Posts tagged creative
Posts tagged creative
“Hi, I’m Matthew and welcome to my video CV. I have decided to produce this video because, as I’m sure you’re aware, communications has changed. The pen and paper method is now just one approach available for reaching a target audience, therefore it is important that potential employees, like myself, are media savvy and understand the power of multimedia in the market place.”
This was the intro to my video CV. I had to make this video as part of my interview with a graduate internship recruitment agency. The interview itself went well. There were of course the pretty standard question asked by recruitment agencies, although what I liked was the fact that the questions focused on what I wanted to achieve. Helen (the interviewer) seemed to like me. She implied that her agency could find me a job in the near future, given my skills and personality. But unlike most interviews, rather than a handshake and a, “we’ll be in touch”, she said, “now are you ready to do you’re video?”
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure this was for me to begin with. Sure I don’t mind being on camera, and I was confident in my pitch. Plus I’ve done pitches and presentation in the past, to uni lecturers and most recently to the editor of The Sun newspaper, so I wasn’t particularly nervous. My issue was that I’ve seen many of these video CV’s in the past and most have been pants! Many are unprofessional, unrehearsed and the applicants look scruffy.
“Hi my names, errrr, John, and I want to be aaaaa, errrr, (nervous laugh), a… ”
But this felt different. This company had a room made for this sort of thing. A good quality camera sat proudly on a tripod, facing a tall stool which was carefully placed in front of a multi-coloured backdrop. The room was nice and quiet, and perfectly lit for this type of video. A good start - professional.
I chose to stand. Why? At the time I felt that the stool might affect my posture and voice, so by standing I could hold myself up straight and project clearly.
“Ok Matt when I give the thumbs up you may start”
“Hi, I’m Matthew and welcome to my video CV…”
It went well and I got it done in the first take (the only person to do so all week apparently).
After that came the handshakes and goodbyes. Finished. I then got an email on my way home saying that my video profile was available for companies to view on the agencies website, along with my normal CV, and it would be sent to potential employers who the agency felt would suite my needs and vice versa.
I’m yet to hear anything, but it’s only been 48 hours. And when I do I’ll let you known.
But I think this video idea could actually work. It must be freshening for a HR officer, sitting at his/her desk for the eighth hour in a row whilst drinking their tenth cup of coffee, to receive one of these videos. It must beat the generic CV and covering letter, with overused phrase like, ‘I possess excellent communication skills’ or ‘I am a hardworking and determined graduate’.
We can all use words to make us seem whiter than white. Hollow words mainly. But also what the generic approach doesn’t do is show personality. And personality is key in this day and age! In every walk of life a strong personality and success go hand in hand. Simon Cowell isn’t the biggest media proprietor in the world because he is especially talented. Lady Gaga isn’t the biggest name in pop because she writes the best songs. David Beckham isn’t the most famous Brit on the planet because he kicks a ball around for 90 minutes. No, they all have strong personalities or a unique selling point (USP). The nasty judge. The crazy mysterious girl. That nice, easy-going fella who walks about in his pants all the time. By having a distinct personality or trait, they each become more marketable and they begin to stand out in their respected industries.
Look at twitter. The people with the most followers are those who put themselves out there for all to see. MySpace launched a thousand bands, getting them record deals all because they set up a strong online identity and with it a BrAND image. The music almost played second fiddle to everything else. Just look at Lily Allen and the way her career went (I actually quite like her music by the way).
What I would suggest to any graduate, who knows what they want to do in life, is get yourself out there and put your personality on show so. Try and stand out from the crowd.
This could be a case of the blind leading the blind – as I too need a new job. But what harm can it do. Try it. And if you have any success let me know.
‘Life’. For the average person in the developed world life can be very predictable. We’re born, we grow, we go to school, we make friends, we go to ‘BIG’ school, we lose friends (but it’s ok because we make new ones), we hit puberty, we experience many firsts, we take exams, we leave school. This procedure is set in stone. As individuals we approach this procedure in different ways, which in turn creates minor variation in the pattern. For example; some may not finish school. Others will get straight A’s. Or like myself, you may flirt with mediocrity and get by – B’s and C’s. Nothing too flash, but enough to open up a few doors.
Then comes the first real choice! Exciting stuff!
No not really.
Option A) Find a job.
Pros: Money, independence, fast track to the real world (more on this later)
Cons: Fewer career options, long working life, less job satisfaction (???)
Option B) Go to College/Uni
Pros: Excellent social life, independence, more career options (supposedly)
Cons: Debt, sheltered from the real world, uncertainty
I chose option B. Why? Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. To be honest, at 16 I don’t think I was really ready for the real world. Bosses, a mortgage, a wife and children!!! In fact at 22 I still don’t feel completely ready. Bosses and children scare me, I’m pretty sure you need a good job before you get a mortgage and my love life is as successful as this coalition government.
So B it was. And by and large I feel I’ve made the right choice. This may sound like a cliché, but I really grew as a person at uni, I discovered a lot about myself and I generally did make friends for life.
Then………….. KAPOW! It’s over. Three years at uni over in a-blink-of-an-eye.
No one prepares you for this! Again I achieved mediocrity. A 2:1 in English.
So where next?
I knew where my talents lied and I had a few rough career plans. I knew I was good with words and people. I knew I wanted a career where I could be creative. I know I wasn’t motived my money but by doing something that I found engaging, which was rewarding and thus allowed me to be happy in the workplace.
PR? Marketing? Journalism? Acting? Event management?
All interesting career options. Each appeals to me for different reasons. But how to go about getting my foot in the door?
Truth is, I don’t think there is a key or a winning formula. Especially not with this recession.
So I come up with option C. GAP-Year.
Genius! And where would I go. Australia of course! Sun, sea, sand and sex. Sorted!
Now don’t get me wrong because I loved my time in Oz. I met family I never knew about, who turned out to be without doubt the most caring and happiest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. I lived on Bondi beach. Nuff’ said. And I had a good job, waiting tables for ‘posh’ Aussies (who by British standards are pretty much like anybody living in Kent or Hertfordshire). Plus I was on $40,000 a year. Wtf!
But the grass isn’t always greener. I choose the coldest and wettest year on record to go Down Under. Speaking of down under - the sex. Getting down to it with a random lady on a bunk bed with 10 other people in the room wasn’t great. Especially when you’ve had too much Jager and the German couple in the next bunk are going at it like rabbits. Robotic rabbits! “Ya, Ya, Ya”.
What was I doing? I don’t think Marvin Gaye had this in mind when he wrote ‘let’s get it on’.
“Zo, how waz it fur you?”, my German neighbour asked his young lady friend after what can only be described as a solid 3 minutes of repetitive pounding. And I mean repetitive! Like Meg White’s drummer in any White Stripes song. That repetitive!
Needless to say, she didn’t stay long after.
So come June 2011 I was back home in the UK. Finally feeling ready for the real world. Ready to meet the ‘The Graduate’s Conundrum - needing experience to get a job, and needing a job to get experience’.
Before I go on I feel I need to take a break, as I’ve sort of missed the point of micro-blogging. Micro being the key word. So I’ll leave you there. I will post again soon but for now I should get on with job hunting/football manager (after all it is a friend afternoon).