Here’s one new year’s resolution that you’ll be happy to have made: getting your dream job.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. has been steadily declining since a high of 10% in 2009, but it still hasn’t reached the lows seen in the early years of the millennium. At 7% as of November, things are certainly getting better, but they are slow coming.
With a high unemployment rate, you’re doing well just to have a job. But how can you land a good, or better yet, your ideal one? According to Joanna Weidenmiller, cofounder of 1-Page, a job proposal platform, the answer is simple: go on the offense.
Instead of sending in a resume in response to a job description, Weidenmiller’s platform allows you access to research relevant to companies looking to hire. The goal for the job seeker is to find a market problem and come up with a solution that will give the company a competitive edge.
“A resume begs a company to find a problem,” says Weidenmiller. “A company can say, ‘Oh you didn’t do that!’ Instead, a proposal says this is what I can do for you and if you say no, that’s great. I’ll go to your competition because I’m the one with the goods. I’m the one that has the ability that you need.”
The idea, based on a New York Times best seller written by Weidenmiller’s cofounder Pat Riley, is to put the ball back in the job seeker’s court. To do so, Weidenmiller and Riley had to do their research.
“We did a test on about 2,000 people around the world,” says Weidenmiller. “We just wanted to see what would happen if a candidate sent in a 1-Page proposal cold to a company – without a request. What happened was that 60% of our job seekers were able to get a job or interview within two weeks. And that is pretty amazing given the unemployment rate.”
For companies, a high unemployment rate is also less than ideal. With a lack of abundant jobs in the market, many companies end up hiring great people for the wrong positions and either turnover skyrockets or productivity tanks. A proposal works well for companies, too. Instead of sorting through hundreds of resumes figuring out how best to fill a role based on previous experience or work, candidates place themselves with a proposal – and solve an problem for the company as a whole.
“Unfortunately, what happens is you stick a great person in the wrong role and you only get about 20% of them,” says Weidenmiller. “Now candidates can say, ‘Hey, if you want to get 10x of a return on your investment in me, have me do this. I am really good at doing that and I know how to do it.’
And so far, the 1-Page platform is working. Take one of Weidenmiller’s favorite success stories, for example, in which the candidate began his proposal by admitting that he had no relevant experience.
“He said something like, ‘I have no experience, but if you want access to my generation you’re going to have to do things we’re interested in. There is this huge food revolution going on. You guys should be part of that because you are a huge retail distributor for kitchen goods. That means that you are going to have to do things that the online competition can’t do. Right now, you’re trying to get access to that same demographic doing the exact same things they do. What you’re going to have to do is start sponsoring our food truck meet-ups and hosting popup shops at our events. I have the knowledge on how to do that across the country in 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier cities,’” says Weidenmiller. “Then he showed how he would spread it and the kind of result to expect.
That was so successful that the CEO called me and said that he has 22,000 employees and no one has ever said what this kid just did. I’m bringing him in to talk to him.”
Whether you’re looking for a job in the new year or just one that better suits your interests, a proposal could be your ticket and you don’t necessarily need a platform to have success. Though 1-Page provides tips and advice on how to write a proposal that lands you the gig and puts you directly in contact with companies that are already looking to hire, sending in a well-researched proposal to the right person gets more of a response than typical resume services.