How to get hired

99% of people absolutely suck at trying to land a job.

99% of people absolutely suck at getting a job.

Granted, every company is different. And what I personally look for in candidates may be totally different than what other founders (or hiring managers) look for.

But I’ve reviewed thousands of candidates and have hired dozens of A players. There are some people who manage to differentiate and distance themselves from the pack almost immediately.

So whether you’re looking to land your dream job, or just curious to know how we’ve hired some of our top employees at beehiiv.. here are 5 things I would do if I was trying to get hired.

  1. Differentiate your resume

  2. Create a shortcut for the hiring manager

  3. Over-deliver and make an impression

  4. Get people to vouch for you

  5. Give a shit more than anyone

Differentiate your resume

Unless you are later in your career or coming in smoking hot via a referral.. odds are you will be submitting a resume.

Now as the person reviewing resumes, let me paint a picture for you…

“Review applications for XXX” has been sitting at the top of my to-do list for a week now. The thought of clicking through 200 resumes makes me want to gauge my eyeballs with a fork. I’ve been procrastinating on this for days.

As a founder, recruiting is part of the job. But no founder starts a company because they absolutely love recruiting. I’d much rather be launching new growth initiatives, talking to users, or shipping product.

So I when do take the time to review resumes, you should make it so fucking easy to stand out. Add some color, tell a story, give me some data points… literally anything.

I’m a huge believer in how you do anything is how you do everything.

If you aren’t going to sweat the details, why would I ever hire and trust you to own something that impacts the performance of my company and my livelihood?

Here’s mine from 3+ years ago.

My resume from 2020

Feel free to roast me but I think it accomplishes a few things right off the bat…

  • There’s a level of design and attention to detail that shows I put deliberate effort into it.

  • I start with a bio that succinctly gives you my backstory and top accomplishments.

  • At a glance you can easily identify the companies I’ve worked for, the roles I’ve had, my top accomplishments, and the timing of everything.

  • I provide off-ramps to learn more and connect elsewhere if I’ve piqued your interest.

Create a shortcut for the hiring manager

You have to remember that the person reviewing your resume is literally just another person. They have emotions, biases, and probably a million other things on their plate.

When I’m staring down an endless queue of resumes, there is a 0% chance I am reading all of them end-to-end. Instead, I look for a shortcut to separate certain candidates from the others.

Back when I was at Morning Brew, we were hiring a front-end developer and had over 500+ applications.

So I looked for a shortcut: I would only consider applicants that also submitted a web portfolio.

Not only could I see and vet their actual work, but it required a certain type of person who would even take the time to create a personal portfolio in the first place.

That narrowed the entire applicant pool down to a dozen or so people. From there, I set up interviews with those who had the 5 best portfolios, and hired a super talented front end dev with a ton of conviction (s/o Theo).

Over-deliver and make an impression

Some people have an innate ability to over deliver and really differentiate themselves. Shreya (our Product Manager) did that flawlessly.

At the time, I was running product day-to-day and wasn’t in a rush to hire a Product Manager. But we had an open role up on our careers back and if someone absolutely blew us away we would consider it.

Then I received a cold email from Shreya with a link to a Notion site. It was a full product roadmap proposal that she created for beehiiv.

Shreya’s proposed product roadmap in Notion

I’ll save you the details, but each one of those dropdowns has 5+ more dropdowns underneath. Her proposed product roadmap was 10x more comprehensive than our actual existing roadmap.

Here is someone who has spent weeks understanding our business and product, probably spent 10+ hours building this roadmap in Notion, then sent me a cold email pitching herself alongside this.

She had the job the second I opened that Notion page.

Get people to vouch for you

Tired: waiting for HR to reach out to your references.
Wired: getting people to proactively go to bat for you.

Personal recommendations go such a long way in adding credibility. Especially if the person vouching on your behalf has a bit of a reputation to uphold and has worked with you previously.

We weren’t looking for an intern last summer.

Jay (a kid in high school !!) reached out with a super well-crafted cold email to me and a few members of the team.

We get cold emails all the time so they’re pretty easy to ignore. But then we started getting tagged in tweets and social posts by others strongly vouching for him.

Enough people were publicly vouching for him that we decided to take the call and interview him.

Everyone was right.

We ended up hiring him as a summer intern and he was an absolute rockstar, launching several initiatives including beehiiv Academy.

Give a shit more than anyone else

Going back to the very first hire I ever made (shoutout Ben), to the VP of Finance we hired last week.. this matters to me more than anything else 👇

I’ll bet on grit and passion all day long. It’s never failed me.

Our Senior Sales Manager, Daniel, is probably the embodiment of this.

He spent over a year trying to convince me to hire him. I could probably create an entire newsletter with screenshots, but here are a few highlights…

Imagine saying uber rugged in a sentence

No context Daniel

Right now making my life a lot harder

Ghost writing is for chumps

Update: he does none of these things

And then finally he hit me at just the right time…

We had just internally discussed what it would look like to bring on our first sales hire when he happened to have slid into my DMs (granted that was almost daily).

Did I want to murder him 99% of the time he DM’d me? Absolutely.

But did I respect someone who was so incredibly passionate, unafraid of rejection, and persistent? For sure, and also the exact type of person you’d want on your nascent sales team.

We never even interviewed anyone else, he was our guy the very first day we considered bringing someone on for sales.

And to this day Daniel still doesn’t shut the fuck up… but he’s damn good at what he does.

wen beehiiv $100m ARR?

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