Author Topic: How does one approach a large company for a job?  (Read 1012 times)

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Online Refrigerator

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How does one approach a large company for a job?
« on: October 17, 2020, 07:24:44 pm »
I think it's about time i found myself a job and it just so happens that a large company has absolutely littered the entire city, where i study, with electric scooters.
The kind that stay wherever and anyone can ride them by connecting with some app on their phone. And i've seen first hand how hard people beat these particular scooters sometimes.
Surely they eventually break and even if they're reliable, given the large number of them there should still be a decent amount of broken scooters that need repairing/servicing.
And since the scooters are not cheap by any means, surely they're not disposable and there has to be a shop somewhere that repairs them.

So since i like repairing stuff so much i immediately saw this as a job opportunity, but since i'm so inexperienced in this field i came here for advice.
Perhaps i'm too naive and this pie is too high in the sky?

I'm still studying and don't have any job experience but i have experience in repair. For example, i repaired the laptop i'm writing this thread on, same with the laptop i had before this one. The plasma TV my brother has in his room? I fixed that. The flatscreen LCD TV upstairs? i fixed that. The brushless Makita drill that had the BLDC board burn to a crisp? Yep i fixed it. Even my car, i do all the repairs.
I like fixing stuff and i think this would be a good way to apply my skills.
Do you guys have any advice? I don't want to srew up my chances (whatever they may be) by starting on the wrong foot.
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 09:53:46 pm »
First make sure you are ready to go.

Almost every company will want a resume.  So you might as well figure out how to make a good one.

On your resume you will want to include your best projects.  In addition to what you listed in your post it would probably be very good to explain how you have repaired various scooters.

In some respects you are ahead of people who wait to find a job opening and then apply among tons of competition.  You will jump to someone’s attention but first you need to do your homework.  Find all the relevant companies and reverse engineer their org charts.  Figure out everyone from the CEO to whoever you would report to - this will help you learn and be conversant about their business.  When you are ready look for anyone you can find who might be able to introduce you to someone on the org chart and then express a strong desire to speak with your potential new boss or that person’s boss.  If you can’t get a warm intro prepare a cover letter to send with your resume to your potential boss.  Explain/concisely outline what you know to be great about their business and your idea about the importance of scooter maintenance.  Mention your confidence and experience in fixing their scooters.  Say you would like to meet to demonstrate how well you can fix their scooters.  Send the cover letter and resume and then follow up.  The objective is to get the meeting.  How to handle the meeting/interview is another topic for study.

The key is to proactively make your case to the people in the hiring chain.  Identify them and approach them with confidence, enthusiasm, respect, and friendly tenacity.  If you do this with several companies in parallel your focus and energy will help you stand out and very possibly earn you one or more offers.  If you hear objections take the input seriously but don’t give up - look at any objections as the discovery of new hiring requirements that you can then address until there are no more objections. Stay friendly, upbeat, and always follow through.  These things win people over because they are surprisingly rare.

Identify the targets with specificity and then go get them.  This will take weeks to months but if you are committed, prepared, and thoughtfully persistent you can make it happen.
 
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Offline bob91343

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 10:04:47 pm »
Excellent advice!  However, the job you seek is a technical one, and your personality ought to reflect that.  In other words, you are looking for a nerd's job, one where your sales personality probably won't do you much good.

Your home based experience is important.  Your education is also.  At least you should enroll in some sort of technical course.

When you talk to an HR person, realize he/she knows little about the technical side.  They are looking for reliability and attitude and appearance.  Once you get to a technical person, give them the tech side.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 10:12:09 pm »
Before you go too far I'd suggest you research what has and is happening with theses scooter hire companies elsewhere. Start with researching around Los Angeles USA.

The general impression I get of the ones that I've heard about so far is that the whole business is a shitshow run by a bunch of chancers built on venture capital and no sound business foundation. There's a good chance that any particular company  won't last out the year. Now, Lithuania may be different, or it may be doing what so much of the world does and copying a American 'bright idea' just soon enough to not have seen the looming disaster play out.

Proceed with caution. Do your homework first before investing a lot of your personal time and effort.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 10:31:10 pm »
Excellent advice!  However, the job you seek is a technical one, and your personality ought to reflect that.  In other words, you are looking for a nerd's job, one where your sales personality probably won't do you much good.

Your home based experience is important.  Your education is also.  At least you should enroll in some sort of technical course.

When you talk to an HR person, realize he/she knows little about the technical side.  They are looking for reliability and attitude and appearance.  Once you get to a technical person, give them the tech side.

This is important advice.  Bob is right that too much sales can easily turn a technical person off.  You need to adjust to your audience.  Each person you meet will have their own personality/communications style and their own sense of technical and/or business priorities.  The hard part is often not the technicals but the socials.  Most company decisions require several people to say yes and any can probably say no or make a good case for no. So you need to adapt to your audience but the most important step is to figure out who the hiring manager is and get the interview with that person - then let your nerd shine, and shine in away that fits the person you are meeting. 
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2020, 10:41:46 pm »
Before you go too far I'd suggest you research what has and is happening with theses scooter hire companies elsewhere. Start with researching around Los Angeles USA.

The general impression I get of the ones that I've heard about so far is that the whole business is a shitshow run by a bunch of chancers built on venture capital and no sound business foundation. There's a good chance that any particular company  won't last out the year. Now, Lithuania may be different, or it may be doing what so much of the world does and copying a American 'bright idea' just soon enough to not have seen the looming disaster play out.

Proceed with caution. Do your homework first before investing a lot of your personal time and effort.

More very good advice.  Before you spend weeks or months make sure you are confident the market and industry are viable and preferably vibrant.  Real sustained industry growth makes everything go better; industry contraction not so much.  Having said that you don’t need a bunch of opportunities, just one good one - but it’s better to find a job that leads to a career rather than who knows what job in another field or career path, maybe.
 

Online Refrigerator

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 10:58:16 am »
Before you go too far I'd suggest you research what has and is happening with theses scooter hire companies elsewhere. Start with researching around Los Angeles USA.

The general impression I get of the ones that I've heard about so far is that the whole business is a shitshow run by a bunch of chancers built on venture capital and no sound business foundation. There's a good chance that any particular company  won't last out the year. Now, Lithuania may be different, or it may be doing what so much of the world does and copying a American 'bright idea' just soon enough to not have seen the looming disaster play out.

Proceed with caution. Do your homework first before investing a lot of your personal time and effort.
The company is big and i don't think they're going under any time soon:
Quote
More than 25 million passengers..........reliable and affordable rides in more than 30 countries.
Not sure if i should just say what the company is, i think with a quick google search you can find them.  :)
But personally i've noticed an increase in electric scooters around the country and not just rental scooters but scooters that people have bought for themselves.
My friend recently bought an electric scooter and said it's very convenient to take it on a bus or a train and ride around wherever he needs to go and it's so much cheaper than owning a car.
The company does have a career page but nothing directly linked to repair/servicing, the closest thing i see are some open positions in engineering.
Would this be the right way to get in contact with them? Since it's such a big (international, even) company.
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Offline Syntax Error

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 11:35:31 am »
Do your market research.

Identify the correct person to contact and how to contact them. The scooter firm (citybee?) will likely have a subcontractor servicing their scooters, so should it be the subcontractor you need to call? So start researching with their website. Search government records for their business and licensing requirements. Hire one of their scooters and make a technical assessement of how you might service or replace parts - but no teardowns!  Friend them on social media. Search the press for stories, good and bad. List what the company is doing correct and doing wrong.  Decide how you can help them to do it better!

This is all good business spy craft :)

Good luck.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:37:19 am by Syntax Error »
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Online Cerebus

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2020, 03:22:51 pm »
The company is big and i don't think they're going under any time soon:

Once upon a time that might have been true. The list of companies 'too big to fail' that have failed in recent years is long. It would be a grave error to believe that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_corporate_collapses_and_scandals
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Offline Syntax Error

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2020, 04:59:44 pm »
Is this who you are looking at?
Not in Lithuania, but all over Europe.
VOI Scooters from Sweden:
https://www.voiscooters.com/jobs/
https://jobs.voiapp.io/departments
They've a young pro-eco start-up vibe.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 05:03:03 pm by Syntax Error »
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Online Refrigerator

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 06:20:09 pm »
The company i'm looking at is Taxify/Bolt i guess my hint wasn't good enough.  ;D
But anyways i think i'll start by looking into how to write a good resume.
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2020, 06:39:06 pm »
Almost all of the jobs I've had I got by knowing somebody who worked there. Networking is the key, and it can be tricky when you are just starting out. Keep an eye out for job fairs, I've made a handful of contacts at those. They work a bit like trying to pick up a girl at a bar except that instead of looking for pretty girls to talk to I was chatting up nerdy looking guys, finding out where they worked, what they did, what sort of positions might be available, talking about projects I was working on or just chatting about technology and engineering in general. If there are bars, diners or other informal establishments near the company you are interested in you might hang out there around lunch time and get to know some of the locals. Also look for hackerspaces, technical clubs or anything of that nature likely to provide an opportunity to gather with similar minded individuals. I would not worry too much about the future of the company at this stage, you are trying to get a foot in the door and once you have done that it is not a major disaster if the company sinks after a year, you will still have gained a year of relevant experience, earned a year's wages, made some friends/contacts in the industry and learned some things. You're looking for your first relevant job, likely not your lifelong career.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 06:50:15 pm »
the whole business is a shitshow run by a bunch of chancers built on venture capital and no sound business foundation. There's a good chance that any particular company  won't last out the year.

That is about half of the economy and 2/3 of the stock market right now! 

OP, I don't know how it is in your particular country and with that particular company, but overall getting a 'job' like that is tough.  First, besides being generally a circus, the founders of those companies aren't interested in the details of running a business--it's all big ideas, growth, numbers (often fake) and an IPO.  Repairing their scooters is an expense, like toilet paper, and they care about it just as much.  They might take you on as a contractor to collect and repair scooters if you can do it cheaply enough, but hiring employees to whom they have to pay salary and benefits is generally not what they like to do.

There's nothing wrong with doing it that way but...and please pay attention to this part...always make sure you make a profit from the very first day and don't ever let things get to the point where you are depending on their business to recoup some investment you may have made in equipment, shop space or whatever.  And don't let them owe you too much money, because as soon as things go bad for them, you'll find that paying you is way, way down their list of priorities. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2020, 06:52:07 pm »
From Dun & Bradstreet:

BOLT TECHNOLOGY OU is located in Tallinn, Estonia and is part of the Information Technology Services Industry. BOLT TECHNOLOGY OU has 40 total employees across all of its locations and generates $68.18 million in sales (USD)[2018]. There are 18 companies in the BOLT TECHNOLOGY OU corporate family.

From Wikipedia:

Financing

Prior to announcing a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing, Taxify had raised over €2 million in investment capital from Estonian and Finnish angel investors.[23] In August 2017, Didi Chuxing invested an undisclosed amount believed to be an "eight-figure U.S. dollar sum".[24] A May 2018 funding round with a $175 million investment from Daimler, Didi and others led to a 1 billion dollar valuation for the company, making it a unicorn.[25]

In January 2020, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a EUR 50 million venture debt facility with Bolt. The financing, supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), is to boost Bolt's product development in areas where technology can improve the safety, reliability and sustainability of its services. This includes investment in existing services such as vehicle for hire and food delivery, as well as the development of new products.[26]

From a $68mil USD turnover to a $1billion USD valuation in two years? I can't help suspecting that there's a bubble waiting to burst there. Also, remember that their ride-hailing app is the company, the Scooter Hire is a sideline. If things get creaky I suspect that might be one of the first things to go.

Doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it, but keep a weather eye open. Also, it's a medium size company with a lot of money sloshing about. Getting your foot in the door at a medium sized company requires a different strategy from a truly big company. Try and find out if you know someone who knows someone who works there and sound them out about it. In a city of 500,000 people the chances that you know someone in the tech sector that knows someone at the company are very good. You can't beat a personal introduction, or getting the phone number of the person who can actually do something, saves all the negotiating HR droids and other corporate cruft (which they are probably in the process of acquiring hand over fist at this point in the growth curve).
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Online Refrigerator

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2020, 07:35:42 pm »
Almost all of the jobs I've had I got by knowing somebody who worked there. Networking is the key, and it can be tricky when you are just starting out. Keep an eye out for job fairs, I've made a handful of contacts at those. They work a bit like trying to pick up a girl at a bar except that instead of looking for pretty girls to talk to I was chatting up nerdy looking guys, finding out where they worked, what they did, what sort of positions might be available, talking about projects I was working on or just chatting about technology and engineering in general. If there are bars, diners or other informal establishments near the company you are interested in you might hang out there around lunch time and get to know some of the locals. Also look for hackerspaces, technical clubs or anything of that nature likely to provide an opportunity to gather with similar minded individuals. I would not worry too much about the future of the company at this stage, you are trying to get a foot in the door and once you have done that it is not a major disaster if the company sinks after a year, you will still have gained a year of relevant experience, earned a year's wages, made some friends/contacts in the industry and learned some things. You're looking for your first relevant job, likely not your lifelong career.

We had a career day of sorts last week but because of the 'rona it turned into a 5 hour long livestream full of pre-recorded ads. There were MsTeams meetings to talk to some people live but the meetings weren't very productive.
Last year i did attend one of these career day events and it was fun, one of the companies had a big jar full IC's like spartan 6 FPGA's and Altera stuff and they let you pick a few as a souvenir, which i totally did.  ::)
The biggest problem with these companies is that in most of them you don't earn anything for about the first year so you're basically doing voluntary work.
And i want to avoid that since i want to earn money to expand my own lab, do my own projects, buy my own test gear (and maybe join TEA eventually  ;D ).
Ps: for me getting started is the hardest part because without a point of reference it's hard to determine the right angle of approach.
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Online Refrigerator

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2020, 07:49:06 pm »
Try and find out if you know someone who knows someone who works there and sound them out about it. In a city of 500,000 people the chances that you know someone in the tech sector that knows someone at the company are very good. You can't beat a personal introduction, or getting the phone number of the person who can actually do something, saves all the negotiating HR droids and other corporate cruft (which they are probably in the process of acquiring hand over fist at this point in the growth curve).
Will be hard now that the whole 'rona thing is going on and my university is under strict lockdown due to the rapid increase in infected students.
And i know for a fact that there were people who know a thing or two about this over there.
I guess i'll have to fire up the e-mail and hope my keyboard can take the beating.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 10:15:21 pm by Refrigerator »
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Offline Syntax Error

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2020, 08:11:48 pm »
Go up to their front door and knock... just email :
vilnius@bolt.eu
I assume that's where you are.
-or- try their press office
press@bolt.eu
-or- reach out through this page
https://bolt.eu/en-gb/scooters-platform/
Click the "Start your e-scooter fleet. Get in touch for more information."

Let them know how passionate and impressed you are with their scooter product and share their vision for green city transport, etc, etc. Ask them how to contact the shop that repairs them.
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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2020, 11:56:59 pm »
The company i'm looking at is Taxify/Bolt i guess my hint wasn't good enough.  ;D
But anyways i think i'll start by looking into how to write a good resume.

Throughout your entire career it’s good to have your resume up to date and ready to go but don’t just send it when an opportunity appears; tune it so that the objective, summary, and key accomplishments speak to the specific requirements as reflected by the job description and your discussions and research regarding the opportunity.  Too many otherwise hard working people skip this step.  Let’s say you want to earn $100k per year.  With benefits and overhead it might cost the company $150k per year, and they hope you will stay for at least 3 years and probably longer - so it’s a ~$500k decision they are making.  If you were trying to help the engineering and business team write a customer proposal for half a million dollars worth of products or services would you take a generic word doc from the computer and send it as is to the customer, or would you edit it to present a solution that best fits what you believe to be the customer’s specific buying criteria?  Your instincts are correct to spend sufficient time and effort on the resume.  It can help you get the interview, and also help the people in the hiring company who vote for you over other candidates make the case for you on your behalf.  The resume alone won’t win you the job but it can help you throughout the company’s decision-making process.  Put similar effort also into your interviews/technical discussions and demonstrations, and the negotiating/closing stages.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2020, 11:59:50 pm »
The biggest problem with these companies is that in most of them you don't earn anything for about the first year so you're basically doing voluntary work.
And i want to avoid that since i want to earn money to expand my own lab, do my own projects, buy my own test gear (and maybe join TEA eventually  ;D ).
Ps: for me getting started is the hardest part because without a point of reference it's hard to determine the right angle of approach.

So you need to be very sure that the experience you are gaining is worth the sacrifice.  Fortunately for me, with my attitude, I don't need a job.  If I did, I'd work as a trash collector before I'd repair stuff for free, even though I like repairing stuff and will often do it for free for people I know.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2020, 12:42:00 am »
“Ps: for me getting started is the hardest part because without a point of reference it's hard to determine the right angle of approach.”

This is also wise/perceptive.  Think of everything else you have learned that was of any value and importance.  How many of those did you stick the landing on your first try, how many took several tries, and how many took even more time and persistence to get things dialed-in?  The point here is you probably don’t want to learn the job-seeking/interview process on your #1 favorite opportunity.

After having identified your top choice, practice on their competitors or some adjacent businesses.  Your resume and messaging/discussions can easily be adjusted for each since they are in the same market space, you will become increasingly knowledgeable about the competitive landscape, and your interview skills and confidence will be well tuned when it’s time to go for the gold medal.

As a possible bonus you might have one or more offers before you get to the championship round which will only make you more attractive and stronger when it comes to discussing compensation.  Plus, just in case your #1 choice isn’t as good as you hoped you will have a bulit-in plan B.  Your job is to get an offer from each company you interview with; once they give you a written offer you can ask questions and accept or not - but you want it to be your choice.  This process can take some time to get in gear but toward the end it can go pretty fast so you want to parallel process several so they all come out of the oven about the same time giving you the opportunity to compare and contrast - while saving your best for last or near last.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How does one approach a large company for a job?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2020, 06:32:22 am »
So you need to be very sure that the experience you are gaining is worth the sacrifice.  Fortunately for me, with my attitude, I don't need a job.  If I did, I'd work as a trash collector before I'd repair stuff for free, even though I like repairing stuff and will often do it for free for people I know.

Trash collector is a perfectly respectable job, and quite well paid too I gather, certainly more than most repair techs make. It requires one to be physically strong and not averse to dealing with smelly stuff though.
 


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