Since I dropped out of college about a year and half ago, I’ve had the opportunity to speak and work with tons of young professionals in the process of applying for their first job. Often, in fact most of the time, an employer’s decision to hire them has little to do with formalized credentials, and everything to do with the approach that person takes during the application process.
Here is an example of how to do it properly, written by a client of mine who doesn’t have a college degree to a potential employer, with 5 tips by me at the end. Whether you have a degree or not, there is a lesson to be learned from this.
I hope you had a great weekend.
As you said, you’re looking for someone with a bit more experience for the position, so I have a proposal:
I want to work for you. Let me start at half the price of what you are offering — I’ll create a curriculum for myself outside of the job to get myself caught up to speed. If you don’t see me operating at the level you want within one month, let me go.
I’ll also develop your social media presence, which if you don’t mind me saying, could use some help. I’ve had some good experience in this, and I’ve built both the Facebook and Instagram accounts for the company my father works at and for an annual conference I marketed. I’ll develop a regular posting schedule and ensure a stream of custom content using tools like Canva and Adobe Illustrator. I also think the customer service department could benefit from being on social media, and I’d like to create a strategy for how we could implement this. I’ve seen quite a few big name companies doing it with a ton of success.
I think this can be a win-win for both of us. You’ll be getting a hardworking young person at half the cost of anyone else, and I’ll be getting the opportunity to prove that I can create a hell of a lot of value at your company.
Please let me know how this sounds and/or if there is any other way that we can make my working for you possible.
I appreciate your time.
He got the job (At full salary). Here’s why:
1. He took an entrepreneurial approach to the situation and created his own work proposal to which his potential employer would have to respond. His employer hadn’t even considered this option.
2. He offered to take lower pay as a way of competing with people who have more formal credentials and/or more experience. (He’s able to do this because he doesn’t have student debt)
3. He delivered a clear value add by offering to develop the social media channels for the company, something the employer hadn’t thought of, and he shows an interest in the overall success of the company outside of the job to which he was applying.
4. He demonstrates, through this email, that he is driven, bright, creative, and confident in a way that a resume never could. This was intentional.
5. He made his offer about both himself and the company. He’s not just looking to get a job, he’s looking to deliver real value for that specific employer. It’s a “win-win,” as he writes.