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Hire Me!
By: Michael Lindquist
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Most job seekers claim they would do anything to get a job. After applying, following up, and following up again, it’s always disappointing to learn your dream position has been filled. Were you unqualified or did you just not make a big enough impression? A young Minnesotan took it upon himself to make sure he stood out above the competition when he purchased space on an electronic billboard near downtown Minneapolis.

Today’s job market requires younger job seekers to find creative ways to stay out of the reject pile. The 22-year-old Bennett Olson went to great lengths to get the employers’ attention. Olson’s ad was a call to action that simply read “HIRE ME!” With his website clearly printed at the bottom, Olson would use the billboard as the spearhead for his employment campaign. 

Is this what it takes to get a job these days? The unemployed veterans are going head to head with recent graduates with little to no experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain a lot of experience through my freelance jobs, but my search continues for an actual career with an agency or marketing firm. What would it take to stand out from the other applicants? 

According to a recent study, the average recruiter only spends about six seconds reviewing each resume. Imagine if television commercials were only six seconds long. Would that be enough time to leave an impression? What if your interview was only six seconds long? Would that be enough time to effectively articulate how the company would benefit from your unique skills and prior experience?

Bennett Olson’s billboard was a creative and bold way to get some exposure, but Olson wasn’t exactly showered with job offers. Until recently, Olson was still taking interviews. Olson claimed the employer might notice him during the interview and say, “Hey! You’re the billboard guy!” The billboard certainly didn’t hurt. Olson’s efforts eventually landed him a job in sales and marketing, but did he really need a billboard to find a sales job? I’ve been offered interviews for sales jobs that I didn’t even apply for.

As a recent college graduate, I’m sending out resumes and applying for entry-level positions. I haven’t considered buying any ad space, but maybe I’ll make a super awesome video resume and upload it to YouTube. I could hire a flash mob to dance to an original song with my accomplishments cleverly sung throughout the chorus. Maybe I’ll pay to have a jet to spell out “HIRE ME!” in the sky, with my phone number below. Would that get me a job?

All gimmicks aside, the average job seeker will spend the majority of their time making connections, following up, and following up again. And let’s not forget: It’s not what you know. It’s WHO you know. The Bennett Olson story is a representation of how competitive the job market has become and what some applicants will do to get a job.

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About the Author
Michael Lindquist has a strong passion for art, entertainment, and advertising. As a child, he learned it was okay to color outside the lines, because the lines only restrict your creativity and imagination. Find him online here.
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