The UK's media landscape is a genuinely exciting place to work in. I fell in love with the industry and the buzz that is constantly surrounding it at the age of 14 when I was doing working experience at a production company in Manchester. I knew there and then that it was the only industry for me.
And I guess I wasn't alone. All of this hype and the dynamic nature of the media industry means that it attracts thousands of creative minds each year. In fact, the UK's creative industries are a real success story; they employ around 1.5million people and according to the official stats, generate £70,000 every minute for the UK economy. However this level of success also makes the creative industries a highly competitive place to work in and getting noticed is not that easy.
So, how do you stand out in such an overcrowded market and get in front of the right people? The answer lies in the very basis of the industry you are hoping to conquer, in creativity. My 'alternative' creative CV has been viewed over 16,000 times and amongst the viewers was no other than businesswoman and famous retail branding expert Mary Portas. How did I achieve this? Through my #naughtytobenoticed campaign.
To fulfil my dream and work in the media industry I realised I needed more than just a CV. Companies get stacks of them day in day out and there's only so much you can do to make your CV stand out. I knew I needed to do more. Sending a CV on a piece of coloured paper or attached to a bottle of wine can make the HR team smile, but I wasn't sure it would get me noticed by the creative managers who I was hoping to get in front of. I needed a different approach, something that would show off my creativity and eagerness to work, something that could target the industry experts rather than recruitment agencies.
This is how the #naughtytobenoticed campaign came to be. It started with seven 'naughty' postcards that look sexually suggestive at a first glance, but when you read the small print, you realise that in fact it was you the reader that had the 'naughty thoughts'. I was simply showing my passion for a creative role. The cards definitely helped me to stand out from the crowd but also showed off my creativity and a little bit about me, my sense of humour and hopefully a bit of courage too. Once the idea was born, I realised I needed a destination to direct people to. I therefore created a profile on Creativepool.com, an online platform for UK creatives, to showcase the postcards. Their slogan is 'it's all about work' so it seemed well fitted. By posting the images online I instantly made them accessible to thousands of users of the platform.
To direct people to my profile I wanted to generate an online buzz so I synchronised it with other social networks. It's given that any company in the media industry has a Twitter account and social interaction is embedded in the way they operate - it would be crazy not to utilise it. It also goes back to knowing your target audience and how to reach them. I put a lot of focus into trying to reach influential people as you often need to get in front of one key opinion leader to get the ball rolling. But this doesn't come without tenacity and conscious effort; I've tweeted my job 'plea' to some of the biggest names in UK businesses and the creative sector.
It's hard work requiring a lot of patience but it's definitely worth it. Within minutes of Mary Portas retweeting my campaign, my Creativepool.com profile was viewed over 3,000 times. Within hours, I was contacted by an agency with a possible job opportunity, and within two days, my Creativepool.com profile had been viewed over 12,000 times increasing my chances even further.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't think my #naughtytobenoticed campaign was a bit risky. You can't predict how people will react to the 'naughty' captions and whether or not they will think I've crossed the line. In the end though, I was willing to take one risk to get noticed and hopefully got a few laughs along the way. It's still early days and there are a lot more companies I want to reach, but the feedback so far has been great - people love the cheekiness and it's getting me noticed in a crowded market space. The next obvious step is to engage in conversations and hopefully seal a deal to get a permanent job. I'm still searching and welcome any opportunities that may come my way.