- Emily Vu went viral on Twitter as a senior in college by designing a Spotify-themed resume.
- Now a full-time product manager at Spotify, she shares career advice for other young professionals.
- Vu discusses creating a personal brand, documenting progress, and her surreal experience at Spotify.
- This article is part of the 'Careers 2.0' series, focused on helping job seekers learn more about getting jobs at notable companies.
In March 2021, Emily Vu — then a senior at UC Irvine studying computational physics — posted her Spotify-themed resume on Twitter as a hail mary to get a job at the audio streaming company.
Her post quickly went viral, garnering almost 300,000 likes and even catching the eye of Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. By April, she had secured an internship, and by September, a full-time associate product manager role — her dream job.
Vu knows her experience was unique and involved plenty of luck. But she also has a slew of savvy ideas, resources, and productivity tips for early-career folks, which have helped her join and rise through a wildly competitive company right out of college.
She's continued to post advice on Twitter, including a thread about how she made the best of her fully remote internship. And as someone who graduated in the pandemic, she has a unique perspective about what it's like to enter the workforce now, which she's shared with Insider.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Documenting your progress
I'm a Virgo, so I love organizing things.
It's really worth it to document what you're learning in an internship because you're probably going to forget it if you leave or advance. So I started a thing called a weekly wrap, which I actually still do.
Every week, I answer four questions: How are you feeling? What did you accomplish this week? What did you learn this week? What was hard for you this week?
[The weekly wrap] is valuable for building your case when you're talking to stakeholders or referencing for interviews. And you want to write down things that you learn from projects that you did or just personally.
It's important to see how much you've grown. I think one struggle that I had was being a perfectionist, like I want to be the best and I would never recognize what my accomplishments were in the past.
By tracking, it reminds me: Okay, I have accomplished a lot and I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself.
Making a personal brand
It's really important to make a personal brand for yourself and utilize the internet as much as you can, especially in the pandemic, which ties back with posting my resume on social media.
Before that, I posted a lot of other stuff too. I made a personal website for myself, and I spent a lot of time designing it to have my own style. It really allows you to express your personality and your passion because those things can't be expressed on a resume.
I would post articles to document projects that I worked on every month for a year. And I would just write about things that I did or things I learned or ideas that I had in my head.
That's advice I would give to someone who's young and feels like they don't have the experience that they might need for a job: Work on projects and share your progress online because people can see that you've improved.
The internet is free, and you can do whatever you want with it.
'Working for it'
When [my manager] gave me the full-time offer, I was really shocked. I really convinced myself that I just wasn't going to get the role.
He initially pretended to be very quiet and serious, as if I didn't get the role. But then he sent me a link to a Google presentation, and the only slide it had was a gif that said, "YOU'RE HIRED!"
I was in New York at the time to visit the Spotify office. And I looked out at the Empire State Building thinking, "I did it." It felt like a movie, or maybe I just romanticized it in my head.
But throughout the whole process — from my resume going viral to getting my full-time job — the one song that I kept listening to was a song by Zu [and Skrillex] called "Working for it." This was my theme song. I listened to it before my final presentation, before getting into Spotify.
The song carried me through, and I secured the bag. I was proud of myself. I worked really hard for it.