Cutting through the clutter: Publicity stunts to get a job

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Getting noticed is just the first step to landing a job where eventually it is one’s capability that counts. 

Having the right kind of skills is not always enough to land the job of your dreams. A little extra effort, a smart move with dollops of creativity and an out-of-the-box thought process, seem to have become the time-tested recipe for getting noticed. It may be the first step towards your dream job but one that is the toughest to nail; and one that can make or break your career. Such unusual applications are mostly seen in the advertising or creative industry and a recent one has been able to successfully cut through the clutter.

Jade Denley, a fresh graduate from the University of Glouchester and an aspiring copywriter, did something extraordinary to get a placement at McCann Worldgroup. In an attempt to get herself noticed, she showed up at McCann Worldgroup’s offices in Bristol, UK this week, dressed as the network’s best-known work, Fearless Girl. Andy Reid, McCann Bristol’s managing director and Jon Elsom, group creative director, were really impressed both by her confidence and her portfolio. So much so, that they offered her a month’s placement!

Partha Sinha

No one will hire just the interest grabber until it is clear as to what they really bring to the table. Getting noticed is just the first step, while eventually it is one’s capability that will help them get a job. Such gimmicks just help you cut through the clutter.

Partha Sinha, vice-president and managing director, McCann India tells HRKatha that they receive many job requests through various channels every day and there is not enough time to go through all of them. Sometimes, some really good profiles get missed or overlooked in the process. Hence, such acts of creativity and out-of-the box ideas help both the employer and the job seeker.

However, he warns against a decision taken with a myopic view of just that one creative idea someone may have come up with. “No one will hire just the interest grabber until it is clear as to what they really bring to the table. Getting noticed is just the first step, while eventually it is one’s capability that will help them get a job. Such gimmicks just help you cut through the clutter,” he opines.

Prathap Suthan, managing partner/ chief creative officer, BangInTheMiddle shares that such unusual applications aren’t new in the advertising and creative industry. It’s just that it is now more talked about and applauded as extraordinary. “In the 30 years of my journey in advertising, I’ve had all sorts of things come to me. From a basket of eggs accompanied with a portfolio, to a box full of bulbs, I’ve had several unusual applications and it’s actually good. It shows that the person has a different point of view,” he opines.

Prathap Suthan

In the 30 years of my journey in advertising, I’ve had all sorts of things come to me. From a basket of eggs accompanied with a portfolio, to a box full of bulbs, I’ve had several unusual applications and it’s actually good. It shows that the person has a different point of view.

Adding to that, Suthan says that while there are services out there that charge for doing a creative resume and a portfolio and may help you with the aesthetics, ultimately, it is one’s talent and confidence that helps one land a real job. “I’ve even hired someone for their sheer exuberance despite the fact that they did not even have a portfolio. There was also someone who took all my campaigns and rewrote them; and I actually hired this person,” he shares.

Similarly, last year, Sumukh Mehta, a 21-year-old fresh business graduate from Jain University, Bangalore got himself noticed and bagged a six-month internship at the world’s most coveted men’s magazine, GQ, at its London office. All he did was create a 20-page resume that resembles a magazine.

In another interesting stunt, Page Kemna, a fresh graduate from the University of Denver, decided to go the unusual way to apply for jobs. She chuked the boring paper resume, and instead set her resume to music. She posted a video of herself singing out her resume on LinkedIn, which went viral on other channels as well, allowing her a much larger reach.

While there surely are more out there who have made their way through competition, showcasing their extraordinary thought process, it’s clear how it pays to think beyond the usual. As Suthan puts it, “It’s all about how much armour one puts against mediocracy.”

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