Week 6-Layer Cake

I’ve found the recipe. Or so I think. After experiencing moderate results, I now understand a smarter strategy for job searching.

You see, I thought I was already being creative. I was:

  1. Only picking positions that played to my strengths & passions
  2. Writing a witty cover letter that set me apart from others
  3. Incorporating a sharp design to my cover letter & resume

But none of it was working. At 1st, I was stumped. Then I realized I need to not only be creative in the details, but in the big picture. Albeit being good, my original strategy was only slightly above average: apply to jobs and hope to hear back. But little did I know it was missing 1 important ingredient: a social connection.

Job searching is like a three-layer cake:


The most decadent element of a cake is the icing. Usually beautifully decorated, it defines the perception & expectation of what the cake will taste like. Thus in job searching, that’s the job you want (usually dressed up with all the colors & toppings)!

Anyway, the bottom layer is where everyone starts out: 1 of 100 applicants applying through job portals. If you don’t have something to boost you, give you flavor, you’ll blend in with the other 99 with your safe cover letter & resume. And more than likely, you’ll get little attention.

This is where I’ve been.

But what if you have a boost? Something to propel you to the next layer, closer to that tasty icing….That’s where the concept of multipliers comes in: ways to multiply the results from nearly the same amount of effort. There are 2 kinds of multipliers: implicit & active.

Implicit multipliers are things that give you a light edge over others…tailoring your resume to the position, learning about a company’s history, or stalking them on social media. Most employ these tactics. Then we have active multipliers, things that will quickly differentiate and keep you top of mind: scheduling informationals, getting referrals, and being friends with recruiters.

All of these take you to the desired, 2nd layer of the cake. The layer that has not 100 people but 10. You’re now 10x closer to landing the position not because your resume is pretty or because you studied abroad in Florence, but because of 1 thing: your connections. Now who do you think will be the 1st person that comes to the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s minds when the right position comes up?

And now we come to the third layer. The layer so close to the icing, you can taste it. This is where you’re 1 of 3 people being qualified for the position. This is your time to really pitch yourself all while being authentic & comfortable (easier said than done). Whatever success brought you from layer 2 to 3, replicate it here.

Finally, the icing. And we all know how great the icing is.


Expectation for this week was to apply to 2 jobs and do an informational interview. I applied to only 1 position, a Growth Marketing Manager role at Avvo, and had an informational with Rational Interaction, a Seattle-based digital marketing agency.

Till next week.


2 responses to “Week 6-Layer Cake”

    • A fair comment. I think this post lacks an action plan and could be a good follow-up post. To give a quick run-down:
      *LinkedIn: best strategy would be to connect with a recruiter, personal connection, and employee at every company that you apply. By doing this around the time you submit your application, you can appear “omnipresent” to the community inside the company and seed yourself in their minds.
      *Canva: best strategy is to browse their resume & cover letter templates and pick a style that fits 1) your personal brand, and 2) the culture fit of the industry you want to work in. For example, if applying to Key Bank, probably best to have something conventional with monochrome colors & Sans-Serif font.
      *Moo: similar to Canva, browse their templates and find one that matches the color scheme, font, and feel of your resume/cover letter you picked in Canva. That way you, can start to build “the face” of your personal brand.

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