5 Standout Job Applications That Dared To Be Different

In a industry where creativity is everything, it can be incredibly difficult to show potential employers that you’re the right person for the job. The competition for jobs has become fiercer than ever and you have to be something very special to stand out from the rest of the pack.

We’ve already covered a number of people who created standout applications (well worth revisiting), but here’s a few more instances where certain job hunters went the extra mile to get noticed.

Hire Me Google!

Matthew Epstein is a product manager and digital strategist who found himself unemployed in July 2011. Instead of looking through the job listings to see what was available, he decided to take things into his own hands, by aiming big and targeting the one company he admired: Google. Armed with a suit, marketing savvy and a mustache, Epstein created a launch site and video called ‘Google please hire m.e.’ where he asked the search engine giant for a phone interview.

In under a month, the video got more than 450,000 views after eight days (one million views overall), received 720,000 page views for his site and had 80 interview offers. While he didn’t get a job offer from Google themselves, he ended up landing his dream job with a startup called SigFig, a company which aims to helps people manage and improve their financial investments. Not bad for someone who was only unemployed for a month!

The Creative Ransom

A very risky approach, but one that had a massive payoff for two Australians. Andrew Grinter and Lee Spencer-Michaelse, a creative duo known as Grinter Spencer, wanted to land interviews with some of the biggest ad agencies in the country, but knew that their creative directors are busy people so needed a way to catch their attention.

Buying the domain names of the Melbourne’s top creative directors, they emailed out the URL to each of them in the style of a traditional ransom note (newspaper letter cutouts), asking for a creative meeting otherwise “the site gets it.” The approach landed them seven meetings, but the duo wore balaclavas to each of them in case each meeting was a set up. This approach didn’t put one agency off who eventually offered them a job.

We Love WP7

Brandon Foy is a graphic designer who loves Windows Phone, so much so that he created a advert back in February 2012, showcasing the features for the then new Windows Phone 7. After it grew in popularity and reached 150,000 views on Youtube, it caught the eye of Microsoft who invited Foy to create a second ad for them, with the promise that if it reached 200,000 views, they would turn it into a national advert.

Unfortunately, the video didn’t reach its target (a month after it was revealed at Mix 2011 in Las Vegas, it only reached 118,000 views), but that didn’t matter as Microsoft offered Foy a job as a UX designer at Microsoft.

Plan ‘Petunja’

Tanja Oberst wanted to get a job with Droga 5, an agency who she met during a trip to Melbourne, Australia. Knowing that she wanted to work for them, she took another flight to Melbourne where she launched her plan ‘Petunja’ (named after her plant). She personally handed in her application containing her cover letter, instructions for feeding a plant and a QR code which linked through to her blog, showcasing her skills. She then followed up her delivery by sending them a fertiliser pack and instructions for care.

However, Droga 5 emailed her to say that, unfortunately, they weren’t hiring anyone at the moment so to keep her fresh in their minds, she sent a follow up package, creating individual ones for each member of the team (38 in total), containing a kit for growing sprouts and a QR code which led to a set of instructions she had created to show how she could support the team passively, if not actively. While she wasn’t successful, she showed her capacity for thinking outside the box and dared to do something different, and is currently working as freelance.

Hire us or we’ll get married!

Another duo but this time, they’re two girls from New York City. Charli and Alex became friends over the summer of 2011, but as Charli was originally from Germany, her visa was expiring soon and she needed a job so she could stay in the city. So the two girls hatched a campaign called ‘Hire us or we’ll marry each other’, and gave themselves a month to get hired by an agency, otherwise they would actually get married.

As you’d expect, the campaign received a large amount of attention, which included blog coverage, over 10,000 Facebook fans for the couple, and promoted it further by sending out wedding invites to creative directors and left Foursquare tips at every agency in New York.

The campaign was a success as the duo were eventually hired as freelancers and avoided marriage. Charli even designed an app for Facebook called ‘Spotify your Status‘ which allows users to select music that reflects their status update.


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