How I've gotten three top tech jobs with only five job applications

Out of the full time jobs I've had over my career, I've been fortunate to only have applied to 5. I don't think it's because I'm special, it's because I've:

  1. Spent the time finding the job where I'm confident I can add the most value, based on my past experience
  2. Emailed the CEO and/or hiring manager directly, and used my portfolio to show that experience!

For example, I was recently a Senior Product Manager over Matching at Braintrust. When I cold emailed the CEO, I didn't have "Product Manager" anywhere on my resume.

To compensate, I focused on my portfolio in the pitch, not my resume. I showed how I've actually already done the work they needed.

Here's the email.

Cold email highlighting my portfolio
Cold email to Braintrust CEO highlighting my portfolio

Here's the breakdown of where each link[1] went:

There were at least over 100 other applicants for the two PM roles.

Within an hour, Adam intro'd me to the VP of Product and she booked an interview on my calendar for two days later.

Response to the cold email with links to my portfolio
Within 1 hour, the VP of product booked an interview on my calendar

During the interview when we were discussing my past work and what needed to be done at Braintrust, I shared details about the relevant projects. Then I followed up afterwards with links to the projects in my email thanking her for the call.

My portfolio enabled me to do things the other candidates couldn't, which was showing how good of a fit I was for the job versus just telling.


If you want to boost your conversion rate from job application to interview, and through the rest of the hiring funnel, build a portfolio and link to your posts in the application and through the rest of the process.

A portfolio is a commitment to build. It's a time investment to craft each project well, but you'll have that professional ammo for the rest of your career. It will help you in job searchs, once you're hired to gain more influence with the org, and countless other ways when you want to reference your past work.

Fortunately Showspace is free and makes the portfolio creation process far easier. Now get building! 😃

[1] When I sent this email in 2021, my portfolio lived on my personal website, but of course now I'm showing you Showspace links.