Over the past week, two very visible "Hire Me" campaigns have drawn public attention.1084673_doubt

I saw the first on CNN: a California wife went public with the website MyHusbandNeedsaJob.com. The website summarizes the experience, career, and education of "the husband" Mike, a recent Georgetown MBA. There's a resume, a brief YouTube video (Hi, I'm Mike") and a very brief introduction of Mike's career goals: he wants to work in brand management, product management, or marketing.

Jamie Varon, a recent college graduate, is also taking the "hire me" approach. At face value, one of her recent moves comes straight out of the "don't do" column of the hiring playbook: she wrote a blog post on why she quit a job after only two weeks.

That being said, Jamie's headline gets my attention--and she articulates her decision well. Her next moves have also been seen and analyzed in public: She goes out on a limb to say that she'd like to work for Twitter, and states a case for why they should hire her.  Through her website, TwitterShouldHireMe.com, she provides a clear, concise presentation that demonstrates how companies can use Twitter--and how she can contribute to Twitter. She also provides her readers with tips on Twitter--all part of the branding.

Mike and Jamie are both keeping blogs on their website to update their new fans...not surprisingly, Jamie's has a meeting scheduled at Twitter and is weighing a few offers. Mike reports many e-mails and a number of potential leads

I've observed hundreds of job searches in my work as a career counselor and worked briefly as a recruiter. Here's my take: This is a simple case of "show" (Jamie demonstrates) versus "tell" (Mike's approach).  

Jamie's website is clear about

  • who she wants to work for,
  • how she can add value (she demonstrates an understanding of company products and her knowledge of marketing), and
  • her knowledge of the field in which she wants to work (new media). 

Mike's website takes a broader approach. I see:

  • An interesting accumulation of work experience--a consulting gig in China, a summer internship at a prestigious consulting firm (Booz Allen Hamilton), work experience in process improvement for a brand leader in the golf industry.

  • Broadly stated work goals. His answer to the question, "What Kind of Job are You Looking For?"

I’m looking to get into a brand or product management role with a consumer goods company.  However, with my previous experience I am open to other opportunities in a corporate marketing environment where I can leverage my skills.  I did work for two of the leading brands in the golf industry and got hands-on experience managing a successful consumer product.  My operations background is useful for any business, and having had the opportunity to be so involved with the product I am ready to jump in on the marketing side. I also have a lot of transferable general project management skills that will be valuable in any company.

I find Jamie's "show" to be more compelling than "Mike's tell." The marketing gimmick is a clever introduction to draw attention to Mike's job search, but the pictures of Mike in the Bay Area don't paint a clear picture of how he can immediately add value to an employer. It's harder to market yourself for any opportunity, than for a specific one.  Jamie's decision to target her efforts helps her frame her skills, experience and potential.

If Mike were my client, I would suggest refining his company targets, sharing tangible examples of his work, and creating a sense of unbridled enthusiasm for the work itself. This could include:

  • An enhanced online footprint that showcases his expertise and demonstrates his level of engagement with his intended work--i.e. blog postings on brand or product management strategies,
  • Work samples (possibly acquired through volunteer projects). As the former Vice President of the Georgetown Wine Society, he might consider, for example, taking on a marketing consulting project for a local vintner?
  • Professional activities with Bay Area marketing associations and events.

My prediction: Jamie will land in a job first because she puts her best career fit forward. While Jamie has less experience on paper, she's demonstrated how she'll add value from day one--and she's articulated how her skills align with the needs of her intended industry.  

I'll be monitoring websites for Mike and Jamie to see what happens next, and would love to hear your thoughts in the interim. What's your take on these "hire me" campaigns?

Cross-posted at Career Hub.