Need a job? Get creative.

15 Dec

Scott Rocketship just lost his job, joining 13.3 million other Americans in the world of unemployment. That sucks. But instead of sending Debbie Downer tweets about his new situation, he is harnessing social media to find work. Scott has the right idea—and other job seekers would be wise to take a page from his (virtual) book.

I’m just old enough to remember when job searching meant reading the Sunday newspaper (and I mean the PRINTED edition) and then sending resumes and cover letters (and I mean via SNAIL MAIL) and hoping someone would call you back for an interview (and I mean on a LAND LINE). Then came the Internet. By the time I graduated college, job searching meant searching online classifieds, emailing a resume, and waiting for a return call via cell. And that’s the method many people are still using nearly two decades later.

Emailing a generic resume to every Monster.com listing just doesn’t work. Not when unemployment is 8.6 percent, and definitely not if your skill set is outside high-demand fields like nursing and IT. In a crowded unemployment market, you have to get creative to stand out.

Back to Scott. In just a few hours, he created an interactive online resume on Storify, a web service originally designed for curating news stories from social media sources. It includes an Instagram photo of him, tweets from people who recommend him (and some from himself about his skills), and links to his writing projects. The site is simple yet dynamic, which is important when you are one of hundreds or thousands competing for one job opening. It’s only been a few days since Scott lost his job but I’ll be interested to learn how well his creative approach works.

I’m always on the lookout for cool freelance writing and project management work and, as such, I’m always interested in cool ideas for marketing oneself. A quick online search uncovered a few creative ideas for modern-day job searching:

• Creating a video resume, posting it on YouTube, and then linking to it on Twitter and other social media.
• Adding QR codes to resumes to link to online portfolios or other supplementary information.
Stalking hiring managers like prey on LinkedIn. It doesn’t have to be creepy.
• Advertising yourself like a business on Facebook, Google, and more. This 28-year-old got his dream job for $6.

I’m sure there are many more amazing ways one can get creative in their job hunt. If you’ve done something unusual or know someone who has, please share your stories with me (just leave a comment here). If you are searching for a job, maybe you will be inspired by what others are doing and try a new approach.

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3 Responses to “Need a job? Get creative.”

  1. Scott Kubie (@scottrocketship) December 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Great post Becky, thank you for sharing and for your kind words.

    You hit the nail on the head with the “Debbie Downer” line. I can’t tell you how many sad-sack tweets I’ve written then deleted before publishing since being laid off. While I may feel that way inside, it was immediately clear to me that the only way forward was to be unabashedly open about the fact that I am unemployed, and hustle with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.

    I also have to get over my hang-ups about shameless self-promotion. To that end, if anyone is looking to hire (contract or full-time) an exceptional UI/UX copywriter with extensive experience on web, iOS, and Android projects, please write me at scott@scottrocketship.com or call 515-771-7602. Thanks.

  2. Jami Svec Dolezal December 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Great info Becky. I am also one of those 13.3 million without a job since being laid off in October. I’ve stayed away from the Facebook and Twitter “Debbie Downer” lines as well. I will take your advice for sure. Thanks for the post!

  3. literarywonderland December 17, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    I’m sort of in a different boat. I’m choosing to leave my 8 year job in publishing for an unsure future as a freelance writer. I sympathize with those who are unemployed due to layoffs and whatnot, I WAS in that boat after 9/11. But now I am doing it to myself and sometimes I feel like a dummy for going independent when so many people out there can’t find work. … Not quite sure where I was going with this. But way to go Scott!

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