Do you even know why you’re stuck?

Your job search can feel like a movie you’ve seen over and over. The same thing seems to happen every time.

You get motivated to finally start looking for a new job. You hunt around the internet and make a list of intriguing jobs. You start imagining yourself getting out of your current job. You start applying, there’s progress, you get some call backs, maybe you even go on-site to interview a few times. There’s a ray of hope. Inevitably, though, there’s a barrage of rejections and insecurity creeps in.

Sometimes, insecurity leads you to give up on the search…

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence, and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” — Michael Scott, The Office

Source: Imgur

If “Tell me about yourself” is the very first question in your interview, it’s a filler question.

If that’s the first question in your interview, chances are, the interviewer hasn’t looked at your resume, is buying time to find a relevant question to ask, or is trying to break the ice.

Trust me, no one is looking for or expecting you to have an earth shattering answer.

However, it doesn’t mean it’s not an important question. This first answer sets the tone for your interview. Your answer won’t win the interview, but it can lose it.

1. Avoid the Life Story

Yes, your life story is unique, but this first question during a job interview is not asking for it.

If a…

You don’t want to sound ungrateful when asking for a favor…

Let me tell you the story that inspired this post. I sent an intro email to connect my friend Larry with David. Larry was interested in getting a referral to a role at David’s company. My intro email was something like,

Hey David,

As I mentioned, Larry is interested in a role at [COMPANY].


David is a good friend who has been at [COMPANY] for two years. He’d be a great person to field your questions. I’ll let you take it from here!

A few hours later I got this reply from David:

Have you ever heard a recording of your voice? It’s weird. I’m not saying your voice is weird (well, it could be), but it’s a weird experience. You have a mental recording of what you think you sound like in your head, but it’s completely different when you actually hear it played back.

Now, on top of that, have you ever heard your own voice when you’re answering interview questions?

Super awkward. At least it was for me.

Right before I applied to my dream company, Dropbox, I was applying to lesser known companies to practice interviewing, but I kept bombing my phone interviews.

My friend, Nick, offered to do a mock interview with me to see…

During the job search, you’re going to be asking people for help. Whether it’s for advice, a referral, or making an introduction to someone. You are going to be asking at least one other person for a favor.

I got my job at Dropbox by asking for a favor, a referral. Here’s the email I sent to my friend, David, (after multiple conversations!) to ask him to submit my resume:

Be at your best when interviewing for your dream job

Chances are, you already have a short list of dream companies where you would immediately accept an offer. Once you make up your mind that you’re reading to start the job search and you polish your resume, it’s tempting to fire off applications right away at your dream companies. This is not recommended, especially if it’s been awhile since you were last in the job market.

Rather, use the “Tier 1, Tier 2” strategy.

When you make a list of companies you want to go after, rate each one as Tier 1 or Tier 2. Tier 1 companies are your dream companies. Limit the number of companies in…

Accelerate your career within your current company

In the four years I’ve been at Dropbox, I’ve had four different roles.

I started off in customer service with a quota of 100 support tickets to answer each day. I then transitioned to business development, pursuing partnerships with mobile OEMs and operators to accelerate Dropbox’s user growth. My next move was into product, as product manager for mobile platform, building the core foundation for the Dropbox iOS and Android apps. Now, I’m the product manager for the Camera Uploads and Doc Scanner features.

I’ve intentionally sought out each internal transfer in order to get closer to my career goals…

Don’t think, just do 😄

67% of employees in the U.S. are disengaged at work according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report.

We’ve all been in jobs where we’ve been disengaged. But at the same time, we’ve all experienced dragging our feet to start looking for a new job.

Even if our current job is miserable, the thought of starting the job search is even more miserable. Thinking about everything you need to do like updating your resume, looking at job postings, and going through interviews is overwhelming.

But sometimes what’s really stopping us from earnestly pursing a better opportunity is fear…

Show you’re actually good at your job

The purpose of your resume is to convey you will excel at the job you’re applying to by describing your experiences, background, and unique achievements.

This is not an easy task, especially when you have to fit it all in writing on one page through short, descriptive, and notable sentences — the bullet point.

Let’s break down the bullet point to best position yourself to demonstrate you’re the best fit for the job.

2 Types of Resume Bullet Points

Resume bullet points come in two flavors, they’re either a description of your responsibilities, the work you actually did or, they show your achievements as a result…

What happens before, during, and after your phone interview

During the height of university recruiting season at Dropbox, from August to November, I conduct 2–3 phone interviews per week.

Having done more than 40 phone interviews, I have a routine I follow to prep, conduct, and evaluate phone interviews.

I want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like as the person giving the phone interview to help provide tactical advice.

Interviewers are busy, just like you

Here’s an actual screenshot of my calendar on a typical day that I’m giving a phone interview:

DJ Chung

Get a job in tech: | Product Manager @Dropbox | Wrote a book about my mom: | @DukeU by way of Columbia, MO

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