Start Working Before You’re Hired

Present yourself as an expert by building a business plan for the company and present yourself as the one to execute it.

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Alex Madeja got the job he wanted as the press and media manager at Education Dynamic, a leading education industry marketing and technology firm, because he was prepared.

Prepared for Madeja didn’t mean a resume and a strong review of the company before the interview.

Before he applied, Madeja performed an extensive review of the enterprise, compiled a business plan to achieve key objectives he identified for the company and presented himself as the individual who could execute that plan.

Madeja had worked in public relations earlier in his career before doing similar work in the automotive industry and taking time to get his MBA. He had the basic skills the company was looking for, but he had to make the case that he was the one who could do something amazing at the company.

Madeja suggests learning as much as you can about a job before the application process.

“Get a good handle on the industry,” he said. “Tell them how you can help them succeed.”

When presenting yourself as someone who can take a company to new heights, Madeja said it’s important to quantify your success because the employers will be thinking in terms of their bottom line. “You have to have some numbers to back it up.”

As part of Madeja’s pursuit of Education Dynamic, in Boca Raton, Fla., he was proactive and put together a communications plan for the hiring managers to review.

“They didn’t ask me for one; I just did one,” he said, describing the plan as a “basic outline” of steps showing where the company will be after following those steps.

“I plugged in their information and drafted message points that they were trying to accomplish or put out there as a product,” Madeja recalled.

The plan proved that Madeja could not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk, which is what the hiring manager needed.

“If you’re applying for something that you have the skills for, that should speak for itself,” he said. “But show them how you’d do the job.”