November 20, 2023


3 Minutes

This person landed a job for $5MN total compensation

Kareem Abukhadra

Author, Founder Relentless

… here’s how they did it

As you likely know, my job is to help people find jobs. And that means I get to see both ends of the job search spectrum.

That also means I can share data-backed info on what works in the job search, and what doesn’t — so you can land higher-paying jobs, faster.

I wanted to share what the highest-paid candidate we’ve ever helped did to land his role, because I know this’ll be valuable for many.

For context: The role was for $5MN total compensation, at a Top 50 fastest growing tech companies. It was doing over $1BN in revenue at the time.

Specialized role

It’s likely very obvious this person landed a highly specialized role. It’s something I tell all job seekers:

The more specialized your role (AKA, the less people there are capable of doing it), the more you can expect to be paid.

More than that though, this person targeted a high-budget buyer who they knew they could provide outsized value to.

When you have those two things, you’re in a great spot.

More than that, the better you are at that specialized role, the more negotiation leverage you have.

If the company needs the role filled, and there are only a select few people competent enough to perform it — you can see how comp increases fairly quickly.

Only targeted that role

And after picking that role (based on past experience), the candidate only targeted that role.


  • Crafted their one-sentence pitch around it
  • Tailored resume language to fit the role
  • Emailed hiring managers hiring for that role

When you do this, you can effectively run the same job search, at scale. And that’s what makes it much easier to land interviews.

Created a great offer thesis

The next part of this process was creating a robust Offer Thesis. This is essentially your case to be hired, if you will.

And it’s arguably the most overlooked and underutilized parts of the job search, in my opinion.

When you can quantify the value you’re driving for the company, combined with the fact that you’re one of a few people that can drive the value in the first place — you’re in a great spot to ask for higher comp.

Note that this only works if you have conviction in your ability to drive the value you say you will.

This candidate, who’s remaining anonymous for privacy reasons, has a track record. They’ve previously scaled a product to $5BN in revenue at another top 10 tech company in the world.

They can, with no doubt, provide the value the company needs in this scenario — and that’s what made the offer thesis so strong.

The Offer Thesis pretty much runs you through how to create the case to hire you. And it works.

Anyways, overall, the candidate:

  • Was competent at a very specialized role
  • Was able to quantify the value they’d drive
  • Only applied to that role across companies
  • Created a robust case for them to be hired

And we can all learn from that.

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