A couple years ago Budweiser tugged at our heart strings by turning their annual Clydesdale Super Bowl commercial into a sappy reunion. In “Brotherhood” a trainer and the horse he befriended as a colt reunite on a city street after spotting each other during a parade. They make eye contact, he gives a half wave, they go their own ways, six tons of horsemeat gallops down a city street, hugs, tears, kisses…the end.
The Clydesdales have been around during Super Bowls for 30ish years, but for the last decade or so we’ve had some laughs watching them play football, throw snowballs, and team up with bulls, donkeys, and streaking goats. Brotherhood’s emotional turn eventually led to this year’s sappy beer commercial, a dirty puppy story. Want to turn the doe-eyed factor up to 11, add a puppy. No wonder Hank Williams sang, “There’s a Tear in my Beer.”
Anyway, after watching the creative drivel that was this year’s Super Bowl commercials, I have to say that the emotional appeal is back in vogue. Cat’s in the Cradle, Group hug for a cheeseburger, oh that’s right I’m dead… Everyone playing the heart string card. With the exception, maybe, of Kim Kardashian’s self-deprecating piece, no one really did anything that was NEW funny. Snickers did the same old thing, just with new actors. Doritos looked like it used a leftover contest submission from some guy still living in his parent’s house. Oh, the hot chick is a mom! Everyone else just added a screaming goat.
And to think, companies spent $4.5 million for a 30 second spot! Instead of putting a new dress on the pig as Maxine used to say, I figured they’d come up with something new for that kind of money! But no, if emotion worked before, then lots of it will work now.
Which brings me to the job search advice you get. Like Super Bowl ads, not much of what you hear is ground-breaking, earth shattering, or brand new…even the stuff people say like they’re telling you some fabulous, unknown secret:
Customize your resume
Having a basic resume and then two or three versions to post to job boards won’t do anymore. You should not only have different versions of your resume; but you should tailor your resume for every job that you apply for. Move the key duties and qualifications from the ad to the top third of your resume. Then save the resume you submitted with the company, job title, and date in the file name so you can find it later.
You need a LinkedIn profile
There are currently over 332,000,000 profiles of professionals from around the world on LinkedIn. Having a profile makes you about as original as one of the “billions and billions” of burgers McDonalds has sold. Instead you need to create an online brand and message that presents you to recruiters and managers in the industry that you desire.
You need to network
Anyone can shake hands and kiss babies just like anyone can kiss hands and shake babies. In both cases you won’t do either for long if that’s all you do. The key to networking is identifying the needs of the people you meet and then help them satisfy those needs.
You need a good elevator pitch
Elevator pitches are a lot like a certain un-named part of the anatomy; everyone has one and they usually stink. Your pitch, like your resume (and not like your…oh, never mind) should be flexible and tailored to the person you’re meeting. Instead of saying who you are first, ask some questions and get to know the person before launching your pitch.
Buy a tie that stands out
Whatever, no one remembers what you’re wearing unless your dressed like a fop. Be clean, be neat, be professional; or just wear a damn kilt so they can see your calf tattoo.
The key to all this “yesterday’s news” job search advice, then, is how you use it. The information is there, even your instructors are saying it, it’s up to you to take it and be original. Will you do like M&M Mars and just do the same old Snickers commercial? Will you jump on a bandwagon and do yet another “I love Dad” commercial? Will you just be generic and get all sappy without saying anything? Will your resume, LinkedIn profile, networking, pitch, and power tie look like everyone else’s?
Or will you grab the hammer with both hands, throw it through the screen, and make a statement without uttering a word…