The story of how I applied at Spotify.
What would be your dream job ?
As we spend most of our days at work, having the opportunity to do something that gives meaning to our lives is priceless. For some people, it’s about building their own business. I find that amazing and if it’s your case I wish you all success in the world!
But if you are dreaming about getting a job at Disney, Tesla or Apple, guess what : it is possible. For real. What follows is my attempt to help you by telling you the story of how I applied to Spotify.
Disclaimer : If you find any interesting idea below, please steal it.
This story starts in August 2017. I had to find an internship to end my studies in marketing and communication. Many of my friends already had interviews scheduled by that time but I still had not even a single idea about where to apply.
Eventually I took a piece of paper and managed to map out what a great workplace meant for me. Great human values, the opportunity to learn a lot, a sense of true mission — not a what-do-I-write-under-mission one. This exercise led me to think about Spotify.
Now, be willing to get an internship at Spotify is kind of cute. Getting it is another story. Spotify is hugely popular, I knew nobody there, hadn’t much relevant experience and there even was no open places for marketing internships. Honestly, I doubted there was any rational reason to even try this.
There is a famous quote from a french movie titled “French Fried Vacation 2” (“Les bronzés font du ski”) that says
Forget that you have no chance. Go on, just do it. We never know, on a misunderstanding it can work.
Basically, that was the strategy. I had no idea how I could possibly reach my goal. So I just started with the basic stuff, hoping that an idea would come up.
I reviewed Spotify’s requirements for marketing jobs and put together a tailored version of my resume, wrote a first cover letter draft, checked my Linkedin profile and internet presence etc.
A First idea
A first idea came out while I was reviewing my cover letter draft : an audio resume, sent to Spotify through Spotify. How cool is that ? I asked Google if the idea was realistic and discovered Distrokid, a [?] that puts audio files — aka music — onto Spotify quickly and cheaply. It was realistic.
Suddenly, everything seemed possible. I was already feeling like the king when, after cogitating some more, I disenchanted a bit. First, I bet Spotify already receives hundreds of such audio resumes. But second, it actually felt more like a “hey, look what I did”-ish idea. So, back to zero.
After trashing that first idea, I deciced to focus on bringing value to Spotify rather than making something cool. It seemed to me that Spotify’s marketing strategy relies much on word of mouth. Meaning, among others, share rates. So insights on how to improve those share rates should be really valuable.
Soon enough, I learned a lot more about Spotify’s sharing features, put together an online survey on what, when, how, where, why and with whom Spotify users share, published it everywhere and got 219 answers.
I then translated the data into a readable summary called “Why Spotify users don’t share more?” — negative titles get more attention — with graphics and TL;DRs, and pointed out 5 key insights for Spotify to improve their share rates.
Now that I had value to bring to Spotify, I needed to deliver it. That part was very exciting because I was applying for a marketing and communication internship. So it was my opportunity to show them — not only tell them — that I’m good at it.
First, at the end of my survey, my friends could help me by sending a specific tweet mentioning @spotifyjobs and me. My friends are amazing people, and I was fortunate enough to get a lot of support.
Then, after long testing, I managed to create an ad that was targeting some Spotify recruiters on Facebook and Twitter. The visual and title were meant to be irresistible for anybody looking to improve Spotify’s situation and the ad was linking to the summary of my survey’s results.
Then, after letting the tweets and the ads run for some time, I reached directly via email or InMail and attached my survey’s results to my application.
After sending my application, a ton of questions arised. What did I just do ? Do I have any chance ? Is all this work really worth it ? What if it works ?
Some weeks later, I received an email. The email. The result of all this work. It was saying that, well, my application was sadly not selected for the next round. I tried to get some feedback to understand what I could improve, but it seems that they just received too many applications.
But wait, that’s not the end of the story ! Another email landed in my inbox.
Subject : Just in case Spotify never answers
Keep this email and come back to us if you’re still looking for an internship. (Oh yeah!)
So one could say that I did all this work for nothing as I didn’t get my internship at Spotify. But I'm an optimistic, and I actually got what I was looking for : an internship at a company with great human values, the opportunity to learn a lot and a sense of true mission. Also, as Warner Music works with streaming platforms, I get a potential backdoor toward Spotify as a bonus! How great is that?
We see a lot of quotes on Facebook and Instagram about doing things, being free and living the life. Honestly, I’m having an overdose of all that, which makes me feel very stupid because I really want to tell you : really, a lot of things happen when you start hustling a bit.
So if you want that dream job, my take away for you is this : put yourself on autopilot, bring great value to the recruiters, document your journey and see what happens. Chances are you’ll be surprised. And again, please steal any idea that you find interesting in this article.
Some more tips
Before leaving, I wanted to had some tips. It’s actually answers to the question “if I had to do it again, what would I do differently ?”.
Do something you love in the first place. By running a market research and sending a summary of the findings and key insights, the message to the recruiters is “hey, look, I can play with numbers”. Although, well, I hate playing with numbers. Quite stupid.
Get noticed. I trashed the idea of an audio resume as I felt like it was just about me getting noticed, not proving that I could bring value. That said, I think both are actually equally important. So do not hesitate to bring value and get noticed — by recruiters, your friends and connections and even the press. It’ll help you a lot.
Apply for more than one position. So that is a really stupid error. Indeed, I applied to a single position. The more positions you apply to in your field, the more chances you have to get an interview and eventually a job. At least apply to the same position in different locations. Dumb me…
Feel free to share this article with someone that should read it.
Also, I would love to chat with you about your own adventures on landing your dream job. Shoot me a tweet or an Instragam DM!