Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Graduating? Need a Job? …Think Different.

Two weeks ago, USC's Annenberg School for Communication hosted their annual career fair. The top entertainment and advertising agencies from the Los Angeles basin transcended upon the cardinal and gold's campus to select the best and brightest Trojans for summer internships and jobs.

Personal Branding:
Keep in mind these are creative agencies looking for innovative and articulate individuals, not “cookie-cutter” molds. Instead of using a traditional resume to distribute at the event, I tried a different approach. I wrote a personal statement and placed it on the front of card stock paper. I selected card stock, because it shows thoughtful preparation and stands out from traditional paper or other resumes competing for the same job.

The personal statement (see my linkedin profile) allows companies to quickly understand me. It also prevented me from worrying about including every detail of my life in the short interview. I simply was myself and enjoyed talking with the company recruiters. I included a few pictures in the statement to illustrate a diverse range of my interests and for the recruiter to remember me …long after I left.

The Interview Illusion Theory is a powerful tool and utilizing it to your advantage will help with your future endeavors.

On the back of the paper, I included a traditional resume. The goal was to show a combination of creativity and traditional thinking.

Overall, it was huge success. I am excited that it landed me interviews at the top advertising agencies and even an internship offer. Although I reluctantly passed on the unpaid internship offer to concentrate on academic endeavors and the LA Mart this summer, I feel that my same strategy can be utilized for any person searching for a marketing or advertising job.

Social Networking for Job Seekers:
Additionally, if you are searching for a different job, want a promotion or want to professionally connect with old colleagues, I would highly recommend joining Linkedin. Think Facebook/ Myspace for the working community, but without the personal tabloid feature.

Linkedin offers an endorsement feature, which also coworkers to recommend your talents and encourages recruiters to contact you. It’s a referral system for Web 2.0.

Cool Job Site:
Spend some time checking out Indeed, a job search engine designed for Web 2.0. Think a Google or Yahoo search, but for jobs.

Indeed searches the traditional job sites and also has openings from reputable companies.

Action Sports Jobs:
If you are interested in working in the surf, skate or snow industries check out Malakye. All of the major brands post jobs on this site and it’s a good opportunity to establish your foot-in-the-door with these companies.

Last Note:
Most importantly, be yourself, have fun and don’t worry about telling your friends, parents or relatives what your life plan will be (especially right after graduation) …some of the most interesting and affluent people I know …are still figuring it out.

Enjoy the journey and not the destination.

No comments: