You may have several reasons for connecting with industry leaders, such as looking for new job opportunities, courting investors, selling their products, consultation, networking, or something else.
However, there are two major issues you will face while doing so:
- It is nearly impossible to summarize everything you wish to convey.
- The individuals you target are already bombarded with thousands of others like you.
That’s why you will need a way to cut through the noise.
The Trending Instagram Tactic
Jeremy Somers (1), a creative consultant, made unique cover letters on Instagram to apply for several large companies (Frame, MeUndies, Huckberry, Refinery29).
He got almost immediate responses from founders, CEO, hiring managers, and team members, resulting in an interview.
Here’s Somers achieved what he achieved:
Connecting with people on channels other than email or LinkedIn, somewhere they will see his notes; their personal Instagram.
According to Somers, the key is to make the connection and message worthwhile and valuable. There is a need for a wow factor, and everyone will overlook the mildly inappropriate internet stalking and the lack of connecting via a professional or proper channel.
Here is how the process looked like:
- First, Somers used Photoshop to build a visual cover letter, slice it into about 90 squares (2), and export them as individual photos.
- Next, he uploaded those images on his Instagram in reverse order since our Instagram profiles grew from bottom to top. By far, it is the most time-consuming part since Instagram only allows for mobile upload. It also means if you make any mistake or even a typo, you would have to delete images and restart.
- Finally, Somers used LinkedIn to find each company’s hiring managers, founders, CEOs, etc. and found their Instagram accounts. He then tagged them into the top-center Hi image, a story, and a highlight, directing them to the new account.
Even though this process took more than four hours per brand, that is part of the reason why it is so effective. As discussed in our previous story, Offbeat But Effective Marketing Strategies to Stand Out, it is almost impossible to entirely automate these methods, meaning they are never likely to be crowded.
Most people often spend less than 20 minutes on a cover letter for a job or a client, which could be worth more than 250k USD, and then look surprised when it doesn’t work.
Spending about 20 minutes writing a cover letter is so far below the bare minimum of effort, time, and even money that you should be putting in to get that 250k USD return (3).
All in all, we think it is super cool what Somers did here.
You can also use this strategy for your job hunting or reach out to investors, high-profile individuals, podcast guests, influencers, and more.
Companies like Target, Shopify, and Chipotle are already accepting TikTok Resumes. You can also create a video resume on Reels, either talking through the job or doing work related to the role (4).
In short, you can use short videos to offer hiring managers a better idea about your qualifications and personality.
You may find it a little strange at first and believe that companies won’t hire people with some 60-second video clips. However, if you think carefully, it aligns well with the broader use trend.
The FastCompany predicted way back in 2012 that short videos would be the future of marketing, with the intention to engage, not sell. That’s what we are doing today, using Reels and TikTok to tell stories and build brand loyalty (5).
In March this year, even The Washington Post reported how TikTok is already becoming an active space for career guidance and advice (6).
“TikTok, widely known for its short videos of cranberry juice drinking individuals and group dance challenges, is rapidly springing up as a force in the job hunting ecosystem at a time when unemployment is high, a new generation looks for their first jobs, and the coronavirus pandemic isolation leading hours of mindless scrolling,” wrote The Washington Post (7).
It is also logical, especially with businesses seeking candidates with social media skills, which is a lot considering the rise of ecommerce over the past year.
Here is an interesting video CV we found on YouTube:
And there is always Barney Stinson:
Again, whether it is about looking for a new job or finding an investor for your brand, the market’s competitive nature needs you to be as creative and unique as possible to catch the attention of your prospects.
And short videos are another way to achieve that.
There are multiple advantages of having video CVs:
- While video CVs are trending, they are still not very common. Use these methods to stand out as someone willing to go the extra mile.
- Instead of following traditional methods, showcase your creativity by doing your own things. It is an important quality for creative roles.
- It is hard to convey your personality in a written resume or file accurately. Instead, use videos to make a memorable impact.
However, at the same time, you must realize that video CVs may not be fit if you are targeting:
- a huge corporation, which automatically moots video resumes
- Any company that is heavily involved with the government because of the discrimination issues
- Hard-science, engineering, software development, etc., as professions like this, needs more focus on what you can bring to the table technically, not creatively.
It would be best to save your video CVs for “creative” positions, smaller opportunities, and businesses where you can have direct communication with a hiring manager.
We are not trying to say that your resume videos won’t hit a manager in any of the above fields. However, you sure would want your TikToks or Reels to impact well and not fall flat.
You can take a step further and purchase Google Adwords. And when the company you are targeting searches their brand name online, your profile will pop up. It is another way to attract attention without spending too much on self-ads.
Other Creative and Unique Ways to Connect With Industry Leaders
If you are creative enough to pull off a stunt that may be beneficial to your career, do it now!
Use social media or even a high-traffic street in a corporate neighborhood to your advantage. You can present your skills via a giant drawing, writing a resume with graffiti, or even chalk. And if you are willing to spend some extra money, then go ahead and buy yourself a billboard.
For instance, Adam Pacitti (8), an unemployed graduate in 2013, once had a billboard up instead of printing out more resumes.
It was a noticeable blue background, with a picture of him, and a simple sentence, “I spent my last £500 on this billboard, please give me a job.”
Since Pacitti was looking for a job in a media company, it was clever to use the ad. His website, among other things, also had a well-put-together video resume explaining why people should hire him. According to media reports, the gamble worked.
Write an Impressive Article About Your Target Company or Individual
These days, you don’t have to be a journalist to do it. Writing and publishing articles online has become pretty easy thanks to blogs, the internet, and multiple avenues.
You can write about your potential investor or employer, the achievements they have made, or milestones their companies have achieved. You may get an opportunity to interview senior professionals, which may give you a chance to communicate your goals directly.
You can take a similar approach to promote yourself. Try writing yourself or asking someone else to write a blog about you, listing all your skills, qualities, and why any company should hire you. You can post this blog on your own website and various other websites with high traffic and places, and you never know when you may get a call.
As we mentioned throughout the article, when it comes to gaining attention, the key is to have a straightforward goal and the ability to stand out.
And it also includes having a creative and unique resume. You don’t have only to have a unique design for your resume. You can even consider writing a resume with an interesting theme or printing it out on a clever design page to get noticed (9).
For instance, a professional once even printed a resume in Google search result page form to draw the attention of his target employer (10).
You can also add infographics to your resume. We mean, why only limit them to social media? You can structure your resume in a similarly impressive manner. Even better if you are looking to get a job in the graphical industry.
With increasing competition and more intelligent ways of finding the right people, connecting with your desired individuals may seem like a tough task.
Often businesses opt for a completely professional approach to get hired for a role. However, there are still multiple ways you can be creative and stand out from the crowd.
Even if your goal is not to get a job or find an investor, you can still take some ideas from here for your marketing strategies.
Think about that one key ingredient that’s missing and use your creativity to fill the gap.
Which of these creative and unique ideas did you like the most? Did you find any strategies that you can apply for your job hunt? Let us know in the comments!