A Career Hackers Classic, this full post originally appeared here on The Futur’s blog.

”I landed a Product Manager role at Google” doesn’t help you that much, but getting behind that person’s story, getting into the details and understanding how they did it, are things you can implement in your own job-hunt.

This..is reverse engineering. But how do you actually reverse engineer something?

Matthew Encina calls it “The Art of Deconstruction

Here is the Art of Deconstruction in 5 Steps:

1. Identify the goal
Identify the goal before you start anything. This will help you hyper-focus, save time, and give you a clear filter to help you evaluate your efforts

2. Research the subject and platform
Find what the top-performance looks like. Take a deep dive and pick up on trends and patterns.

3. Deconstruct, Analyze, & Understand
Every good art school has a “masterwork copy” assignment where you take a popular piece of art and simply copy it. Stroke by stroke, color to color. You get to understand how the masters made such great pieces of art.
Do this exercise in your job hunt. Once you see the success of something, try finding the key ingredients of it, some specific attributes that make it effective, and how you could go about making that.

4. Emulate & Apply
When you can decode the ingredients that make up something great, you can begin to emulate and adopt these pieces into your own career.

5. Improve Upon
Don’t just take from culture; contribute to it. Identify your goal, take the most relevant elements of the best things you’ve consumed and improve them. Combine them together. Make something new built off of what came before you.

Being able to reverse engineer something is one of the most effective ways to understand how great things are made and why they work. This.. is “The Art of Deconstruction”.

Read the full article here.