363: Not Hiring? How to Apply Anyway (and Get an Interview)


Writing like a Pro in the business world seems like a huge undertaking that is easier said than done.

Luckily, we have Danny H. Rubin as our guest today.

Danny Rubin is “THE writing guy.” Danny has studied communications since college and has worked as a TV News Reporter and Consultant and has come back around to what he loves most, which is writing. He uses his greatest strength to teach practical writing instruction for the business world. From writing to apply for jobs to writing to start a business from scratch, Danny offers his writing advice as the writing expert in the business world.

One of the key takeaways from the episode is viewing the job search as an expectations game where employers are going to expect you to do X, but you’re going to learn how to do Y.

Why, you ask? Well, while everyone else is doing X, you’re going to put that little bit of extra effort it takes to do Y. This is your opportunity to do something another way to stand out from the crowd of job-seekers.

All Y is, is a change in the way that you think about what you’re writing. We have all been so conditioned to write a resume and cover letter the same way. So, a hiring manager is going to expect that same template from every candidate.

But, Danny is here to walk you through a process that will show you how to go about writing those pieces in a smarter, more strategic way.

You will see more results when you know how to be interesting when describing yourself in your stories. Your writing should highlight details of your experience that will enhance your overall platform.

Listen to the podcast to learn more about the power of telling YOUR story of success in your cover letter. Danny will help you learn how to write to command attention, prove your ability, and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

  • The importance of brevity – Why keeping your writing short and concise is imperative in business communications
  • The importance of writing differently and how to stand out in your writing to get noticed and open doors
  • How to write a powerful Linkedin Profile
  • Cover letter tips and storytelling tips that will make your pieces of writing stand out
  • How to apply for a job when a company isn’t even hiring

Check out Danny’s work at: dannyrubin.comFollow Danny on Facebook Connect with Danny on Linkedin Follow Danny on Twitter: @DannyHRubin


Email:  Scott@happentoyourcareer.com Twitter: @htycbiz and @scottabarlow Follow us on FacebookCome join us over on Facebook in our Work You Love OneStop group!




If you’re just starting your journey in making a switch from a job that no longer aligns with your goals, check out our FREE 8-day course to “Figure Out What you Really Want for Your Career!”

For helping finding YOUR signature strengths, enroll in our FREE 8-day video course at figureitout.co!

Danny Rubin 0:02
People want to know if you want to work for a company in the worst way, but they don't have any jobs posted or jobs relevant to you but you want them to know you exist. How do you start that conversation so they pay attention at all?

Introduction 0:22
This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what it does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change. Keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Joshua Rivers 00:46
What if you can get access to career opportunities simply by using your words, or stand out against the millions of people on LinkedIn so that companies contact you instead of trying to chase job postings. It's more than just possible. It's a realistically learnable skill for anyone who is willing to put in the effort. Now, once you learn the skill, you'll have a competitive advantage for the rest of your life and for the rest of your career. Well, today we're sharing a training that Scott did with Danny Rubin a while back, specifically for career change boot camp students. Danny Rubin teaches distinct and unique writing to open doors to your ideal company. Now, let's jump right into this training that Scott did with Danny Rubin.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:42
Hey there, everybody. Hey, career change boot camp. I am really excited to be able to do this today for a whole bunch of different reasons. First of all, myself and our guest instructor, been trying to put this together for a little while. And I think that we've got a pretty exciting presentation for you today because I know what's coming here. And I want to, even before we get started here, just take a second here and introduce our guest instructor that we've got on here. He's an author, he's a speaker, he spends a lot of his time working with professionals. At the same time, he's also working as the Vice President of Rubin Communications Group, and that's a full service PR firm. So he's got a lot of different things going, which I know a whole bunch of you know something about, and he's gonna be able to take us through a couple really incredibly useful pieces today, I'll tell you about those in just a second, but welcome, Danny. How are you? Danny Rubin, welcome to...

Danny Rubin 02:57
Yeah, I'm great. Thanks for having me on.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:02
Perfect. So we've got a really interesting setup today because we are doing this live, we've got some people in the audience, but at the same time, we also are going to air this for the podcast too. So this is, like a two in one.

Danny Rubin 03:20
That's fantastic. I'm all about efficiency and taking one thing in best.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:27
Okay, perfect, then we're speaking the same language here. Hey, before we even get into, you know, what you're going to teach us today. And I'm really excited about that, because we're gonna get deep into LinkedIn profile summaries. How to write an amazing and captivating LinkedIn profile summary? But also, how to email an employer about job opportunities even when they don't have something open and available? So those are going to be incredibly useful, but I wanted to talk a little bit about your story because you've got an interesting one, as well. Can we do that first?

Danny Rubin 03:59
Absolutely, where do you wanna start?

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:01
I'm curious because you are the writing guy, you and I have had that conversation and I use the writing guy. And I think that everybody also, as soon as they see this come to view you in that exact same way, especially as it pertains to careers. And I'm curious where that all started for you?

Danny Rubin 04:21
Well, for me to be the writing guy, "has been a journey." I've always enjoyed writing even as a kid, I knew it was sort of something that was in me. And I've been working in communications since college for about, for 10 years now in different capacities, doing... I was a TV news reporter, and I worked as a TV news consultant. And now I work in public relations. But I always stayed true to what I enjoyed, which was writing skills and communications. But in the last few years, I began to recognize that my greatest strength, my greatest value is to teach practical writing instruction for the business world and when I came to understand that, that was sort of my thing, my niche, my area of expertise, I've been just drilling down exclusively on that topic to become known, where in Virginia where I'm at, and also nationally that I am the writing expert for the business world, whether it's applying for jobs or writing to grow in your business or to grow a business you're trying to start from scratch. They're writing challenges all over the place. And I want to become known as that person. And so I welcome the opportunities to teach these skills in really practical ways, like we're gonna do today to solidify what I am and also just to do what I enjoy and what I think offers people the most value that I could provide.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:52
Very cool. And by the way, I gotta say, if you haven't visited Danny's website, go on over to dannyhrubin.com he's got a massive amount of incredibly useful information over there. And I know I've told you that in the past, Danny, after looking at your website and like, oh my goodness, you've got... he's got a huge amount of stuff on there. And everything that I've read is like, oh, there's nuggets in that, there's nuggets in that. So go over to dannyhrubin.com check it out. And you have a newsletter called the template, if I recall correctly, too. And that's powerful, the same type of stuff.

Danny Rubin 06:26
Well, Scott, I wanted to say, you know, my blog has a ton of content and that... all that content is the secret sauce, because I created my blog about four years ago, a little over four years ago, and I used it as just kind of this white wall. I just threw stuff up against because I wrote just, you know, I was starting with this premise of providing sort of job advice, communication advice, and sort of life skills to young professionals. That was a very unclear, it wasn't formed very well, there wasn't a lot of shape to it. By writing a ton, I came to understand what the audience values most. So when you're looking through my blog, and you see all these writing guides, my blog didn't begin that way, I've actually removed a lot of the content from the very beginning because this is not relevant anymore or as focused as I am now. But only by writing a lot every single week writing something new, something new, something new, putting it out there online, testing it, getting feedback, watching closely my traffic, that's when I came in to understand what the most and what I was frankly best at. And so it was just really concerted effort and a process, very organic. When people say, you know, and we'll talk a second about this book I put together and people say, "how do you think to write a book of email guides? How do you think to do that?" And I say, the answer is not like I woke up in the middle of the night and said, "I know what I'm supposed to do. It was very natural process where the answer was sort of revealed to me in time because I work so hard at my own skills" and to your students, I would say, "the way you uncover what you love the most and where the work you want to do the most is by working like crazy on your own skill set. Because in that space, when it's just you in the work, that's when the 'aha' moment reveals itself."

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:18
Right on and I absolutely love that for a lot of different reasons. But I am really excited because we get to benefit today because of all of that work that you've done, and you've removed all the stuff that doesn't work. And now we get to just focus on the fact that are left over after, you know, carving away the diamond. So...

Danny Rubin 08:36
That's right, I've done the heavy lifting and I deliver people to the strategies that work and because they're tried and true, and because a lot of what I rely on are what we call soft skills or interpersonal skills, ways to treat people, ways people want to be treated, and how you respect relationships and how in doing so, you open doors.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:59
Cool. Okay, so a lot of, actually a whole bunch of the folks that are going to listen to this, they're in a job that they might not be that excited about. Maybe it pays particularly well, maybe they used to love it, maybe it's a great job, but just not that fulfilling for them. They're looking to make a career change. And by the way, any of you that are here live on this, go ahead and drop in any questions as it comes up, as it comes along because Danny's gonna get deep into teaching us some of these pieces here in a minute. But just to kind of set the stage, as we get into this, and I just want to hand you the keys to the car and let you drive with this thing, Danny, because I'm really excited to get into this too and even I'll probably learn something as well. So where do we start here?

Danny Rubin 09:46
Okay, well, let me share my screen quickly.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:48

Danny Rubin 09:49
And then I will take you to my PowerPoint. Alright, so just I... Scott, can you see this, okay?

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:02
I can. We got it. Perfect.

Danny Rubin 10:04
Okay, let me just open up the slideshow from the beginning. So just like, you know, I call this "how to write like a pro in the business world." Because what I'm going to teach you are skills that not only help you in the sort of job application process and positioning yourself but also once you're in a job, these skills are transferable and they are lifetime. They are lifelong skills that will make you a stronger communicator. I just want to show people very quickly just to give them a quick background on me what my website looks like. This is my site, dannyhrubin.com and that's me on Twitter. Very quick aside, the reason why it's Danny H Rubin is because, if you've ever seen the movie Groundhog Day, which most of us have, it's classic, the person who wrote that, his name is Danny Rubin. That so, he had the domain Danny Rubin. So I had to take the H and add it in there so I could have my own space and there's my homepage and you see my blog in the menu, and it's just a ton of stuff that I hope you'll check out writing guides and networking tips and the like. This is the book that I've put together. It's called "Wait, How Do I Write This Email?" and it's a giant reference guide of 100 plus templates for networking the job search and LinkedIn. I published the book about a year ago, it's now used in high schools, several high schools across the country, colleges, and even the Pentagon, which is exciting. They use it in communications courses for senior level military because they like my guides for editing and brevity. And that's what the military is all about, getting to the point. So I'm really excited and honored that it's used in such a forum. And just to give people a little bit of understanding the entire thing is just nuts and bolts, how to write different situations, how to structure emails, asking about jobs, like we're going to do today. In fact, we're gonna do the one, on page 114, and just a few minutes, of how to apply even if the company has no openings, but I'm showing you just top to bottom subject line body of the message, how to close it out, how to stand out every single time. And if the everybody else is writing it the generic way, you're going to write it a different way. And that's going to help you to get noticed, and open doors. So we're going to talk about, how to write a powerful LinkedIn profile summary and we're going to talk about how to apply for a job, even if the company isn't hiring. Okay, two really important writing challenges. And before we do that, I want to just show you a picture, for me, this is where it all began. Just to give you a quick background on where these ideas have come from, for me, this is me and my first job, out of college, I was a TV news reporter for the CBS affiliate CBS TV station here in Norfolk, Virginia. And I ultimately didn't stay in that career path. The job didn't sort of speak to me as I thought it might when I got started, which is, you know, a huge lesson and the game is just you never know until you try it. But even though I don't work in TV news today, the skills that I gained, I use every single day, on the job and in the writing skills and communication skills that I offer, one of which is the importance of brevity. And, and also a natural curiosity and other people both skills I will touch on and he's writing guides, because people need to know the information quickly. No one has time to read five paragraphs or watch a 10 minute news story. They need it fast, they're on the go. And that skill I've always kept close to me, and it informs what we're going to do now, which is to discuss the LinkedIn profile summary. We all know what the LinkedIn profile summary is, you know, the opening paragraph on LinkedIn where they allow you to describe yourself, and I've noticed that people just do not know what to do in that space because LinkedIn provides really no guidance. It's, you know, one sentence people, but one sentence, they'll put nothing, they'll put five paragraphs, they'll put bullet points about their job, they'll put it in the third person and talk about themselves. like as if they're their own publicist. There's just a huge array of ways that people write about themselves. And so I felt like I needed to put together a comprehensive guide to say this is the best way to shine in that opening paragraph and entice people to continue to read your entire LinkedIn profile and get to know you. So it's a really quick paragraph, a 32nd read, in which you describe yourself. And here are the three steps and I'm gonna show you each step and this is coming right out of my book. I just took the template from the book and put it in the slides. It's three steps: "Who are you?" "What do you do?" And, "how does your passion help others?" You'll see I talked about this in both lessons, always looking at the other, focusing on other people. The value add to others, giving others the spotlight, giving others the time of day. That is a move that is refreshing and makes people want to talk to you more because you're interested in them, not just interested in yourself. So instead one, we say, "Who are you?" In a nutshell, what's your identity? Free and it's opening line, in a clear voice, you're going to tell LinkedIn users what you're about as it relates to others in terms of the problem that you're solving. And even if you don't love the job you have right now, which is probably why you're in this course, you still need to put out a sense of positivity, you obviously can't go on LinkedIn and say, "I hate my job and I need a new one." Because you're going to have people checking you out, recruiters or other employers and you have to show that the work you do, you at least understand the value add to others and you're going to make them want to get to know you more. So you have to still project a sense of positivity, which I assume, you know, Scott also would instruct you to not look like doom and gloom out there, but that, you know, brighter days are ahead. So here's step one, the person I've given you a fictitious person named Lamar works in information technology for a hospital system. So the opening line is everyday I protect sensitive information on thousands of people, from hackers and cyber attacks. So that's the work he does and how his work improves the lives of other people. So he's saying, you know, this is what I do in my job, and this is why it's important. This is the problem that I solve, or the solution that I create, you know, I'm protecting people, and that's who he is in one line. Okay. Now in step two, we're going to say, "what do you do?" This is where you can get into the work with a sort of Meteor paragraph, where you're going to say this is the type of work that I do, this is the nature of it, using specific details, like specialties in areas of expertise, because the reality is recruiters will be searching on LinkedIn for specific key terms, you know, types of skills relevant to the job. And you really want to have specific language inside your profile summary so you can get picked up in searches. And you're not just putting generic blah, blah, blah, about you're a dedicated, passionate, hard worker, because nobody's searching for that and it won't help you. And it also doesn't make you very interesting because you have a unique set of skills and experiences that no one else can match. So let me show you what does step two could look like for Lamar. He says, "as an Information Security Analyst at Acme hospital system in Sacramento, I manage the day to day flow of information into and out of five hospitals and two emergency centers. With a focus on database management, there's this specific skill somebody could search for. My job insures critical computer systems, medical files, and patient history remain active and never fail. My team and I stay updated on the latest trends and information security to not only keep Acme hospital system safe, but also on the cutting edge." So he's giving more detail here, he's putting his title and where he works, he's also quantifying, five hospitals, two emergency centers, really letting the reader understand the size and scope of the job. So they know exactly how many buildings he's having to deal with, using specific language, database management, managing computer systems, medical files, patient history, and also saying that he sort of stays up to date on the industry, which is also a great thing to say, as you're looking for work to say that you're sort of a student of your industry, you study your craft, you're up on the latest trends, which makes you position well for the next opportunity. And then in step three, we rounded out with what I say is a closer sentence. Basically, what I want you to think about is putting in one line, you know, why you get up every day and do the work you do. And even though I know you want to transition to something else, you have to project positivity and you have to show you are selfless and understand your value to others. So you're going to say, "how you hope to use your passion to make an impact?" And if you're watching this, maybe you're finishing up a college program and you're going back in the job market, you can say, the work that you hope to do if you're not employed or if you're unemployed watching this, then you will again say, this is the work that I hope to do. But in Lamar's case, he says, "a hospital never sleeps, and the same goes for IT. If everything runs smoothly and nothing suffers a glitch, then I know I did my job." And so I say in a vast ocean of profiles, Lamar has a bio you will remember. And that's the goal here to be unforgettable. And what he does in addition to putting out a nice neat paragraph is it's inviting. It's in the first person, it shows what he's interested in beyond just the blah, blah, blah bullet points of the job, it shows, you know, why he has an interest in the work. And it makes him approachable. So if an employer wanted to reach out, if they feel like they kind of already know him, because he let in on his sort of his character, his personality, his interest level, and so we kind of feel like we've met him, even before we would pick up the phone or reach out for a conversation. So that is the LinkedIn profile summary before we move to the next one, I would stop and Scott, see if you have any thoughts or comments.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:33
You know I, really love what you're talking about for a couple of different reasons. First of all, that it isn't what everybody else is doing.

Danny Rubin 20:43

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:44
So that's thing number one, because that's all you have to do often to stand out, is just simply not do what everybody else is doing. The second thing I really liked about that is that it is, very particular and is going to help you passively on LinkedIn, because, is really only going to help either actively or passively. So actively if you're seeking out somebody else or something else on LinkedIn, but passively as what's on there is going to allow people to either find you, come to you, whatever else. Now, one quick point or comment or maybe even a question for you, Danny, is we... when a lot of people, at least half of people into our career change boot camp program, they may not know exactly what they want to be doing. So I'm curious if you have any advice on that. I've got my own thoughts too. But I'm curious, if you have any advice on how to handle LinkedIn when you're not entirely sure what you want to be doing yet?

Danny Rubin 21:40
I guess we need to determine a starting point because and I've actually be curious to know what you think on this too, but that's an interesting challenge. Usually I work with people and they kind of have an idea of like the industry sector or like the type of work generally they hope to do. So I do have a template in my book, if you're a college student or a recent grad, how you set up that profile summary to say, "this is the work I've been interested in and some of the hands on work that I've done. And this is the impact I hope to make once I sort of get going." So I sort of play to that. I haven't accounted for somebody who has no idea like at all what they want to do, I would always try to push them to say, "can you pick a space where you want to operate?" I don't need to know exactly the job, but is it engineering? Is it marketing? And if you give me that much to go on, then I would say, "show me in that profile summary, what you've done relevant in that space, and then how you hope to make an impact with those skills to make others better, without having too much more of a specific path than that." That's my best answer. I'm curious actually, what you would say.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:52
Well, I think that there's a couple of different and I think you make a really relevant point. I believe there's a couple of different ways that you can go because you could totally write it off and say, "I'm just going to ignore LinkedIn until, it's not going to be a tactic, if you will, it's not going to be an approach for me. Until, I've got a better understanding." So that's one option, right? So option two, I would say exactly what you had just talked about, you can say, "okay, maybe I don't know everything at this point. But I'm gonna put down potentially the most likely area, or most of what I do know. And then that way, at a minimum, I can have people seeking me out too." So...

Danny Rubin 23:32
Yeah, look, and I think option two is the better option. Because to not be on LinkedIn, you just remove a lot of opportunity. And, obviously, so many opportunities come through relationships, meeting people, networking, who knows who and they're going to pass you along. And LinkedIn is just one more channel where those opportunities can happen. And also, you have to understand that recruiters are on there, go into that search bar and treating it like Google and they're looking for people with certain skill sets, in certain parts of the country, and if your profile, and one thing I talk about a lot is like a resume skill section, I've worked with people, they'll come to me with the resume and their skill section will say things somebody wrote passion for success was one of his skills. And I said, that's not a skill. I actually don't even know what that is, what passion for success is, but it's not a skill, I said. And actually this young man, his resume was full of things like natural leadership skills, outstanding communication skills. That is what his skill section said. I said, "he wanted to work in construction, in the construction industry." He already had a job in it. I said, "well, do you have any like skills, actual technical expertise on equipment, software?" He's like, "Oh, yeah, I have a lot of that." So we proceeded, I wish I had the slide I'd show you. We completely transformed that skill section. And it was just like, I know how to use this software program. This software program, I use this excavator, this like he was rattling on, we use very specific language, like the name of the software. It was so detail heavy and rich in skills that he sends a much better chance being found if someone's saying like, there's a very common tool and construction on AutoCAD. So he had that, like someone could be saying, "who knows how to use AutoCAD? Let me start there." And if it's not on his resume, he's gonna lose out. So being so specific when you can, it makes all the difference.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:29
So, love it. Yeah, so those would be my thoughts. Let's, I'm excited to go on to the next one.

Danny Rubin 25:36
All right. So this email is so critical. It is the most popular blog post on my website. I put it in my book too, because it just matters so much. It's been viewed probably 200,000 times, all over the world, because people want to know if you want to work for a company in the worst way, but they don't have any jobs posted or jobs relevant to you, but you want them to know you exist. How do you start that conversation, so they pay attention at all? And I see this attempted and failed so much at our own PR firm, we have recent graduates or people with some work experience who write us. And they always do this incorrectly. And it makes me not want to write them back. And it's so easy to encourage a reply, and I'm going to show you how. And here's the big idea, you got to give the love before you can get the love. And that's the same in every networking scenario, or anytime you're trying to promote yourself or your business, you give the love before you get the love. You give them the time and attention. That's what makes them want to get to know you. And I'm going to show you how easy that is but how few people understand the power of that strategy in the job search and in the business world. Okay, let me show you, I took sort of took it piece by piece with the email. So each slides gonna be a portion of the email and what it should look like. I told you, I go soup to nuts, subject line, body, closing, everything and examples along the way of what it always could look like. So in this case, it could be a recent graduate from the blank school or let's say that in this case, a fundraising specialist interested in career opportunities. Very clear upfront, what you're asking for. This is one thing that I believe the Pentagon likes about what I do is that I always encourage people to put their main point at the top right away, show what you're asking for so they're not searching around. In the military, it's actually called they say, "BLUF or Bottom Line Up Front" and I know that because I live in a big military town and I see people use that around here. BLUF. So always be clear with what you're asking for. So, my name is first and last name. And I have actually a chart in my book about whether it should be Mr. or Ms. or if it's first name, and I say, it's your age relative to their age. And the younger you are, the more often you need to use Mr. or Ms. that's my approach. It's a very sort of tricky topic. But I believe that's the most appropriate way to do it. And I say, "my name is first and last name. And I'm a recent graduate from blank school" or we say in this case, "as people are probably already working in this class, a fundraising specialist who has experience with small to medium sized nonprofits. I hope you're doing well." Okay, that's your intro. Now, you say what you're asking about, "I realize you don't have a job posting for a, in this case, a development associate. But I would still like to make introductions and explore ways I can help your team on for instance, upcoming engagements with nonprofits." So we're putting right at the top what we are asking about not at the bottom, that people leave it off entirely, and I'm like, "what are you even trying to get me to do?" So very clear right at the top. Now, this is where the magic happens, you know, so to speak. This is where you can turn heads and win fans. This part right here. I checked out the name of the company, the website and respect the work you do in particular. And here I just gave two examples that are made up, but I want to show you exactly why I did it, and why it looks the way it does. The 10k walk to support research on brain cancer, and the capital campaign to aid the river cleanup. The two projects were well orchestrated and is clear your team knows how to deliver results. I want you to understand the power of what you're looking at. If you go to the company's website, go to their blog section, recent news, press releases find something they've done recently that they've shared, which means they're proud of it. It's like a parent putting their kids art on the fridge. Okay, same idea. They're proud of their work. And if you say back to them that I was reading on your website, and I was really interested in this project or that project, and you link to it, you given it a reason why you were impressed by it. It shows you really taking the time to get to know them, and you're not just running by throwing your resume in their face, sending the same email of 50 companies. It's so easy to delete that email because it's impersonal. This one is so authentic, because it's like, yeah, I really do love what you're doing. And you're giving them a compliment. And you're linking to these posts to prove you actually did your homework, and didn't just say, "wow, what a great website, you're doing such cool stuff." You got to get away from sounding vague. Because even if you mean it, it sounds impersonal. And it sounds like you don't mean it. And this is a way to prove that you mean it. And the number of people who have written my PR firm over the last year or so, I've been here three years, I'd say out of 100 emails like this. I don't even know if one person did this. Maybe one. We're not accustomed to do it. We think all they should know about is how awesome we are. And it's a complete mistake. You need to give the love before you get the love as we just discussed. So really look hard at what I'm showing you here and understand the power of giving them the spotlight. Now, that we did that, and we've validated them, now you have to validate yourself. So here's the sort of the model that I provided for the past blank years I've worked with, in this case, nonprofits in Minneapolis on a variety of initiatives. For example, I fundraise for the big nonprofit association and little nonprofit association being very clear about no dropping names of companies, names of projects, being specific with the language, and then sharing links to your work. Another thing that people almost never do, they'll say, "I'm an experienced such and such, I have great experience" and they don't show me anything they've done. Now, how am I supposed to believe you're as good as you claim to be? This is why if you don't have a portfolio or blog, you got to make a place on the internet to put your stuff so you can link people back to your work so they can see tangibly how good you are. If you don't give them the proof, why would they ever believe you and give you the time of day. So I say a great number is three. If you have three, whatever it is, if it's a portfolio of your art that you've designed, if it's a project, that you completed that so there's a blog about it, if there's a news story about what your team did. Anything, just show me examples of where you're coming from, what you can do, because if you don't, I don't have the proof. And I don't want to take the time to meet you, because you haven't made me feel compelled to do so. So let me just jump back, "you do a great job giving them the love, you do a great job showing off your own skill set through hands on real life examples and you wrap it up. I've attached my resume to this email. Please let me know if I can provide more information. Thanks so much your first name your email signature." So I hope that this model helps you understand because this idea, this should follow you your entire life. If you're in a job, you love your job, you don't want to leave it. Scott got you to the perfect job and you love it, you want to build on that job and you want to form new relationships, you do the same thing again, you're sitting down for a big meeting, look them up beforehand. When you have to discuss your own ability always say, "am I being practical enough? Am I being hands on enough? Can they visualize? Can they fully understand what I can do? If not, I need to edit. And if I don't have the examples readily available, I need to make them readily available because otherwise no one would believe me." So these skills are so critical to the business world, they matter in the job application process. They matter in job interviews, when you're going to sit down with the employer and be able to talk knowledgeably about what they do. And then when you're out there doing the work, the same strategies apply. This is how you treat people, how you make them feel special, and in turn, they're gonna want to work with you. So I'll stop there, and I'll turn it back to Scott for your thoughts.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:54
I was making some notes as we went along, and I'd say that, first of all, this is something that I personally use all the time and I hit CP, I mean, okay, so we're recording live for the podcast right now. I get, jeez, at this point, we get people every single day pitching us to be on the podcast.

Danny Rubin 34:17

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:17
Literally every single day, and most often what comes through is, "hey, I'm awesome. Can I set myself as a next guest for the podcast?"

Danny Rubin 34:27
Right. You know, what? And to that point, Scott, because when I first published the book last fall, I did it, I pitched myself on several podcasts and I would listen to episodes, I would pull out a nugget from an episode that stood out to me and I would say it in my email, I listened to episode, I listened to number and the name of it. And I sort of quoted back to them what they said and why I valued it. And I would tell you out of 10 emails, I probably got her back from like eight of them. And they didn't know me from anybody. But I did such a good job showing them the love that they wrote back quickly and I got on the show, so that strategy, I've used it in other avenues. So it's not just related to the job search, it's just a lifetime skill, you understand it. So many people just think that all they need to be concerned about is themselves. And that's just the wrong way to look at it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:16
But I think the other thing that so many people miss too, is, I know that when I'm using this, I am looking for something that I can genuinely connect with them on. And it can and should be used as a tactic. But I think it's so much more powerful when it's something that you're genuinely interested in. Because I know if it's verbal, then the words that come out of my mouth and my body language are gonna be different. But if it's written, then the way that I even think about it to put it down on the page comes across differently too. So it comes across as genuine versus...

Danny Rubin 35:50
Yeah. It's just, we can sense immediately if something is real or fake. We know it, we can feel it and these strategies are so easy to implement, you know, I'm not asking you to spend hours and hours or code a website, it's just go to their site, read up on what they're doing. And the thing that shocks me is, if you want to work for a company, why would you walk in there or write them without really any knowledge of what they do? If you want to work there so bad, why would you want to take the time to get to know them? It could be your life, it could be your every day, and what you do all the time. So to walk in there with no knowledge, or to like, this happened to me recently, we had a young man come in here for an interview, and I said, "have you checked out our website?" It's always a test. I always ask that as a test. And then I cringe because they know what they're gonna say, which is like, "you know, I haven't done it yet." But he said, "you know, I meant to, I really meant to and I'm gonna check out your website after the interview." And I said, "well, that's just a dead end answer because you need to tell already. I want to have a discussion with you about the work we do. I don't want it to be like, I sit here with a list of questions like, I'm checking off a list. I want to have a discussion with you about PR. I want to talk about our projects, I want to talk about what you've done, I want to have a dialogue here. As if you worked here, and we were sitting around having a strategy session don't come in with no knowledge of what we've done because it's a non starter for me, you know, I don't want to just be like, asking you boring interview questions. I want to have a discussion, and because you might work here." And so that's where the mindset you got to be in, you got to be ready to talk shop with them and get on their level.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:00
So we've got a question from Cindy. Cindy says, "hey, examples of my work are mostly proprietary. I work in accounting and project management. What do you suggest as examples that I could use on the email to a new company?

Danny Rubin 37:46
Okay, what I would say then is, "are there examples of what your company has accomplished that you were a part of? Is your company sharing information on its website about, you know, a big project they completed or a new client abroad on or a big partnership just undertook or a big advantage just put on?" And if you had a role in that, that's what I would say, if you've ever written like a blog about your topic or ever been quoted on someone else's article about the topic, share that. I just need to see examples of how good you are. And if you don't have examples, and you have to create the examples, you know, if you can't share anything proprietary on your job, I understand that. But you need to find a space to even if it's a personal blog to put your thoughts down about the work you do, just so... because honestly, I don't care what business you're in, you don't have to be like a digital strategist to have, if you have a website, it shows me that you understand 101 other skills related to the business today. And even if you're in finance you think you never have to do it, it just shows me a level of understanding about how the world works, that you've taken the time to create your own space to share your own stuff. Because every company has to do that today. And it would just show me a lot. Even if you're coming from a space that doesn't necessarily say you must, you know, have a blog. I think it just speaks volumes about how hard you work, how dedicated you are to sharing your information and creating a brand for yourself.

Scott Anthony Barlow 39:20
But here's a couple of interesting things that I was thinking about, as you're talking about that, Danny. It is such a low bar right now. First of all, I agree with you that yes, it tells you so much about the other person on a variety of different levels. But it is such a low bar right now because there still are so many people that are not doing those things.

Danny Rubin 39:43
Yes, exactly.

Scott Anthony Barlow 39:44
Then it causes you to stand out. We're talking about standing out earlier, right. So a couple of easy ways to be able to do that even if you don't want to take the time to go create a WordPress website. There are a number of tools and resources out there like aboutme.com or about.me or whatever it is, right? Maybe it's aboutme.com. One of those...

Danny Rubin 40:07
I know what you're talking about.

Scott Anthony Barlow 40:08
Or branded.me or visual CV. Actually, I just talk to them very recently, just talk to their founder, because I was really impressed with their product, they had reached out to me. But one of the things that it does is it allows you to take your resume or CV and then create a website for it. And that might sound like a small thing, but it's better than having no portfolio. It's another place that you can link that up, cause yourself to stand out and then show examples even in a resume or CV format that happens to be on the web. Levo spelled leveo.com they have a place where you can put together a profile pretty easily too. So all of those are really great resources that make it ridiculously easy. And within 5 to 10 minutes, you can add something.

Danny Rubin 40:57
Now one more is called portfolium. They allow you to make your own online portfolio in minutes that's on their platform. So that's also another easy way. And you're so right about, it's an expectations game. And everything I talked about is the employer is going to expect you to do X, and you're going to do Y, and everyone else is still going to do X. And the Y doesn't take that much more effort, it's just changing how we think about what we're doing. Because we get so conditioned to write a resume the same way, write a cover letter the same way. And so the employer expects, what he or she is going to find. And your opportunity is to do it another way to stand out and go about it in a smarter, more strategic way that's going to make them pop up and say, hold on, who is this person, this person is much more interesting, because you know how to describe yourself, tell your stories, and rely on the details of your experience that will enhance your overall platform. So it's a total expectations game and it's to the benefit of people in your class because they're going to stand out and others are just going to get lumped in.

Scott Anthony Barlow 42:06
Great question, Cindy.

Danny Rubin 42:08
Yeah, it is.

Scott Anthony Barlow 42:09
Very good. We just covered off a ton of stuff.

Danny Rubin 42:14

Scott Anthony Barlow 42:14
Do you have any, more? Speaking of expectations.

Danny Rubin 42:19
Yeah, I always want to over deliver, right.

Scott Anthony Barlow 42:23
I figured. I would, I saw a point three on there. So I want to make sure that if you got more that we give you...

Danny Rubin 42:31
Oh, no, it was the only thing left was just a reminder about my book is on Amazon. I did have a third point actually, we can just talk about it for a minute that I thought we had time but I removed it, which is talk about managing expectations, the power of telling a story of success in your cover letter, and I don't have the visuals right now to show you but I will just say that, it's so easy to start a cover letter like we've always done it with, "Hi, my name is blank. And I think it'd be a perfect fit for the blank job." But one thing I learned in TV news is the power of a story. That's what makes people pay attention, lean in on their seat and say, "wait, what's going on? There's a challenge. There's an issue. There's an obstacle. How does it end? Did the person overcome it?" It's the same thing as like watching a movie. So your life has those moments. It's an exercise in environment, because I'll ask people, "you know, in the last six months, can you think of a situation on the job or in a class, an internship where you face a challenge and had to overcome that challenge?" And people always raise their hand immediately. They have a story right away, and they're always great. And I say that story defines you because that story demonstrates all the soft skills the employer wants to hire. It shows your dedication, your perseverance. Let me give you a quick story. I always love telling this one because it's so instructive on what could happen when you learn to tell your stories and not rehash your resume and your cover letter. So I was working with a young woman in Maryland, who maybe I told you this before Scott, I'm not sure. But she worked for, she was a HR, a temporary HR position at a chicken plant. A really a national brand called Perdue. We've all heard of Perdue. It was huge plant in the eastern shore of Maryland. She was a temp, wanted a full time job, could not find one. Sending out a resume, no answers, no answers couldn't get a lit. And I was looking at her resume as I was coaching, doing like one on one coaching with her and her resume it said, the bullet points said, update company cell phone records. That's what it said. And I said, what does... a very flat, right? Like this is just sort of like, "what I do if it was a job description?" Very boring. But that's what we're trying to do. And I said, "Well, what does that bullet point means? She said, "well, actually, they had me update the phone records for a thousand employees. Many of them wouldn't answer my email. So I had to go find them on foot on our campus, or call them and it took three months to track everybody down." So huge task. I mean, like really onerous. A thousand people, at the end of it, she received a thank you letter from the Chief Information Officer of Perdue, and she received a raise. So I said, "Wow, all you told me on your resume was you update cellphone records, like look how much it's beneath the surface? This is a great story." She said, "Yeah, I guess you're right. I never thought of it that way." I said, "You're allowed to tell your story in your cover letter. It's a dynamic story. And that's a great space to show all the soft skills that employers want to hire because it contains what, perseverance, work ethic, determination, dedication, all that stuff, all that stuff they want to hire." So she wrote that story as the lead to her cover letter. The opening paragraph, the opening line was something to the effect of I had to find a thousand people and didn't know where to start. That was the opening line to her cover letter. It wasn't, "Hi, my name is..." because again, it's managing expectations. And the story was great beginning, middle, end, it told the issue, told us you work through it, and it told the conclusion. And then in that next section, she said, "Hi, my name is..." once I have your attention, and I've proven my ability through a story. So we worked on that cover letter, she sent it off, I went off, kind of went my own merry way. I checked in maybe six weeks later, to see how she was doing. She had received three calls from employers, two job offers, and was already moving to Washington DC to start a job as an HR person at a law firm. And if that doesn't say everything to me, on the power of stories to command attention, prove ability and leave a lasting impression on the reader, you know, she was... it's the same person, the same life, but we don't think we're allowed to share our stories. And the reality is if you don't share your stories, and you did all that hard work, then what was it all for? You have to use those moments where you overcame obstacles to drive you to that next phase. And I want to take that idea and spread it everywhere because if we can become a nation of storytellers, especially for job seekers, we're going to get those opportunities faster than the competition. It's just the way it goes. Because everyone else is just using bland language. I'm a natural leader, I have a passion for success, whatever that means. And you're like, no, let me tell you what I did when I have a thousand people to find and I didn't know what the heck to do. And it's like, who wouldn't want to hire that? And I bet you, she was hired over more qualified people. That's Washington DC. It's a competitive place. It's a law firm, but I bet you that story, elevated her because it made her someone who they could trust would get in there day one and just get to work.

Scott Anthony Barlow 47:58
This is perfect on so many different levels. And it's also a great place to be able to pull all this, all of these things together. Because everything, yeah, everything has really had this theme of standing out. And the interesting thing about standing out is you don't have to do everything to be able to stand out. You don't have to go way above and beyond, all you have to do is a little bit differently or a little bit more. And that's what I hear you saying, in all of these cases, hey, let's just shift the way we're doing it.

Danny Rubin 48:34
I'm not a design guy. I'm never going to tell somebody like turn your resume into a cereal box or something wacky like that, because that's not my thing. And I think a lot of times, you're missing the mark, because obviously if you want to be like a graphic designer, okay, maybe, but I'd still rather know about a time in your graphic design experience where you had like, five projects to finish in like 12 hours and you just like cranked it out. Like that's the stuff that I want to know and when I put down your application, I'm going to say I just read 20 applications, they were all boring except one. And that one is the person I want to meet. And because you knew how to describe your ability better than the next person, and that's just the name of the game. So, in the book, I have some templates on how to do that. And I also have an outline for like each part of it. Because also in that cover letter, we do the same approach as I showed you in that email, applying for jobs. We again show that we research the company and value what they do. So you do a great job telling a story and you do a great job showing the love and at the end, like that's the best you could ever hope to do in that space in one page or less. That's it, you've done the best job possible, sort of putting yourself out there and saying someone else had a match where my head's at on this because no one will.

Scott Anthony Barlow 49:57
That is absolutely fantastic. I want to make sure that people know where they can connect up with you. We've already mentioned the blog, dannyhrubin.

Danny Rubin 50:06
Yeah, that's right. That's why I say it so you don't forget it. And then I tell you a story about that a little bit.

Scott Anthony Barlow 50:11
Exactly. Yeah, I know what you're doing though.

Danny Rubin 50:14
It's all about the story. Yeah. dannyhruben, let me... I can open up my slides again, one sec to show that set page, dannyhruben and my Twitter is DannyHRubin as well. Yeah. And I'd love to hear from you. You can tweet me or contact me through my website. I'm happy to answer questions. And again, the book is called "Wait, How Do I Write This Email?" and about a year into the game and I'm really getting it out there now. I'm going to have it more deeply into the high school system in the coming year. And also some retail stores which I'm excited about. So it's happening and for anybody who's written their own book and self published, I think you should, this is a source of pride to get the book into cool places without the traditional path. Which again, is sort of, you make your own way in this world. And you'll do it as job seekers. And I'm doing it as an author.

Scott Anthony Barlow 51:07
Very cool. Go get the book, you can get it on Amazon. "Wait, How Do I Write This Email?" Absolutely love it. Thank you so much for making the time, Danny. I really appreciate it.

Danny Rubin 51:20
You're very welcome. Thank you for having me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 51:23
All right, all, Hey, this has been another session for career change boot camp, which were, like I said, recording at the same time for the podcast. Go over there. Check out Danny stuff. I've been to his website a number of times. I'm continuously impressed. Every time I've taken just a couple minutes and clicked around. I'm like, "Oh, this is really good, too." "Oh, this is good, too. How does he keep doing that?" I think that you'll find the exact same thing. And apparently he's told us the secrets. He just eliminates all the stuff that's less than good. So...

Danny Rubin 51:54
That's why I keep removing old posts that aren't relevant and just giving you the stuff that counts.

Scott Anthony Barlow 51:59
Absolutely love it. All right. We will see y'all later. Appreciate it next time. Adios. Thanks, Danny.

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