place of true interest and authenticity, and are reaching out for people’s knowledge and expertise, they will normally be flattered. It’s nice to have people come up to you and ask your advice on how to succeed. When you’re starting from there, people are much more likely to want to help you.

If you email 5 people, I guarantee you that one of them is going to give you the valuable information you need, and better yet, possibly connect you with someone who may be your future employer. And that’s how your resume is rendered useless, and your passion, desires, and personality shine.

This is what people mean by “networking”. Not stuffy mingler events where pretentious people exchange business cards.

Here’s what to do RIGHT NOW

The key here is to overcome your perfection paralysis mode and get shit done as quickly as possible (even if it just means sending a couple of emails).

  1. Spend 20 minutes doing research according to what I wrote in the “Research & Design Your Career” section
  2. Spend the next 20 minutes finding key influencers using Google Search, Twitter Advanced Search and any other methods you see fit
  3. Spend the last 20 minutes reaching out. You can actually copy/paste the email I wrote (or a variation of it with your personal touches to make it sound more like you) and send it to 2 people on your list (and again… track the email).

I hope this has helped you. If it has, please hit the like button and share with a friend. If you have had success in using this method, please comment below and let us know how it went.

If you have any other questions, comments, concerns, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

Iskender Piyale-Sheard

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