I’ve been to several student days and agency tours over the years and the one question that comes up, without a doubt, is “how do you make an impression on a potential employer?”
Students have been trained to believe that in order to get a job they must not only be qualified, but also stick out from the other applicants. This is true. However, the methods people take to stand out from the rest differs greatly.
One of the most memorable examples I can remember was an employer who said he once received a long obscure box from an interviewee. It contained a fully intact fishing pole with a note that said something along the lines of, “I’m a great catch.”
Another case that made headlines in recent news was the story of the 23 year-old job seeking desperado who paid to have his face on a billboard with the words “Hire Me!” written big and bold. The ploy worked. He received several interviews and offers, eventually landing a job.
Another local example: I remember the story of girl who screen printed her face on a dozen cupcakes and mailed the tempting offer to the ad agency she was pursuing.
While at the Student Advertising Summit in Minneapolis, one young buck told the story of how he landed an interview at “x” company after paying for hyper-targeted Facebook ads that appeared on the pages of the top dogs at the company.
All these examples bring me to the point of this post. While all these tactics are great, I believe the best way to get an “in” at your ideal company is to have a personal relationship with the staff. Sure, people remember the flashy things you do, but they also remember the small things. Send an email or postcard once and awhile just to catch up. Stop by the office when you are in town. Show your interest in the company and you will be at the top of their mind when the next position opens up.
I recently made a decision to quit my job in Rapid City and move back to Sioux Falls. I was fortunate to have contacts in the area, one of which wanted me to work for them so badly they used a tactic described earlier in this post. They created a targeted Facebook ad encouraging me to join their team.
The effort convinced me to accept. I thought, how often does an employer put that much effort into hiring someone? The fact that they wanted me so badly was both humbling and motivating at the same time.
Real world application
So what does this mean for graduating seniors or anyone else who is out their scavenging for the best jobs?
It means that good things come to those who wait, and if you’re patient long enough and maintain good relationships with prospective employers, they might be the one recruiting you someday!
Special thanks to Brian and Chad at Fused Interactive for taking me on board.