I’m going to be a Thrill worker!

February 12, 2010 - By

As I mentioned before, I am no longer going to be freelancing. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was an awesome one.

I began freelance / contract work out of a need – there were no web related jobs in the Kincardine area. I have learned so much through Debut Creative. One of the most important lessons is that I hate being an accountant, and wearing several other hats that a one-man-operation requires.

When we moved back to the GTA at the end of last year I began to keep my ears open for job opportunities. I was in a very privileged position to be picky with the kinds of jobs I would apply for. I want to make high end websites that challenge me – and sites that are actually used and seen. During some mild mannered Googling I discovered Thrillworks in Burlington. The job ad for “Web Designer” sounded too good to be true!

I start Tuesday.

I wanted to share how this came about; getting a job can sometimes be a remarkable journey.

I want to be a Thrill Worker

For the average person applying for a job means sending a resume. Being in the creative industry doesn’t allow for anything average. I’ll admit there were several instances of simply chucking a resume to a prospective employer, but in hindsight those jobs didn’t really grab my eye. None did – until I found Thrillworks.

When I saw the job posting for Web Designer at Thrillworks I was super excited. It wouldn’t be fair to simply send a resume – I’d never wanted a job so badly, so my application should reflect this.

As with any project the first step is research. I read the ENTIRE Thrillworks website. I memorized the names of everyone working there, and thoroughly investigated the work they do and how they talk about it. I even waded through code on several client sites.

Using my research I was able to pick a good tone that would not only get their attention, but would reflect the values they have. Their website paints the portrait of a fun loving, creative and extroverted team environment. This tone plays to my strengths as these are terms that could be used to describe me.

I did some writing, recorded some videos (for the personal touch), and did some designs that I hoped would help me be top of mind in their search for an employee.

My goal was simple: I wanted an interview.

This was my application“i want to be a thrill worker dot com!”

As this was a web job, I also made sure my code wasn’t an embarrassment (well, there were some shortcuts I took, but I made sure to make quirky remarks about it throughout). Instead of naming the sections of the design like “Header”, “Footer” etc., I used the names of the employees there! Even my CSS had the call to action:

I heard back from Thrillworks almost right away – I got the interview! This was no time to rest though; I spent the following week brushing up on my ASP and did research on some of the specific software they mentioned using (as well as all that pesky “work” I had!).

I then prepared some print materials including my references and a tent card leave-behind piece (my rationale was I wanted something that would take up space on a desk that would make them think of me the following day).

My experience in working in agencies in the past suggested that some people who may have no say in the hiring process may be asked to review the work of applicants, so I also made some cheesy “Guerrilla HR” materials catering to them.

the result

My interview was scheduled for 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I was pretty nervous; though I actually love job interviews. They are a meeting to talk about ME. I am the world’s leading authority on the subject, so I was confident that I would be able to represent myself well.

I prepared an interview page on the i want to be a thrillworker site complete with links of some work examples I wanted to talk about. You can see the interview page here.

I was introduced to the team, and some seemed impressed that I knew the names of everyone there. I was pretty excited that they all knew me as well – my application had circulated, and I felt like a bit of a celebrity!

Oddly enough it wasn’t a job interview however; apparently I had the job before I even woke up that day! I was told that barring any “creepy serial killer” vibes, I was in. Quite a few had applied for the job – but only one was even considered for the interview.

Needless to say, this made my day.

“how does this apply to me?!”

Obviously this kind of obnoxious approach won’t work just anywhere, or by just anyone! Also, if everyone applied in this way it would quickly lose what makes it stand out from the crowd.

Using creativity you can create a resume that will not only stand out, but that will

  • Capture your personality, and play up your strengths
  • Speak in a tone that the employer will respond to
  • Be memorable.

If you’re thinking ahead to applying for a job at the end of school that’s awesome. Treat this as you would any other project in Graphics. Start with your keywords, then start collecting various resources that capture not only different moods, but different sides of you.

Doing this prep work well in advance is a great head start – when the dream job appears your prompt application will show your interest (that said it shouldn’t sound like a template!).

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This post was written by ArleyM