How are you supposed to get hired when you’re a junior-level candidate and every company “requires X+ years of experience”?
If you struggle with this problem, this guide—and our company outreach tool—is for you.
- 1. You have to convince them you’re a value add, not a drain on their resources.
- 2. You must show them that your true value is not in the amount of experience you currently have, but in your passion, resourcefulness, and growth potential.
- How to get people’s attention
- The Pyramid of Attention
- How do you signal?
1. You have to convince them you’re a value add, not a drain on their resources.
To many early-stage companies, junior employees can feel like a drain on resources — they’re worried they’ll need to hold your hand in order for you to succeed. So, they simplify their lives by filtering you out with a “minimum years of experience” requirement*.
While it’s true that they can’t afford to spend their precious resources on training junior hires, we have to realize that they’re assuming you will be a drain on resources. They fail to consider that you may not in fact be a drain on their resources!
So, if you want them to take a chance on you, you have to de-risk yourself. Because they will hire people they believe can succeed without needing tons of help.
To get hired as a junior employee in an early-stage company, you have to prove that you are resourceful & a quick learner. Proving this means being willing to work “up front” a little (whether that’s for free or on a contract).
2. You must show them that your true value is not in the amount of experience you currently have, but in your passion, resourcefulness, and growth potential.
If you’re truly inspired by what they’re doing, and believe you can make up for your lack of experience with passion, dedication, and resourcefulness, then you have a shot. 😉
The question is:
Do you believe in yourself?
How to get people’s attention
The Pyramid of Attention
Getting someone’s attention happens in stages. The first thing they’ll see—whether it’s your résumé or something more impressive—will only hold their attention for a few seconds. Your goal is to get them to keep reading.
In the first few seconds…
They have to see something that will make them want to spend another couple minutes learning about you. This is your catchy subject line followed by a “hook,” such as how you can help them with their goals (see
This should get them to keep reading.
Then, in the next couple minutes…
They need to see something that makes them want to spend another 15-20 minutes learning about you. This is your plan of action for achieving the results you want to get them, and case studies/projects/testimonials proving your ability to deliver.
If you nail it, they’ll open up your website, check out your Github/LinkedIn, and reply to your email.
You’ll schedule some time to talk on the phone/Zoom/in-person. Then, in those precious 15-20 minutes…
They need to feel like you’re ready to start delivering ASAP, without requiring much training or mentorship (back to draining company resources).
This all comes down to how you signal.
How do you signal?
To build your signal, you first have to do some impressive stuff. You don’t need anyone’s permission to teach yourself how to code, or generate leads on LinkedIn, or anything. You can start today—and you can be impressive!
If you want ideas, check out
Once you’ve done some impressive stuff, you’ve gotta showcase it. The easier it is to learn about the impressive stuff you’ve done, the stronger your “signal“ becomes. The stronger your signal, the more likely someone will want to talk to you.
Here’s what it all looks like put together:
And check out
*not an actual requirement in most cases