A Stanford scientist shares an unconventional strategy for landing your dream job

To get a job at Google or another big-name company, show them you can do the work.


No one wants to be that guy — the one who applies for a job at a high-profile company and then pesters the hiring manager every day to see if
their resume has been reviewed yet.

But it’s so hard to sit with the anxiety and the frustration that comes with not hearing back, especially when you know you’d be an awesome fit for the role.

Fortunately, there’s a better strategy for getting yourself noticed and upping your chances of landing the job. It takes equal parts gumption and effort, but if you really want the gig, then it’s probably worth it.

The trick? Show the company you can do the work that would be required of you if you got the job.

The technique comes from BJ Fogg, a psychologist and the director of the Persuasion Technology Lab at Stanford. In a 2013 interview with Ramit Sethi, author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” Sethi shared an idea he learned from Fogg:

[A] lot of people back at that time wanted to work at Google; a lot of people still do. And there was somebody in [your] lab who said like, “It’s really hard to get hired.” And you said, “Listen. Find the one person who does what you want to do there. Every week send them some kind of report or analysis and just say, “Look, I thought you might find this interesting. I’ll write you back next Wednesday with the next analysis,” and then you said, “How long can they ignore you?”

Fogg added that if you’re trying to fill a niche in terms of the company’s needs, “If you can understand what those needs are and start delivering, who’s going to turn you away?”

This strategy goes back to Fogg’s idea that it’s everyone’s responsibility to become an expert in some area — or as Sethi says — the “go-to guy.”

When you send copies of your work to the person who holds your dream job, you’re essentially showing the company that you’re the world’s expert in a certain field, and they can’t succeed without you.

That means, of course, that your work has to be stellar and something that the company can’t produce on its own.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the job, but it seems impossible that you wouldn’t draw more attention to yourself than you would if you simply submitted a standard resume.

The interview with Sethi and Fogg is featured in Sethi’s Ultimate Guide to Habits and the full interview is available to premium users on Ramit’s Brain Trust. You can watch part of the interview here:

A Stanford scientist shares an unconventional strategy for landing your dream job