In this economy, you have to be creative if you want to get a job. Hal Thomas found this out first hand.
Thomas had been looking for full-time work in social media for much of the year. He’d been freelancing for about two years, but as he told MainStreet in an interview, “my freelance work took a big hit in early 2009 due to budget cuts by a number of my clients.”
So he was excited to learn about a full-time job opportunity at BFG Communications, a marketing agency. Since it was a social media position, the company decided to use a very unique application process: forget your resumé, don’t bother writing a cover letter, just write one killer tweet. What better way to prove you can sell a product through Twitter than showing how you can sell yourself? It may sound easy, but it’s hard enough to find a way to impress potential employers in a full-page resumé, let alone in 140 characters or less.
What was the fateful Tweet? “It seems that BFG’s future could be looking bright!” That may sound relatively simple and straightforward, but Thomas had some tricks up his sleeve. He included a link to a Photoshopped image he’d designed. The image was a mock cover of Wired magazine, with Thomas on the cover praising the future of BFG. The callout read, “Hal Thomas on BFG’s Epic Rise to Social Media Dominance, Ending Global Hunger, & Hanging Out With Bono.” The company thought this approach was not only clever but showed Thomas had a good sense of humor, so they hired him.
“This was definitely the first time I’ve used Twitter to apply for a job,” Thomas said. “My strategy was pretty simple. To be funny and unforgettable.” Thomas was also smart and in that single Tweet, he also included a link to his blog. “My blog is a much truer representation of who I am than any resumé could be.”
Thomas’ situation may seem like an exception to the rule (unless, of course, you’re planning to apply for a social media or publishing position). Yet, there are some useful lessons that any job seeker can divine from Thomas. To start, whether you’re applying for a job by resumé or Twitter or Skype, it’s crucial to come across as “unforgettable,” and humor is a great way to achieve that. Thomas knew well enough to tailor his pitch to the position and he was confident enough to add something truly memorable.
It’s also a testament to putting your energy into applying for jobs that are right for you. “When you know exactly what you want, it becomes much easier to find it,” Thomas said.