VOL. 130 | NO. 50 | Friday, March 13, 2015
Time to Get Creative
By Angela Copeland
By far, the biggest frustration job seekers report is the experience applying online. They spend hours scouring the Internet for the perfect job. When they find it, they spend the time crafting a cover letter introduction and tailoring their resume to look perfect. Sometimes, the online system will only allow them to paste in a messy looking resume, or won’t allow a cover letter to be submitted.
Most job seekers spend hours going through this process and never hear back. If you’re lucky enough to get a first- or second-round interview, you may find yourself mystified when the company suddenly stops responding after multiple positive interactions.
A well-known company recently asked me, “What do you think is the most frustrating piece of the job search process for the employee?” I responded that job seekers find the online process difficult and a bit like a black hole. What’s worse is that they rarely receive feedback on what happened when they weren’t selected.
It’s tough to say why an individual company takes the approach it does, but in general, many companies seem to perceive providing feedback as a legal risk. If they put something in writing, there’s always a chance the job seeker might come back at them. So, they either say nothing, or give a blanked response like, “Thank you for applying. We have decided not to proceed with your application.”
Unfortunately, this is a universal experience of applying online. To increase your likelihood of success, it’s time to get creative. Whether you’re looking for a job, or just trying to get noticed in business, doing things differently is the way to go.
A recent example of a company using creativity to get ahead was shown last week when Twentieth Century Fox partnered with iStock. It released a set of free, cheesy stock images of Vince Vaughn and the cast of the new movie Unfinished Business. In addition to the photos being posted all over the Internet, it’s also getting tons of free written publicity. News outlets are publishing story after story about the creative marketing strategy. It is an incredibly simple and inexpensive idea that has produced highly impactful, visible results.
When it comes to your search, what can you do that’s different than the hundreds of other people applying online? One approach is to send a personal e-mail to the hiring manager. You may also want to reach out to friends who work at the same company.
I once attended a networking event where a CEO of an organization that I was interested in was speaking. Afterward, I introduced myself and gave my elevator pitch. The CEO asked if I might e-mail him a copy of my resume. It just so happened that I already had one with me. In the end, that CEO ended up giving me a job. There was no online application process or strange interviews.
Using creativity demonstrates that you go above and beyond and allows you to blow by your competition.
Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.