I had submitted my portfolio to Facebook and heard nothing back after several weeks just like ninety-nine percent of people who apply.
I’ve wanted to work at Facebook for awhile. I had worked at a Facebook marketing software company for a year, written a two-hundred and fifty-page book about Facebook, helped create the first paid subscription Facebook group, and developed the first digital course on Facebook. Why wouldn’t Facebook like me?
There was a huge obstacle I had to overcome. I excel at problem solving, but I only learn technical skills when needed.
Facebook is all about technical skills. Plus, they want to see that fancy Ivy League school on your resume.
Well, I had opted out of Ivy League, and went to the school of hard knocks — young startups, and most of them failed.
So, I needed a way to stand out.
As a growth marketer, I thought to myself, Josh, you can do better. Be creative. Solve your problem. After all, it’s your job!
Then an epiphany happened. I was thinking of this Hustle article, The LinkedIn Hack That Made Me $120,000, where Jack Smith, co-founder of Vungle, used LinkedIn ad targeting to land an incubator spot in AngelPad along with $120k of funding.
Inspired, I thought to myself why not target Facebook employees in Menlo Park? If I were to target all Facebook employees, the chances are it would target too many people who say they work for Facebook, but actually don’t - there’s a surprising number of them. I realized that by using geo-location and a work demographic, my advertisement would be hyper-relevant and hyper-local increasing my odds of getting in front of the right people.
Here’s what my targeting looked like:
Next, I needed to be creative with my ad. Luckily for me, I’d taken a few pictures with Facebook employees about a year ago. This reminds me — never throw away your pictures! They may become useful at random times in your career.
The ad took the Facebook employees to a landing page I created on a Facebook Fan Page. I knew they would appreciate a landing page on Facebook over a website.
The landing page included a video I made at 5 a.m. that morning explaining why I wanted to work at Facebook. I only did one take. I was still sitting in bed when I made the video.
I also included a slideshow of me hanging out at marketing events, a messaging app to get in touch with me, copy outlining past accomplishments, Facebook comment section, and a download button for my resume.
The reason I included different mediums of content is that people prefer to consume in different ways whether video, images, or text. So, it’s best to have all three; moreover, it shows creativity.
In less than an hour, Facebook employees were sharing my portfolio around the company as an example of creativity and hustle. These were the comments I received from them.
Within two hours, I had several employees contact me through my messaging app, comment on my landing page, a Facebook employee Tweet at me, and a recruiter contact me requesting an immediate interview.
This story may be about hacking Facebook to get into Facebook, but it’s really about getting in through a door when the more obvious ones are closed. Similar, hustling is getting results when a predetermined system doesn’t do it for you. It’s important you see life as more of a game where the only rules you have to obey are only the ones you choose to follow.
The best part of this story is that you can do it for the job you want. If someone is hiring a business consultant, then you have one more trick in your sleeve to grab their attention. The landing page took me about an hour to set up, and the ad took about fifteen minutes. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be creative and implemented with some hustle.