Get a job interview at any company, Rise to the top of the pile...

Posted by John Sherer


6 months before I graduated college I was applying for jobs. I would identify a company with a big name, like DeBeers, AMEX or RedBull, scour through their online job postings, put together a cover letter, attach my resume with average grades and hit submit. Zero interviews, no network and 3 months later, I was doing the same thing while embracing a 4 day a week celebratory marathon of debauchery. By Graduation, I was fried, losing confidence in the job market, about to go on a vacation that would bankrupt me and jobless. 3 months after graduation, I was waiting tables on an island off the coast of Massachusetts, a beautiful place, but not what I was planning on or shooting for 9 months before. (epic pic from senior year)




I learned 3 important things during my time waiting tables after college.

  • Getting a job can be the hardest job you’ve ever had
  • Getting a job is a full time job
  • A simple technique to get your foot in the door and an interview at most companies 

Let’s look at the job market for recent grads. This really applies to most people looking for a job without 2 years of experience.

The Job Market

It’s not good. Google “job market for recent college grads”. Here’s a sample of the results from the Huffington Post.


Sweet, thanks.

Why this technique works

This technique works for 2 main reasons.

  • People respond to incentives, particularly cash
  • HR departments use a funnel to find new employees



In order for AMEX to hire 1 new employee they will look at 36 candidates, conduct 9 phone interviews, 4 in person interviews and then make their hiring decision.  In the end that’s about 2.8% chance of getting hired.

Therefore, a recruiter needs to speak to a lot of people to accomplish their goal.  Time cost money.  Is there a way to get more qualified candidates in front of a recruiter so that they can increase the percentage chance of a good candidate getting hired? 

Yes.. Internal referrals are hired at a higher percentage rate than online applicants.  Meaning, it cost less to hire a new employee if you have internal referrals.  To incentive employees to refer people they know, companies will offer referral bonuses that pay an employee thousands of dollars for simply passing off a resume of someone they know to the their recruitment department.  Those resumes go right to the top of the pile.



Earlier this year, HubSpot was paying $30,000 for referring a software engineer that got hired..

That’s on the extreme side, but most companies will pay $1000-$5000 for a new hire.


A simple technique to get your foot in the door and an interview at most companies


Identify your target

  • Find a company that you are interested in working for
  • Go to their “Jobs” or “Careers” page and look for a job you are interested in and are a fit for
  • Go to LinkedIn and search for the job title and the company




Approach and proposition your target

  • Choose a person in the role that you want at the company you want to work for
  • Click send message on their profile
  • Craft a brief friendly message, complimenting their company, their cool job, anything you have in common, ask if they like working there and if they would mind forwarding your resume along, you hear a lot of companies do referral bonus’s, so it would be a win-win. Thanks.



Hi Jamie,

Congrats on your job at HubSpot.   You all are such a cool company and were voted a top place to work in Mass.

You used to work at cold stone? Some of my favorite ice cream.

I was hpoing to interview at HubSpot for the same role you have. I'm passionate about sales and marketing and hear that at a lot of companies they give referral bonuses.

Would you be able to pass my resume along?




It’s really that easy, I used this technique to get a job.  Several good friends of mine have done the same, both right out of college and in second jobs.

It is a number game, so put together a list of 10 businesses and test it out.  It will get your farther, faster than applying for jobs online.