Creativity Marketing, Speculative Songkick Job Application
By James Henry, MMK Student
This is the story of how I applied for a job that didn’t exist.
I was introduced to a website called Songkick.com, and began using their service. Songkick aggregates concert and festival listings based on the artists and bands you listen to, and based on any number of geographical locations you would like to track. They also offer iPhone and Android applications to scan your device’s music library and add those artists to your ‘tracker’ list, and deliver notifications of new concerts added.
Songkick is a startup whose HQ is located at ‘Silicon Roundabout’ in Shoreditch, London, but which also has operations in San Francisco. Its aim is to transform people’s live music experience.
Being a startup, music and technology company (three of my major interests), I was a big fan of the work they were doing, and thought about applying for an internship or job with the company. I visited the ‘Jobs’ section of the company’s website, only to find that the only job listings available were jobs for which I could not apply, not possessing the necessary experience. However, all hope was not lost, for a brief message on the jobs page encouraged people to apply, even if the current openings did not relate to your experience held. I decided to apply.
Rather than being just another C.V sitting in a pile of others, with little hope of demonstrating the capabilities I possess on a piece of paper, I decided to approach this problem with a little bit of creativity marketing inspiration to help me stand out from the crowd; I decided to market myself creatively, and get in touch directly with the CEO, Ian Hogarth.
I was very fortunate. Songkick’s website’s layout, which included dated headers (perfect for dating my experience and studies), columns for gig location (great for indicating where such experiences took place) and columns for the number of people attending a gig (perfect for numbering the duration of each experience), was particularly amenable to bending it to my will, and developing an interactive C.V, created by taking the underlying HTML and CSS code behind the website, inserting my own information and tweaking the code, and hosting it at a domain entitled, http://Songki.co. I included links to my personal website and blog at http://Henryjam.es, my various other online presences and my Twitter profile.
In addition, I also decided to be a little cheeky in the tone of voice, again, to help garner attention. I wrote a little introductory paragraph outlining the type of people they need and why I’d be a good fit, I changed my profile picture to one where I ‘wore’ the Songkick logo on my t-shirt, upon which I had written ‘James Henry, Songkick employee of the month’, and where the website usually had a ‘We ♥ feedback’ button, I changed it to ‘I ♥ feedback’, which, when clicked on, opened an email ready to be sent to me, with the message subject, “We’d like to give you a job!”. I also inserted two different images alongside the main body of text from the usual images, hinting at my ideas for the company’s future further development, to spark interest. Finally, as I was speculatively applying, I fabricated a role that I could be hired for, which was that of ‘Innovation Executive’!
Once my interactive, C.V website was ready, I sent an introductory email, again, in a cheeky tone, to the founder and CEO. I didn’t have his email, so I guessed at the format, and got it right. He replied a week later, stating that the email definitely got their attention, and that they really liked what I had did. It also stated that there were unfortunately no available positions at that time, however, the operations director was CC’d in the reply, and given an instruction to keep me in mind for any future hires. I hadn’t expected an interview or job, as startups barely know what type of people they’ll need one month in advance, let alone in 6 months time, the length of time before I would be free to work. Nonetheless, I had set out with the intention of getting my name in front of the guys at Songkick, and making me stand out, so that at some point in the future, and closer to the time I would be available to work, I could reapply/get back in touch with them, and the whole process would be smoother, and I would have a better chance at getting an interview and potentially a job.
Based on the initial feedback from the CEO and further discussions we had, I can say I definitely achieved my goal. If it were not for the discovery of creativity marketing and what it meant to me, pushing the boundaries of the norm and questioning the obvious, I would have never thought to apply for a job in this manner, and I would not have been able to tell you this story.
If you too find yourself in a similar position, and wish to work at a company but can not see a job that suits your particular level of experience, I highly recommend taking such an approach. Besides, companies now hire often not on someone’s experience, but on a candidate’s potential for future performance and development. Apply a dash of creativity marketing, a drop of courage, and a hint of inspiration, blend it all together, and apply for that job! For any assistance in this process, I’d be glad to help you bounce some ideas around, and maybe push you towards that recipe for success!
Master in Marketing and Creativity, 2012 Promotion