My phone rang the other day. It was BB. I did his resume for him in October. We targeted the resume in response to a specific company’s job posting. BB emailed one resume; got one interview; received a job offer. Whoooo-hooooo. Love a success story like that. But that’s not the point of this post. Three weeks into the “dream job” BB realized this was a case of “careful of what you ask for; you just might get it”. He tendered his resignation and is back on the market again.
It’s been a while since BB searched for a job. More than 10 years. He called the other day for a bit of insight into what happened to job searches since he’d been away. That conversation could fill pages. But not here. Well, not right now anyway.
BB told me he’d been mailing out resumes the old-fashioned way – via the USPS. (OK. I guess it’s still done that way.) He went on to describe one resume packet he mailed. He printed a cartoon graphic depicting a delivery person rushing in with an urgent package on the envelope. My staunch business soul bristled at the thought of a cartoon on the outside of business correspondence, but kept that opinion to myself. Am I glad I did.
Later on in the conversation, BB said he’d researched the “cartoon envelope” company and found them to use logos, similar to the graphic he printed on the outside of his envelope. He received a personalized “thank-you, loved the presentation, but no openings” email response. He plans on continuing contact with the organization to build a long-term relationship in hopes that when a job opens, he’ll be the first name on the list. My marketing heart sang and my staunch business soul lightened up. BB used an effective method to draw attention to his resume and it worked. And he had a plan in place to continue contact. YEA!
BB’s plan paralleled perfectly the ideas Nick Corcodilos outlined in an article titled Pursue Companies, Not Jobs. Corcodilos encourages employees to “investigate the depth and breadth of opportunities” and carve your own career path. Not pursue jobs and hope you find a company that fits.
Can BB use the same cartoon character on every single resume envelope he sends out from now on because it worked so well with this company? Absolutely not. BB took the time to understand the company and connect with them on their level. He let them know he’d done his homework. He made it all about them.
I’m glad I didn’t offer my initial impression to BB when he told me about the cartoon. I would have been wrong. BB understands marketing. He understands he’s marketing his talents to a potential employer. And BB is selling; not telling. He researched his target audience and appealed to their sense of fraternity by using a similar graphic. And it worked. Not landing a job, but landing a contact. And contacts can lead to jobs … network, network, network.
I told BB, other than learning to trust electronic submissions; he was well on his way to a new career. And if insisted on the safety blanket of snail mailing something after he emailed it, then at least acknowledge he’d emailed it in too so he’d save the person on the receiving end some time.
Thanks for the great lesson in marketing BB.