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taylor desseyn
taylor desseyn

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From Target Employee to Top Candidate: Mastering the Job Search with Tim Stoneberg

Hey there, folks! I’m excited to share a fantastic chat with Tim Stoneberg of SteelSeries about his job search process. We talked about everything from resumes to culture fit, and let me tell you, this guy had some seriously awesome advice. So, grab a coffee and let's get into it!

If you’ve made it this far but are thinking about bailing— the main takeaway:

If what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s going to continue to not work. Looking at you Mr. “I’ve applied to 600 jobs and not landed any”…

Intrigued? Tune in here:

Episode 222

Horrified by the sound of my voice? Here’s a quick synopsis:

If there’s such a thing as the American Job Search Dream, this guy is living it. Let’s set the scene— Target. Warehouse. Maximized efficiency… for $10/hour. Obviously, that’s not sustainable. So Tim set out, went to college and landed an IT job at his college. Cue 2020, and Tim’s position shifts from on the ground IT work to teaching the nation’s brightest minds how to unmute their mics on Zoom. Very inspiring stuff. So inspirational that he spent the summer on an extensive job search. Tim did all the stuff that you’re “supposed” to do. He tailored his resume to fit each posting, he cast a wide net, he had the skills— yet, no job offers. It’s this point in the story we think all is lost for our hero, right? But while scrolling LinkedIn, Tim stumbles across the job of his dreams for a company he already loves. Is it destiny? But Tim knows he can’t approach this job listing the same way that has failed him so many times in the past. So here’s what he did:

He went through the company’s LinkedIn to find point of contact from the hiring department

If you’re thinking it’d be weird to message a stranger— maybe. Start with something simple. Just say you’re a great candidate AND you’re looking to talk to someone to get more information about the position. A little bit of research, a quick DM and you’re already forming a relationship with one of the company’s employees. For this role, they got 2,000 applicants, but (because he took this step) Tim ain’t one.

He showed his personality

Job interviews can feel like a loop of presenting your most polished self to potential employers. But according to Tim, being authentic is the way to go. That means finding commonalities with hiring managers and teams on a personal level. It could be something as simple as adding a personal interest note to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you could accidentally send an email with an auto signature that reads "sent from Firelink Shrine" like Tim did. Just remember, these people will be your coworkers if you land the job, so you might as well find ones you like.

He had a narrow job search

Because Tim already knew he liked the company, the passion he felt for the job was authentic (note the above). He quoted a phrase he picked up in college about writing: the narrower your focus, the more you have to write about. The same can be said for job hunting— find a niche area you’re truly interested in and focus your time and energy into being the best candidate possible.

And you guessed it, Tim landed the job. Sometimes hiring managers aren’t perceiving you the way you’re perceiving your own abilities. Open your mind to the possibility of changing your approach. If you don’t bend, you snap. Wait, I think that’s from Legally Blonde. But you get what I’m trying to say.

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