For all the talk of the gig economy, the vast majority of people work for someone else. There are jobs, and then ... there are jobs.
Getting a great position, and a career, is a challenge. Companies want easy and mechanical ways of finding talent. Going through the motions puts you into a crowd. Your chance is as good as anyone else's, which is the problem.
You could try something different. Here are some people who did to great effect. They were all in marketing but no reason It may work and it may not, but if you keep doing the same thing, you'll get the same results.
Fearless Girl goes live
You may remember the Fearless Girl promotion. A bank put a statue of a defiant young girl facing the Charging Bull sculpture on Wall Street.
Jade Delaney, an advertising graduate, turned herself into a gold-colored replica and stood in front of advertising company McCann WorldWide.
Is this the best job application ever? Adorned in gold, fearless advertising graduate Jade Delaney recreates #FearlessGirl outside our offices #FearlessBristolGirl @McCann_WW @Campaignmag pic.twitter.com/11HW5lCFGl-- McCann Bristol (@McCann_Bristol) May 9, 2018
Apparently the stunt was a success.
Rap video intro
The cover letter and resume are one of the oldest and most tired combinations in job applications. Chase Zreet, a copywriter in Texas wanted to work for the agency Wieden+Kennedy on the Sprite account. So he produced a rap video to introduce himself, state his qualifications, and say how much he loved Sprite.
Wieden+Kennedy creative director Jimm Lasser reportedly said that "there's too much emphasis put on portfolios, and not enough on the creative enthusiasm of a candidate." Zreet showed how well he understood the brand, down to the color choices in the video -- and got hired.
A few years back, Adam Pacitti wanted a job in U.K. media and advertising but it seemed that the media didn't want him.
So he decided to spend his last few hundred dollars on a billboard ad that read, "I spent my last £500 on this billboard. Please give me a job." At the bottom of the ad was the URL for his personal job site (long taken down).
Pacitti also backed up his campaign with a video.
Corny? Maybe. Funny? Sure. And he got 60 job offers and ultimately took a position with marketing agency KEO Digital.
All three of the job seekers took some important steps to employment:
- Create a strategy. Don't go off half-baked. Be sure you know what you want and have a plan.
- Build a great story. People love stories, including those who are in a position to hire you. Give them a tremendous one that at least one of them won't be able to resist.
- Make use of social and traditional media. Maybe the one job you really want won't be yours. But the stunt, if it's creative enough, can become fodder for social media and in the news.
- Be sure the gimmick reinforces your brand. Something that all three of these successful job seekers did was to construct a promotion that reinforced their capabilities. Flash alone is not enough. You want something substantive that demonstrates how you'd creatively and effectively solve a problem in your line of work.