9 Minimalist Lessons to Land Your Dream Job And Love Your Life

A practical guide to using minimalism during a job search

Isaiah McCall
Jan 26 · 5 min read
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It’s the small, often overlooked things that make or break a job candidate. Something as simple as making a phone call or creating a slightly better-formatted resume can land you your dream job. And you don’t have to be Patrick Bateman to appreciate a good business card.

Standing out as a job candidate is less a macro approach and much more a micro one. The devil’s in the details.

Let’s layout 9 minimalist approaches you should take with you in the job search.

LinkedIn is the greatest underutilized tool of all time. It’s a better social connecting platform than Facebook and Twitter combined. However, so many people only care about vanity metrics like how many likes they get on their posts or how many connections they have.

Take this approach instead when job searching on LinkedIn:

  • List out your three or four favorite companies you’d want to work for and go to their job pages.
  • Connect with every single person at their company and leave a message explaining who you are and asking advice on how you can work there.
  • For every 20 people you message, you’ll get one response. Treat that person like royalty and ask all they know.

Yes, buying coffee may seem very anti-minimalist, but hear me out. I live by Dale Cooper from Twin Peak’s philosophy: Give yourself a present once a day, no matter what. That present for me is a hot cup of joe.

Now, here’s a way to make your coffee addiction work for you. Take one person you admire or want to work for out to coffee once a week. Get to know them. Pick their brain. Tell them this isn’t for a job, but to have a good time.

This works for me without fail, even during the pandemic. It’s journalism 101 if you want to meet important figures in a town. This has landed me many great connections as well as job opportunities.

Building off the last tip, keep in touch with your valuable connections. These are people you know who are in very high positions in a company or just someone who has a lot of cool interesting friends.

You should have three people like this at all times. Every few months or so, shoot them a message. Ask how their kids are doing or if they’ve read any good books lately. Make the questions personable without getting too personal.

Don’t message them only when you need something like a job.

Instead of thinking, “how much money do I need to spend on business cards, resume writers, and interview lessons,” you should reverse engineer this process. Think about what you could do now to improve yourself for free.

You could spend hours on YouTube learning a new skill instead of watching hours of pointless internet drama. Or you could write more articles on LinkedIn or Medium and better develop your voice.

Times are tough, so keep your money in the bank and think outside the box.

The №1 trending search on Etsy during Christmas was, “personable holiday gifts.” People appreciate gifts that don’t look like you accidentally found them at a gas station. They like things that look meaningful.

A personable gift doesn’t have to be a $40 custom candle on Etsy. It can be a funny card with a nice message.

If you can’t find a good address for this person for someone you met on LinkedIn or Medium, for example, then send it to where they work. I still get notifications when something comes in the mail at my job. That or just point blank ask them and ruin the surprise. They’ll still think you’re very nice for all the effort.

Don’t be another candidate dressed as a shmuck. In interviews, I’ve seen everything from people who were way too proud of their U.S. polo Assn. shirt candidates who broke the bank with a Gucci jacket or other luxury brand.

Fun fact: Research suggests that luxury products don’t necessarily translate well in a job interview. When a job requires trustworthiness, empathy, likability, or kindness, it’s not always best to wear a status symbol.

I know we’re in a pandemic, but don’t forget that what you wear is the first impression you’ll ever make. Even on the streets you never know when an opportunity will come around. After all, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

Subtle off-white coloring and tasteful thickness should be left to the business cards of the 2000s. Today, we have cards perfect for a minimalist; we have stainless steel cards with QR codes.

These cards only require you to carry one around in your wallet. When you need it, you can have someone scan the QR code — which all phones are equipped with today — and they can go to your website, portfolio page, link tree, whatever. You get to customize every little thing.

The prices are a little steep, but since you only need one, I think it’s worth it.

You know this. Yet you still don’t do it. Landing a great job isn’t always about the skills. Unless you’re a top grad from an Ivy League school, someone will likely beat you out.

What you need is to put a face to the resume. Once you get talking you can persuade these people why you're the right candidate for the job. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but you have a much better chance than by throwing your resume in the easy apply waste bin on LinkedIn.

Working as a journalist for a few years now, I’ve realized an important truth in life: Confidence opens many doors. Even when faced with fear, if I called the right person or covered an event I wasn’t ready for, things worked out when I kept taking one step forward.

Great leaders aren’t people who have no fear. They’re the ones that face their fears even when they don’t want to.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do things that no one else is doing in the job search. Your fate is in your own hands — now go make it happen.

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Isaiah McCall

Written by

USA Today Reporter and Ultramarathoner. I write about Cryptocurrency, Fitness Hacks, and Greek Philosophy. Also a diehard Trekkie 🖖🏾| mccallisaiah@gmail.com

Yard Couch

Exclusive stories for your mind, body and wallet… and few more for the soul https://yardcouch.com/

Isaiah McCall

Written by

USA Today Reporter and Ultramarathoner. I write about Cryptocurrency, Fitness Hacks, and Greek Philosophy. Also a diehard Trekkie 🖖🏾| mccallisaiah@gmail.com

Yard Couch

Exclusive stories for your mind, body and wallet… and few more for the soul https://yardcouch.com/

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