How to actually get your dream job

6 min read
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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, well I'd argue that the dream is actually possible. 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 at that time. Honestly, I doubted there was any rational reason to even try this.

The Strategy

There is a famous quote from a french movie titled “French Fried Vacation 2” (“Les bronzés font du ski”) that says

Forget you have no chance, go ahead and just do it. We never know, on a misunderstanding it could 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. Back to zero.

Bringing value

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 these 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 — thank you all.

I then translated the data into a readable summary named “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.

The delivery

Now that I had value to bring to Spotify, I needed to deliver it. That part was very exciting as I was applying for a marketing and communication internship. It was the moment when I could 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 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.

The outcome

After sending my application, a ton of questions arose. 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 seemed 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!)”

– Warner Music.

One could say that I did all this work for nothing as I didn’t get my internship at Spotify. But I’m 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 partners with streaming platforms, I get a potential backdoor toward Spotify as a bonus! How great is that?

Take away

Facebook and Instagram are full of quotes about hustling, being free, and living the good 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 really 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 learnings

Before leaving, I wanted to add some tips in the form of 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 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 it's okay for me to play with numbers, I cannot say that I love doing it. 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. I'd say do not hesitate to bring value and to get noticed — by recruiters, your friends, connections, and even the press. It’ll help you a lot.
  • Apply for more than one position. That was a really stupid error. Indeed, I applied to a single position in a single location. As you know, the more positions you apply for 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.

So that's about it. I hope this article helps you or a friend of yours in a way (sharing icons below).

Also, I would love to get to know your own adventures on landing your dream job, so don't hesitate to reach out on Twitter or Instagram.

Hope to see you back soon. Until then, wishing you a great day!

Thank you for reading,

JM Santolin


Makers w/ Purpose

Weekly newsletter for creators and makers to have the positive impact they strive for. Strategies, advises and resources to build a project and make it thrive.

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