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TED: Jason Shen - Looking for a Job? Highlight Your Ability, Not Your Experience

College majors might be on the way out -- at least when it comes to hiring, according to TED resident Jason Shen.

Shen studied biology in college but, after being rejected by Google and other companies, went on to land a job as product manager at Etsy. What convinced the company to hire him? He showcased his ability rather than his experience: he read the company’s IPO filings in their entirety, built a website analyzing the company’s business model and suggested four ideas for new features.

"At this rate, we should all be expecting to do jobs we’ve never done before for the rest of our careers," says Shen, who adds that hiring managers should expand their searches beyond traditional candidates and look in unlikely places. If you’re pursuing a new opportunity, Shen recommends seeking out ways to showcase your unique skills outside the traditional resume and cover letter - even if that’s not part of the application or interview.


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