GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
SV Academy

Overcoming Rejection

Jason Cruz's love for spam fried rice led to his dream job at Gong

Below is an article originally published by SV Academy. Go to SV Academy's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Getting rejected from your dream job hurts. But for Jason Cruz, SV Graduate Cohort 34, an auto-reject email was not a hard no, it was just a not yet. Jason was inspired to dig deeper and push harder.

The reality is, there isn't often a 'no' in Tech Sales. Maybe now is just not the right time. Fast-growing, future-minded companies like Gong never close the door. And Jason figured out how to creatively overcome this first rejection from a dream employer by imaginatively pushing the boundaries.

Jason's journey into Tech Sales

Jason has always loved working with people. Prior to applying to SV Academy, Jason managed live events for Facebook and SF State University, where he completed his studies in Broadcast Communications. Although he enjoyed the work, something with more career growth potential became of high priority after a few years of event managing.

Outside of work, Jason's time at improv comedy clubs led to friendships with sales professionals. They recommended he give Business Development Representative (BDR) or Sales Development Representative (SDR) roles a shot.

Inspired by the suggestion from his friends, Jason began hearing about SV Academy as a potential transition into sales.

"What really stood out to me about SV Academy was the personalized support and dedicated career coach from start to end."

After being admitted into the program, Jason was off to the races. He credits the one on one human-centered skills coaching as being an underlying principle he could take to any company. Having a chance to step into the Tech Sales role in a learning environment and practicing core selling skills like empathic listening deeply resonated with Jason.

But his primary anchor remained SV Academy's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"Everyone in the room was a Person of Color or an Underrepresented Minority. It made me realize wow, I've actually never had this experience before in a professional setting . . . There was an unspoken bond."



Leveling up with new skills

Gong, which also happens to have a strong commitment to diversity, caught Jason's eye (listen to our CEO's interview on Gong's podcast here). Gong's open SDR roles paired alongside strong company culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion was everything Jason was looking for.

Soon after applying, the dreaded auto-rejection email made its way into his inbox:

Jason was far from giving up. His growth mindset and training had prepared him for this moment.

Overcoming rejection: Jason Cruz's love for spam fried rice led to his dream job at Gong www.youtube.com

"Everyone at SV Academy kept stressing that you have to treat this job search like you're outreaching to a prospect. With empathy. So I did."

With the sting of rejection, Jason continued to connect with Gong employees on LinkedIn and work on his skills and confidence at SV Academy. Jason ended up connecting with a former educator-turned-SDR-now-recruiter and alumni from SF State University. Perfect connection made! Not only was this current Gong employee from his community, but he was also someone who knew exactly what it meant to switch careers.

Jason knew it was going to take something different to stand out from the pool of applicants. With the newly formed relationship, it was now time a matter of how he could grab the recruiter's attention.

During his SV Academy training, he learned about video cover letters. But he had his reservations. Who would actually open one of these?

"I was the biggest skeptic of video cover letters, but I had actually seen Gong post someone else sending a video cover letter that led to an interview . . . So this actually works!"

Around the same time, Gong just happened to post an employee cookbook across their social media, featuring a favorite dish of Jason's, spam fried rice!

Emboldened by the combination of events and newly equipped with SV Academy skills, Jason filmed a hyper-personalized video to Gong's recruiter wearing their alma mater's shirt and whipped up a pan of spam-fried rice following the recruiter's recipe from the Gong employee cookbook. He followed up with a request for 'no-sugar feedback', which is one of Gong's operating principles in bettering their employee's skill set with direct and genuine feedback.

What did Jason showcase about himself by sending this video?

1 — Being okay with rejection and persevering. A 'no' can only lead to a yes if you believe deeply enough. Keep pushing ahead!

2 — Personalize to your audience. Do the research, and you'll be surprised by what you have in common with your recruiter/prospect.

3 — Creativity! Companies are constantly bombarded with applications. Do anything you can to stand out.

Needless to say, the video cover letter landed and resulted in much more than feedback.

Not only was the Gong recruiter blown away, but he also called it, "the best prospecting video he ever received."

The rest was history. Jason is now hired at Gong in an SDR role.


Jason embodies the core values of an SV Academy student: enduring grit, relentless perseverance, and an ingenious way of building rapport with spam fried rice!

We wish Jason continued success on his journey in Tech Sales. All of us at SV Academy are honored to walk with him and excited to see what he cooks up next.

Automattic

27 Companies with Impressive Mentorship Opportunities

January is National Mentorship Month— the perfect time to focus on growing and building important relationships with mentors that will positively affect your professional career.

Research shows that mentorship greatly improves career outcomes by providing professional guidance, skill development, and support through major work and life transitions.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Videos

Top Tips For a Technical Interview with Uber

💎 Get some top tips before your technical interview with Uber! Don’t miss the valuable advice from a company recruiter. And get to the end of the video for the most important tip!

📼 Play this video to get three top tips that will help you ace your technical interview with Uber. You'll hear from Kelly Hay, Senior Technical Recruiter at Uber, who shares everything you need to know if you’re aiming for a technical role with the company.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Client

An Inside Look at the World of Pre-Sales with Skedulo’s Cehrin Elyas

Cehrin Elyas spends a few hours each week with the imaginary characters she’s dreamed up. One of them is Donald, a 55-year-old man with dementia. Another is Mia, a support worker who cares for people like Donald and regularly takes him to get coffee or lunch.

Cehrin works in pre-sales at scheduling platform Skedulo, and Donald and Mia are two of the personas she’s built to help her understand her prospective clients. “I think of them like movie characters,” she says. “I put in lots of data relevant to the industries I’m pitching.”

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less

Videos

Competency-Based Interview: How To Prepare? Recruiter Tips

💎 Get ready for a competency-based interview with these valuable insights from a Netskope recruiter!

📼 Have you ever heard of a competency-based interview? It’s also known as a structured, behavioral, or situational interview, and it’s designed to test one or more skills or competencies. Watch this video, where you’ll meet Nicole Wilczynski, a member of the Talent Acquisition team at Netskope. She’ll review Netskope’s application process and give you some insights on how to best prepare for this type of interview.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020