A couple of days ago I wrote about how my most popular blog post (the UML Cheatsheet) was based on a talk I did at a local .NET group. I could not have predicted that it would end up being the most popular thing on this site.
I did predict what the immediate reaction to my talk would be because I had planned for that.
I did the talk because I was trying to get a job at the company (Atalasoft) that hosted the group. After my presentation, I got an impromptu interview with the owner and the Chief Architect (and was offered the job a couple of weeks later).
It’s a lot of work for a single job application. It doesn’t scale, which is the point. But, their job description was perfect for me, so I was willing to go all out. Doing that let them know that I thought we were a good match.
This is an example of what I was getting at when I wrote that your resumé and your cover letter should make no sense. They should be so specific to the intended recipient that no one else would understand them. In this case, I saw a chance to make it even more specific and took it.