5 Brilliant Social Media Job Applications & What We Can Learn From Them
Image Source: DepositPhotos
While it may be true that more and more jobs are popping up all over the world, it is also true that the market itself is becoming increasingly competitive. According to the New York Post, a woman who applied to over 1000 jobs only received two job interviews in 99 weeks. In addition to this, roughly 1 out of 3 job-seekers has been unemployed for more than one year. Simply submitting a standard resume with or without a cover letter is not going to cut it anymore, especially if you are planning to apply for a tech or online position.
As you probably also know, CVs have a way of getting lost between the thousands of documents of the HR department. Because the job market is oversaturated right now, applicants have started experimenting with unique and creative solutions of reaching out to companies. On a positive note, social media seems to be making it easier for job seekers to connect with companies, and Elance reports that over 40% of young professionals are now leveraging the power of social media to secure new jobs.
I've found some very interesting examples of job applications using social media or other popular online channels, which you can check out below. So let's take a look at these creative tech & social media applications to see what we can learn from them. What I can tell you from the very beginning is that most of the applications were wildly successful, and inspired immediate reaction from the companies. That being said, it is now more important to be original and unique, rather than overqualified.
1. Jeanne Applied Using Pinterest as her CV.
As you can probably imagine, Jeanne Hwang wanted a job at Pinterest, so she came up with a great idea: top pin her CV using Pinterest's boards.
"Hey Pinterest! Where else to showcase my background and love for Pinterest than right here? Click through the pins for more details, and check out my Pinterest for Jeanne board too. This ain't your mama's resume!" she wrote
In addition to this, the enthusiastic applicant had come up with some very interesting ideas for the monetisation of Pinterest across the internet, and also wrote some very nice things about the platform's potential. She also used a Tumblr page to record her findings. Although Jeanne didn't receive a job offer from Pinterest, she was contacted by Francisco Guererro, the founder of Pintics, who said that he is more than happy to offer her a position. He also added that, if Pinterest does not get back to her, she also has the option of becoming Pintics's Vice President of Marketing.
Image Source: SimplyZesty
2. Eric Ghandi Promoted his 'Google Resume' on LinkedIn.
Eric Ghandi is another success story. In order to make his resume stand out, he made it so that the search phrase "Creative+Hard-Working+Talented+Excellent+Designer+Unique+Autodidactic" would prompt the "Did you mean: Eric Ghandi?" suggestion and display the applicant's full resume underneath. His story also had a happy ending. In an interview with Business Insider he said that a Google employee found his unusual CV on LinkedIn and offered him an interview. Eric Ghandi has an impressive portfolio, as a visual designer for eBay, user interface designer for The Weather Channel, product designer for BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and more.
3. Alice Lee's Interactive Website Design with an Instagram Feed.
Image Source: Mashable
Alice's attempt at securing a position with Instagram may not have been successful, but it led to an internship with another huge company. In addition to this, her creative approach on the job application, also prompted an immediate response from Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom. Her idea was to create an interactive website that incorporated an Instagram stream that used the social platform's API. Alice wrote:
"Dear Instagram, in a nutshell, I am a huge, huge fan of Instagram. And I want to be part of your team. Beyond the product, I love following the Instagram story - I think the team itself is doing really interesting things and I would love to be part of it this summer (...) There are three key ways I can meaningfully contribute to Instagram: helping build a great platform, developing product in general, and getting stuff done."
The 20-year-old-designer (at the time), has since collaborated with the New York Times, Google, Pinterest, Microsoft, Foursquare and Dropbox. The website has been updated with her latest work, so you can no longer see her message to Instagram.
4. Graeme Anthony's Interactive Video.
Like the previous examples, Graeme Anthony also took a unique approach on his job application. You see, he really wanted a position with "We Are Social", but he realized that a pen-and-paper CV won't quite cut it, so he created, what he refers to, as a C.V.I.V. Needless to say, the company was hyped, and referred to his application as "the best, ever".
But why did 'We are Social' react so well to Anthony's short video? Technically speaking, video is the most interactive form of content right now. In addition to this, Anthony didn't bore anyone with too many details about his work experience and education. He simply added these elements as 'call-to-actions' on the video and let the company decide if it wants to find out more.
5. Andrew's Fantastic, Amazing, Magnificent, Reverse Job Application.
After two painful years of job searching Andrew had become fed up with the grovelling and pretending. Why would he undermine his value as a worker and limit himself to only a few job options, when he was clearly more than qualified for virtually any business? That's what he was thinking when he started composing his reverse application. The idea is simple: Andrew would no longer apply to jobs, companies would submit their hiring applications to him.
Based on what they offered and whether or not they were passionate about their business, Andrew would consider if he is interested or not. What I liked the most about this approach is the fact that it points out how broken the recruitment system is and encourages job seekers to value themselves more. In the end, Andrew received many job offers from legitimate companies, countless of messages of encouragement from people like him and landed a cool job with a start-up company. Good for him!
What Can We Learn from These Unique Job Applications?
So what do these people have in common? THEY ARE ALL CREATIVE! They have proven to the world that there are other ways of getting the job of your dreams. Of course, all of them are also extremely talented and passionate about what they do. These are also other examples of creative job applications, including John Butler's eBay Auction resume (where the applicant literally put himself up for sale), Ed Hamilton's Google Maps CV, Loren Burton's AIRBNB Website CV, Creative Resume Designs and Tim Schafer's game application for Lucas Films. It becomes clear that companies are looking for value. But even if you can't create a website from scratch, or estimate Pinterest's advertising potential, this doesn't mean you can impress your favorite company by using social media. Here are a few ideas:
- Use Facebook Ads: in case you didn't know, Facebook ad targeting can get very specific. As a matter of fact, you can target pages and profiles by job title, city and company. This means that you can make your profile pop-up on a company's newsfeed and encourage them to react.
- Video Resume: it isn't that difficult to create a video showcasing your knowledge and expertise. Just make sure you keep it short in order to receive employment consideration.
- Follow CEOs on social media: most major companies have established an online presence through various social media profiles. However, most of them do not have time to respond to every comment or message. Your best bet would be to follow the company's CEO or decision-maker and to make yourself heard. But in order to make this work you should have some background information about what the company is looking for. In this regard, resource websites such as Indeed.com, where employees leave their feedback, or JobApplicationCenter, which shares employment advice with job seekers, should come in handy.
Image Source: DepositPhotos
- Create an Infographic: in this dynamic, digital landscape, visuals are becoming increasingly important. Most internet users have the attention spans of goldfish, and studies have shown that videos and interesting graphics increase retention and response rate of visitors. With these things in mind, why not create a cool infographic about yourself? Sure, this might sound a bit conceited, but you are trying to market yourself. The good news is that you don't have to be a graphic designer in order to create an infographic. There are plenty of cool creative services such as Visual.ly that can help you with this.
- About.me: is an awesome service that helps user create short, compelling graphic presentations about themselves. If your presentation is interesting enough it will appear on the website's 'most popular' section and be exposed to thousands of entrepreneurs, company managers & other professionals. With About.me you can get in touch with interesting people who might just have a job offer for you, and link all your social profiles and relevant achievements in one place.
- Twitter Chats: the micro-blogging platform is a place for meaningful conversations. You can experiment with hashtags such as #jobhuntchat and other to engage with companies that are offering employment opportunities. You can also let people know you're looking for a job by linking your resume and adding a relevant hash-tags in your tweet.
- Network & Nurture Meaningful Relationships: in the end, it's all about the people you know, and how you interact with them. You should consider networking with influencers or employees from the company that you want to work with. Chances are that they will recommend you for a position if the opportunity arrives.
All in all, it is worth investing your time and efforts in social media. More and more companies are joining platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+, so this is the perfect place for you to showcase your expertise and to engage with key people. After you've gathered enough Intel about what a company likes (or does not like), you should think about creating your unique application. In this day and age, creativity and versatility are appreciated above everything else, not to mention that coming up with your own application is much more exciting than filling out hundreds of boring papers. In the end, what do you have to lose?
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