Creative ways to get your foot in the door

Our new account coordinator tried to use Beyoncé as a job reference and as you may have guessed – we hired her. She shares some tips on how to get your prospective employer’s attention.

Searching for a job, is definitely a job in itself. While new opportunities can be exciting, they can also be daunting as you try to figure out what your next move will be. Once you’ve found the job that feels like it’s your perfect fit, you’re then faced with the task of standing out among dozens, sometimes hundreds, of qualified candidates. So how do you get your foot in the door? 

Make a video. Just do it.

Even if it’s recorded on a webcam or cellphone like mine was when I applied to Eighty-Eight. Just because you may not be applying for a videography role, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out by using the technology you have access to. Don’t shy away because you can’t produce a cinematic experience; create something fun! On video, you have the opportunity to say the things you couldn’t include in your resume, ignite curiosity with an additional file, and most importantly, show them that you are, indeed human, and really freaking excited about the opportunity.

Collect video referrals.

This is something I’ve just recently started practicing and while it may not help you get an immediate job, it will definitely help you lunge your foot in the door in the future. Instead of including that standardized line at the bottom of your resume reading “references available upon request” or linking to a boring page of phone numbers and emails of people that your interviewee has no context of – get video references! I’ve started asking my managers, clients and peers to record brief but meaningful messages (again, you can work with webcam footage!) rather over video or audio recordings. I can always transcribe the content later but having these clips gave me a lot of freedom when building my personalized application videos. If they aren’t comfortable being filmed, no problem! That’s a great time to see if they’d be willing to write you a LinkedIN recommendation or handwritten letter.

Know who’s who.

It’s so important to actually find out who the person reading your application is. Learn their name, and then social media stalk them! If the name is not listed on the job board or application, there is no shame in sending an email to the company and asking. Researching the staff beforehand can help make you comfortable engaging in small talk at your interview. Bring up common interests and draw connections – even if it’s over a mutual passion for tacos and Beyonce. Connecting on a personal level and spending time sharing anecdotes is actually crucial to marketing yourself as someone who they would want to work with. Ask them about what they do in their free time, what their goals are and why they chose to work at this particular company.

Send it with some flare.

Whether you’re submitting your resume or following up with a note, keep it interesting. Eighty-Eight once had someone staple their resume to a pizza! Adding a physical or visual element to your application, even if it’s just sending a nice hand-lettered note or adding colour graphics to your resume, can make all the difference.

Like, double tap, rt.

Engage with the company whenever appropriate on social media. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) become their next nightmare cyber stalker, but notice when they post! Adding insightful contributions to blog dialogue, or tweeting out for support in your application is a great way to grab their attention. In my application, I tried tweeting at Beyonce for a reference to Eighty-Eight, and even though she was too busy to respond to my request, Eighty-Eight wasn’t. Lucky me!

Why you?

No seriously. Why should you be hired? This is something a lot of people let pass over their head or confuse with scripted answers that they’ve prepared regarding their strengths and weaknesses as an employee. Learn what you have to offer that the company does not already have. Give them no option than to see your place in their line up. Offer recommendations on campaigns that you know about – and if you don’t know any? Be bold and offer suggestions for how they could better position themselves in the industry (obviously, in a polite manner).

Tell them why them.

You’ve probably been applying to other positions with other companies. If you’re on the job search, it can be a bit of a juggling act deciding where your options are. One of the best ways to stand out to a company is by really making them feel valued. If they’re your top choice, tell them that. If not, tell them what you admire and what makes them different.

Overall, put in the extra effort. The majority of the candidates you’re up against won’t. Although the idea of “being memorable” feels pretty much like climbing Everest, your passion is what will steer you ahead. Good luck and go get ’em!