A young job seeker name Paige got creative this week and posted a video of her singing an original song while playing the piano about why she should get hired. The video went viral on LinkedIn with over 480,000 views to date. And, while some well wishers commented on her unique approach, a lot of the comments weren't so positive. 

Barry D., a sales professional said:

"So....I'll be the buzzkill here. Ask yourself this as a hiring manager. If a candidate responded to your questions with all those cliches in spoken word, what would be your reaction? Would you hear "blah blah blah"? I heard nothing in those lyrics that told me the story of why this person would create value for my business. Imagine she was applying for a gig as a brand manager. She didn't communicate the compelling message of the brand that speaks to what's important to the buyer. Even as a song writer, these words didn't tell a compelling story for a good song. Just a kitschy novelty that fell flat. Buzz kill done."

James M., a marketer said:

"She's clearly a talented pianist, but if she's not applying for a role as a sessions musician, I think she's missed the mark. There was nothing to 'grab' you at the start, and honestly, it was marginally cringey to watch. How many of us looking to recruit have time to sit and watch something as long as this, that doesn't really deliver anything more than generics? I love the idea of doing something different, and I admire this person for trying, but for me, this doesn't work."

Jennifer Y, a recruiter said:

"As a recruiter, I don't really have time to watch 4 minute videos. Someone's resume or LinkedIn profile is still much faster."

Marcelo M., a business founder said:

"Interesting idea, and bravo for experimenting, but this just tells me that someone's eccentric (which I can handle, but won't get them a job) and likely to frequently burst into song (which would cause me to immediately end the interview)."

The Moral? Consider All Possible Messages You're Sending

As a career coach, I definitely give her credit for taking a risk and trying to think outside the box. But, I wouldn't recommend this strategy to most job seekers. Especially, if they can't sing or play the piano! She seems confident and I'm sure will handle the criticism and rejection just fine. But, most job seekers couldn't stomach the negative reactions. It's hard enough getting rejected from a job. More importantly, as several of the comments indicated, the interpretation of her as a candidate missed the mark. She may have branded herself as brave and creative. But, does that outweigh the fact a significant number of viewers also interpreted her as lacking hard skills, appearing too eccentric, and unable to communicate her true value? For most, the risk-reward isn't worth it.

P.S. Learning To Go Around The ATS Is A Better Alternative

Lots of people are standing out and getting jobs today by learning how to go around the online application process, also known as ATS. With the right approach, you can proactively connect with hiring managers and share a well-optimized resume and disruptive cover letter that will get you the interview. It's a lot less risky and allows you to tailor your message to each employer to improve your chances of getting hired.

Published on: Apr 19, 2018