Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Candidate's Refreshingly Unexpected Approach

The vast majority of corporate and product communications are plagued by a lack of originality and creativity in their execution.

Take a stroll across the Web or flip through a magazine, wait 20 minutes and then take a stab at jotting down the names of companies that advertised.  It’s not so easy, right?

This me-too promotional mentality is prevalent in how individuals market themselves to prospective employers.  The methodology is typically a vanilla cover letter married up with a nondescript resume.

The candidate forces the hiring manager to do all of the work to determine if there’s a potential fit.  This is OK in a robust hiring environment with four percent unemployment. 

Yet, in today’s market with near double digit unemployment, blending in with a jostling crowd of wannabes is no way to win a coveted position.

Last week, a friend who is a senior hiring manager for an expanding business services company forwarded me a cover note from a potential hire that was refreshingly unexpected.  Whether you love or hate the approach, it garners attention and, in this case, resulted in a phone request for an interview.


20) I have successfully managed up to 28 salespeople.

19) I have a very high closing rate.

18) I'm very spontaneous, my great grandmother was Lizzie Borden.

17) I treat people the way that I want to be treated.

16) I have taken courses conducted by Tom Hopkins and Anthony Robbins.

15) Southwest is my favorite airline, I sill think the pilots and flight attendants are stoned.

14) I speak numerous languages including Cambridge lockjaw.

13) I workout (I have a six pack, it's in the fridge).

12) I'm never on time to work because I always arrive early.

11) I have two older sisters and have the scars to prove it (think of Tom Berenger in "Platoon").

10) I know the difference between there, their and they're AND too, to and two! as well as Rosanna, David, Alexis, Lewis and Patricia Arquette.

9) I have strong marketing experience.

8) Robert De Niro is my favorite actor (YOU TALKING TO ME!!!!!!).

7) I have never been arrested (well there was that time when I wore a yellow bandana in my back pocket).

6) I'm not on any type of medication except for Flinstones chewables, I love eating Dino.

5) I have had a return of investment ratio of 12 to 1.

4) I am a model in my spare time, a model citizen that is (we are in high demand).

3) My favorite comedy is Terms of Endearment, that Debra Winger is hilarious.

2) I have over twenty years of sales and sales management experience.

1) We are going to make a massive amount of money together.


markpilip said...

I like the approach. It certainly takes guts to break out of the usual cover letter approach, but why not? With a usual cover letter, you'll get either rejected or ignored anyway.

If the approach catches the recruiter or hiring manager's eye, they'll remember you when you come in for the interview, which gives you a leg up.

Janet Kopec said...

This might be the perfect approach to a company such as Southwest Airlines, mentioned in the message,and it could score an interview. A candidate using this method would be smart to realize that the approach will likely be considered too goofy for consideration by other organizations. He is likely screening out corporate cultures in which he doesn't want to work by doing this anyway!

Marc Hausman said...

@Mark - you're spot on. I have always viewed any introductory message (i.e. cover letter) an opportunity to both educate and differentiate.

@Janet - agree with you as well regarding this cover letter turning off certain corporate hiring managers.

Yet, as you point out, those companies probably wouldn't be a good fit for this candidate.