Artistic videos posted to YouTube aren't going to pay the bills.
Of course, anyone looking to make a career in experimental videography must first find a stable job that provides for the basic necessities before the MacArthur Foundation comes knocking with a genius grant.
And one such job in the modern workforce is as a "community manager," which is essentially a marketing gig that calls on the manager to make the greatest use of social media and other digital tools to expand a company's online reach. And it goes without saying that the creative possibilities for the manager are endless. The post is especially important for startups, as they seek to establish a brand identity while also battling other cutting edge entrants to the marketplace.
And so as organizations like Carrot Creative, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based new media marketing agency, seek to fill their community manager position, a standard cover letter and resume is unlikely on its own to convince an employer that you have the tools to take advantage of all the potential digital resources.
Little wonder, then, that Torrey Taralli's video cover letter caught the attention of the popular jobs listing website, mediabistro.com. Embracing the organization's title, Taralli put together a 1-minute, 4-second-long video featuring 300 baby carrots. The vegetables are used to spell out a message to the employer, starting with: "Why Creative Carrot Should Hire Torrey Taralli." And it goes on to say that he "Does A Spot-On Obama Impression" and "Has A Dog Named Frank."
While it's true, as mediabistro.com points out, that the video fails to provide actual specifics about Taralli's qualifications, "one thing's for sure: It's not a boring cover letter." Indeed, in taking a page out of Bob Dylan's playbook by spelling out a message via video, a la "Subterranean Homesick Blues," Taralli has succeeded in at least garnering attention for the company, the most that any executive can hope from its marketing team. And he is now one of seven finalists for the job whose original applicant pool was composed of 300 candidates.
"A lot of people go to unique lengths," Mike Germano, the president and co-founder of Carrot Creative told AOL Jobs in an interview. "This is not even the first carrot video we have seen. And this is exactly what we want. You're going to need to show a social media and digital ability."
Taralli's application is of a piece with the trend of using a resume to strut one's digital stuff. As was reported on AOL Jobs last month, the video-enhanced application has even led to a new categorization of resumes. These so-called "presumes" are used as a platform to present the applicant through visual means. They need not take the place of a standard curriculum vitae in dislosing an applicant's qualifications. These introductions often feature slide-shows and are intended as a curtain raiser for the candidacy.
One prospective candidate who made a successful presume to land a job was Hanna Phan. In applying to be a product manager with San Francisco-based SlideRocket, Phan delivered her application in the very presentation software the company makes for its clients. Her presentation was titled, "I Want To Work At Slide Rocket," and like Taralli's video, Phan's didn't get much into her actual resume in her presume, but rather showcased her marketing and digital skills in pitching herself to the company.
Company CEO Chuck Dietrich received Phan's presume just as he was boarding a plane for New York, he told AOL Jobs. Upon viewing it, Dietrich was so impressed with the presentation, he says, that "If I had time to call Hanna before I took off I would have. But I called her right when I landed."
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