#DreamJob4Gillian: How A New Grad Turned Her Job Hunt Into A Self-Marketing Campaign

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Gillian Wasser wants to find her dream job… and she’s given herself 18 days to find it.

It’s all part of her campaign, #DreamJob4Gillian – a 5-part strategy to promote herself to marketing agencies.

“The campaign is actually my first attempt at searching for a job since graduating,” says Gillian, who had only returned to her home in Toronto for a week before launching her search. She had spent the last year and a half living abroad in England, where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing from Birmingham City University.

About Gillian

Gillian grew up in the City of Vaughan, near Toronto ON, where she graduated high school. Since then, she’s lived in Hamilton, Waterloo, and most recently, Birmingham UK. Now that she’s back in Toronto, she’s hunting for a marketing agency that fits her personality and will help her achieve her career goals!

“It was probably last year that I realized that I wanted to approach my job hunt differently,” she says. “I decided to create a self-promotional campaign because I wanted to make a great first impression and get noticed by the most creative agencies out there.”

Devising a unique approach

Gillian Wasser
Birmingham University
MA, Future Media

Gillian is no stranger to promotional campaigns. Prior to pursuing her masters, she had graduated with an Honours BA in Communications from McMaster University, plus a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations. She had also recently completed a strategy internship at a marketing company in the UK.

“I decided to create a self-promotional campaign because I wanted to make a great first impression and get noticed by the most creative agencies out there,” she says. “Given my experience in communications, public relations, and digital marketing, I wanted to find a way to demonstrate my abilities to prospective employers.”

A sample of Gillian’s Twitter marketing campaign

 

Gillian’s campaign consists of 5 components: a website, media kit, print advertisements, social media, and a Buzzfeed quiz. Each type of promotion was selected to display her industry skills and represent a section of her career journey so far.

“The social media, website, and media kit elements help to demonstrate what I learned while working as a Community Manager as well as during my academic career,” she says. “The BuzzFeed quiz helps to promote my campaign as well as [demonstrates] my ability to create content, while also acting as a fun way for me to interview potential agencies. Lastly, the print campaign is used to demonstrate my skills beyond digital marketing and to inform the agencies I am interested in about my campaign.”

Gillian’s Thoughts: The Buzzfeed Quiz

“My favourite part of [this] campaign would have to be the Buzzfeed quiz. It is something very innovative that hasn’t been done before. In addition to showing off my personality, it also effectively communicates what I am looking for in an agency.”

Career aspirations

Gillian Wasser spends a lot of time on her computer, monitoring and tweaking her #DreamJob4Gillian campaign.
Gillian Wasser spends a lot of time on her computer, monitoring and tweaking her #DreamJob4Gillian campaign.

With each day of her campaign, Gillian spends a lot of time monitoring social media, reviewing data, and tweaking her website. She’s a brainstorming machine – even though her promotion is underway, she’s still coming up with ideas for developing content and methods for maximizing her exposure. But she loves the work… after all, it’s all part of what she wants to do.

“The execution of the campaign involves a lot of trial and error,” says Gillian. “However, I’m learning a lot in the process… it is a lot of work, but I know it will be worth it in the end.”

While her long-term goal is to get her dream job, Gillian’s short-term goal for this campaign is to get noticed by agencies. In the event that she doesn’t get her dream job right away, she hopes that they’ll remember her for when a position does open up. She says on that particular level, the campaign has been incredibly successful for her.

“The marketing industry is incredibly competitive,” says Gillian. “I knew I needed to do something unique and creative to make myself stand out from other applicants.”

Takeaways for students

As a marketing graduate, Gillian used her skills and expertise to execute this campaign on a professional level. But she says that students from any field can take steps to become expert marketers during their job hunts:

  1. Ask for feedback: If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to share. Ask others for their opinions – collaboration is key.
  2. Think outside the box: Don’t be afraid to try something different. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea.
  3. Know your audience: Whether you’re crafting your job application or presenting yourself in an interview, think about who you’re talking to, and market yourself accordingly.

Gillian wants to work at an integrated marketing agency – she says that as a new grad, she wants to experience all types of marketing, especially digital and experiential marketing.

“I feel that since I am just starting out I should gain a bit more experience working with all types of marketing before I venture into one specific area,” she says.

With the campaign drawing to a close, Gillian has learned a lot – and she hopes that her unique job hunting adventure will inspire students and grads to stay positive and try new things.

Don’t let failure get the better of you,” she says. “And if you do fail, at least you can discuss in an interview about what you’ve learned in the process.”

Have you ever taken a unique approach to achieve a personal goal? Did it pay off? Tell us in the comments!

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