When I was in college I was always told about making sure to have a great 1-page resume. At first I found it to be too constraining, but after reviewing with my career counselor I found that I could get what I wanted to say down to a one pager. Now that I’ve extended my brands reach out of the college market I need to find what communications methods I have, what my resume will be and what my personal brand can “get away with” within my industry.
Getting away with something doesn’t seem like what you’d try to keep in mind when it comes to your resume, but in today’s competitive job environment, creativity and individuality are becoming more important.
I’ve heard some interesting stories about people who found creative ways to market themselves to potential employers that put their brand outside of the box in the best way possible. I heard a story about someone who mailed their shoe and resume to a potential employer with a note that read, “Now that I have my foot in the door, I would like to have an opportunity to speak with you…” It’s a bold stunt with a risk factor that most wouldn’t leave to chance. I heard another of a marketer conducting a brand analysis of himself to apply his knowledge with something that would get him noticed.
One thing that everyone in the job market should be aware of is the culture within your industry and even within the company you’re trying to get in to. If you want to stand out by doing something creative, it needs to fit within the constraints set by that culture. When I was interviewing for Goldman Sachs I would have never used a gimmick to get their attention. All of my communications were about what I had to offer the firm, because I knew what they expected from candidates. When I got in to advertising I saw how much more creativity was rewarded in the right context and with good strategy behind it. In some ways you could say that finance was abilities first, creativity second while advertising was creativity first, abilities second. It inspired me to think of a sort of “publicity stunt” for my brand.
- Be original
- Make it applicable to your industry and the job being applied for
- Think through your ideas to find the best one – not just the first one
- Don’t make it too complicated
- Have an explanation of why you’re doing it.
David Trahan is currently working at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York, and previously held positions with the Ad Council, Goldman Sachs and others. He is a recent graduate of Pace University where he received many scholarships and awards including the 2009 Co-op & Career Services Experiential Award. David is now a mentor in their Alumni Mentor Program and also serves as a member of the AD Club of NY Young Professionals Steering Committee. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on his website.