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How to get VERY creative with your cover letter

May 19th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

If you’ve got, ever had, or are desperately seeking a job in the media industry I’m sure you’ll all be familiar with the friendly email response ‘your CV is on file, we’ll contact you if a position becomes available’. It’s the big hand of the media industry cyber-slapping you in the face. I graduated in June 2010 and must have emailed hundreds of companies and applied for hundreds of jobs, just to be sent the same computer generated response every time.

I’m not blaming anyone, they receive a ridiculous amount of CVs by email, and if they sat down to look at and reply to every one nothing would be on television except maybe a documentary about how many people in the media industry suffer from depression. So after one too many slaps in the face I took a step back and reconsidered my angle entirely. If I was in charge of sifting through thousands of similar applications what would I want to see. The answer’s obvious really, something different, something that would make my day that little bit more exciting.

I came up with my idea based solely on this, what I would want to see as someone working in media? A video that distracts them with comedy and heart-warming amateurism, makes them forget that they’re just looking at my cover letter, seemed like the perfect option for me. It was an example in itself, proof that I could be creative and proof that I had the skills they were looking for. The idea of making it like a letter was decided after I read an article about how the writer was tired of computers and much preferred the human aspects of a I’d received a pen for my birthday and it was collecting dust!

I finished it in around ten hours, it would have been sooner but I was determined to shoot it in one continuous take, and kept mucking up, if you’d have heard the audio you would have been impressed with my plethora of foul language!

The response was out of this world, it shot up past 2,000 views within a day, and it spread virally very quickly, I’ve had dinner dates, drinks at gentlemen’s clubs and loads of meetings with people not only high up, but people that were genuinely interested in me and ready to help me on my career. The best response by far was from the Head of Creative at 4Creative (the creative department at Channel 4), he actually took an hour out of his schedule to make a response video (it followed my video above)! It has so far led to me freelancing with a lot of incredibly creative companies and meeting a lot of incredibly creative people.

My advice to those graduating is to prove what you’re good at, and don’t get disheartened by the automated responses and negative feedback you’re bound to get along the road. I want to go into a creative position, either in TV production or advertising, so I produced something creative and had a lot of fun doing so, if you can prove to people you love what you do, they’ll love you for doing it.

Gareth Cash

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Leave a comment (5)

  1. Julian Johnson says:

    Really inspiring Gareth and great to see the 4Creative response. Clearly a good platform for them too. Thanks for sharing with us.

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