Standing Out For The Statesman
“You’ll miss 100% of the jobs you never apply for” - Wayne Gretzky
Ok, the Great One never said that. The real quote was “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you never take”. But, it’s a good analogy for looking for work. In case you haven’t heard, it’s tough to find a job these days. It’s really like finding a needle in the haystack. A haystack the size of China.
As any job site or article will tell you, you need to stand out to potential employers. Beyond being qualified and experienced, you need to be memorable. And most importantly, if you see a gig, you need to show them WHY you’re interested. Also, it helps to apply for the job.
Austin is a town where very few full time video gigs exist. You’re competing against UT grads, LA film industry transplants, freelance videographers and a host of other people.
When I saw a posting for a videographer/editor with the Austin American Statesman, I knew that I needed to do more than simply fill in my info and hit “Send”. I was going to be stacked against dozens, maybe hundreds of other people. Rather than blending in with names, experiences, and dates on a piece of paper, I needed to be memorable.
The idea was pretty obvious: create a video that shows my video skills, storytelling ability and qualifications.
After crafting a script and choosing scenes, I headed out into Austin on a brutally hot Thursday with my iPhone and tripod. My story came to life as I filmed in downtown Austin, Town Lake and other locations. Editing started on Friday, and everything was pretty much wrapped by Saturday night.
The plan was simple. I’d apply for the gig Monday morning, and send an e-mail to the hiring manager that afternoon with a link to the video. Seeing as I was ahead of schedule on Saturday night, I thought I’d go ahead and apply for the gig now.
There was something odd about the Statesman Careers page that night. Fewer job postings. Including, to my dismay… THE VIDEOGRAPHER/EDITOR position.
It’s odd that jobs would be closed on Saturday. It was there on Friday. Really, it was.
Five days of work… poof. Gone.
In trying to stand out for the Statesman, I failed to get my foot in the door. Today, I still sent the e-mail to the hiring manager, so it wasn’t all for naught. But, has the window has closed? In trying to stand out, have I been left behind?
The video doesn’t replace the application process. It dones’t get me the gig. It lets someone know that I’ve made the extra effort to show my interest. I can’t help but wonder if my attempt to break out of the applicant norm has made me miss out on a great gig. There’s nothing left for me to do except wait for a response.
In Wayne’s world, I took the shot after the final buzzer sounded. No good.
For your viewing pleasure, “3 Things” is posted above. Enjoy.