How I Landed A Job With An Infographic Piktochart Presentation
Even though career prospects may be getting better for young people with degrees, the job market in the U.S. for tech-related, non-technical jobs is a constant battle. There is even a startup dedicated to ‘planting’ non-techies in startups.
As with most things in life, the secret to standing out is being not only different but being remarkable. So Matthew Laird, a graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual degree in Business Management and Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Communications minor, set out to do just that.
After graduating from college, Matthew returned to work at an advertising agency where he’d previously interned in a business development administration role. He’d been always in love with technology, and it was this passion that helped him excel at his job. After only a year and a half, he was supervising all things business development and reporting to C-level executives.
Things were going great until the company began to take him for granted: “They did not deliver on promises they’d made me before I began working there and before I accepted the promotions”, explained Matthew with dismay. In his heart, he knew there was only one acceptable outcome: “I made a huge decision to leave the company, and I began working on my own”.
Even though Matthew had a non-compete clause in his employment agreement, he decided to prioritize his growth over his comfort and left to work on his own until the clause expired.
A year later, it did. That’s when things started to pick up.
Looking for a Job. The Right Job.
Once the non-compete expired, Matthew began applying for jobs in the greater Philadelphia area. He was looking for a very specific position: “I wanted to hold onto a portion of sales in my desired new job, but I also wanted to diversify myself and learn other parts of business”.
After a longer-than-expected search for work, the perfect position finally presented itself: a Marketing Specialist role at a rapidly growing data and security firm in Delaware. Without thinking twice, Matthew applied for the role.
The initial steps were a breeze: “I had 3 years of sales management and administration at the state’s largest (by headcount) advertising agency, enough to get me past the filter and on the phone for an interview”, explained Matthew.
That first interview was with a phone screener who took his information and asked some lower level questions about his experience and qualifications. The phone screener is typically the first step of the hiring ladder, and he or she makes sure you have the skills you list in your CV and that you are, potentially, the right person for the position. Matthew nailed it.
A few days later, Mathew received an email from the scheduling coordinator: “He asked when I could have a phone interview with the CEO”, explained Matthew. “This man is a well-received author, marketer, and entrepreneur. He is a trusted advisor, and essentially the virtual CMO of my desired employer. Once sending off the times that I was available, I panicked. The sinking feeling of that sudden realization that I probably didn’t have the level of content creation skill that they wanted began to eat me up.”
Driven by panic, Matthew started frantically searching his previous job’s to-do list and files for anything relevant to content creation. He was pleasantly surprised when he remembered that he had done a good amount of work generating copy.
The problem was his design skills. They were stale and unused over the last 4 years. This was made worse by the fact Matthew did not have good design tools on his home computer.
Because he’d worked in an advertising agency, he had no need to learn graphic design skills or graphic design software. On any given day, he was surrounded by 50 people who did graphic design for a living. He had a Communications minor, but he hadn’t tapped into those skills in years.
Then it was time for the phone interview. He was well prepared, and he tried to sell himself on his strengths — “knowledge and experience in creating lead generation programs and analytics as well as managing a sales organization and creating a custom CRM system with no coding experience” — but ’the question’ finally came up: “What is your experience level with creative software, and how often have you used it?”
Matthew answered honestly and was pleasantly relieved to know that they didn’t expect him to be a modern-day Picasso with Adobe programs. The interview continued on the same positive pace and ended on a high note: “He complimented me on my energy, enthusiasm, and candor around my experience and mentioned continuing the conversation about my potential employment.”
Matthew was happy, but deep down he knew that to really get this job, he needed to put in the extra effort. When reviewing his notes from the interview, he realized the CEO used the word infographic more than a dozen times when describing marketing content.
“Being the salesmen I am, I knew the next interview would probably be in person, and they would definitely want to see what I was capable of from a content creation perspective”, explained Matthew. “It was in Googling infographics programs that I discovered Piktochart”.
Preparing To Impress With Piktochart
Matthew is a thorough person, so he spent the next couple hours researching over a dozen infographic and design-related software for beginners. He was sold on Piktochart. “The tool is intuitive enough for even the most panic-stricken time-crunched user, and by far the leading reason was the templates. I couldn’t believe how many amazing templates were at my disposal! Anything I could ask for, there it was.”
Initially, he budgeted 20 hours per infographic, and the interview was only in 4 days, but he was “blown away by how easy it was to convert something so amazing into my own custom chart”. Finally, he decided the price for PRO was well worth a shot at an amazing job, and that if he was hired, he would continue to use it.
With the templates available from Piktochart, it took him 3 hours to make his first infographic. It was an informational piece on the dangers of not utilizing a core service the company provides. After working on it for a few hours, Matthew asked for feedback.
The response was overwhelmingly positive: “I sent it over to a few good friends in the creative world asking for opinions. They were shocke. ’You did this!?,’ they asked. ‘Matthew, you are great at this!’”. After such an energetic confidence boost, Matthew worked on his second infographic, a roadmap of what he would do if he’d been hired the next day. 2 hours later, he was done.
Matthew stopped by the local copy shop the night before the interview and had them print up some high quality single page prints. “When they handed a test print of them to me, I had this feeling of confidence I’ve never experienced before. I knew then and there if I was as prepared for this interview as the last one, with these infographics, I’d get the job for sure.”
With that stunning confidence, Matthew went for the win.
The Interview Day
The interview day finally came, and Matthew felt extremely confident. That happens when you are over-prepared and eager to share your work. Matthew was ready to amaze the audience (the CEO, CFO and the CMO of the company) with his Piktocharts, anxiously waiting the right moment: “The whole time, in the back of my head, I was thinking ‘Ask me about my content! Ask me how I plan on making my lack of skills work!’”.
Finally, the question came from the CMO : “Well, I know you said you haven’t done a lot of content creation, and that is ok, but how do you plan on completing the job’s tasks without such experience?”.
Matthew’s brain went into overdrive as he sprung his Piktocharts on them: “Well, in the last 4 days, I threw together some pieces to show what I can do given 4 days, no knowledge of the detail of services you provide other than the website, and a lack of experience. I hope this shows what I am capable of given the opportunity.”
“The look on their faces was exactly what I had hoped for. It took every ounce of my energy not to stand up and shout for joy”, said Matthew. “Right then and there, I knew I’d got the job”.
The rest of the interview was a walk in the park on a sunny San Francisco day. Matthew spent the remainder of the meeting, which was scheduled for an hour but ran nearly 3, answering strategy-based questions: “It felt like my first day.” The next day, less than 24 hours later, Matthew received an offer letter. He got every penny he asked for, plus a commission on sales.
“I can say with the utmost confidence that Piktochart was probably 50% of the reason I got the job. Without the charts, I was just a sales guy looking for a marketing job. With the charts, I was a humble marketing professional who understood sales,” said Matthew.
Matthew suggested everyone in marketing, growth, content creation, or reporting should be using Piktochart: “As I mentioned earlier, honesty is a big deal to me. I can honestly say this product is a MUST HAVE for anyone needing tools to create marketing collateral or fancy content. The time savings versus other software alone justify making the jump to premium membership, not to mention the additional templates and support available to premium members. I can’t wait to start seeing the inevitable spike in new customers from my creations.”
Matthew’s Path in Infographic Form
For more tips on using infographics to impress your future employer, along with some advice on how visual storytelling can improve your skills as a designer, marketer, and blogger, check out our blog at http://piktochart.com/blog.