Video, Vine, Social Campaigning: One Grad’s Quest to Land a Job

A Job Seeker's Creative Approach to Finding Employment in Digital Marketing

Billboards. Sandwich boards. Ebay. Amazon. Once in a while, a job seeker does something so wildly different that it draws much attention to him- or herself. Then amidst the media attention, some of these non-traditional tactics end up working. But, why do some people go to such extremes to be seen in the first place?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 284,000 American college graduates worked for minimum wage in 2012 – that’s double the number in 2007 and up 70% from 2002! Jannic Nielssen graduated in December 2012 from Millikin University with a degree in Communications and an emphasis in Public Relations. He is still among the sea of grads looking for a job.


On April 8, Nielssen launched KICKJANNIC, a social campaign to stand out and (hopefully) land a job in digital marketing.  In a recent conversation, he told me that through the KICKJANNIC project, “I’m crowd-sourcing to find a job and looking for people to pledge to share my information. I’m hoping that through these social media pledges, I’ll land a great job.”

On his website, he writes, “I chose to create an out-of -the-box CV because these days, if one doesn’t stand out, he isn’t seen. What better way to showcase my love for social media than to incorporate it in my attempts to KICK my career into gear.” You can also find his resume, portfolio, a link to the KICKJANNIC campaign and three endorsements on his site.


Here’s one thing I’ve learned about this recent graduate: He’s very in tune with social media. On March 29, Jannic tweeted his Vine resume to me in response to my recap on the #SMW140Resume event. Yep! He got my attention. He’s also promoting his campaign using #KICKJANNIC on Twitter.


When I initially spoke to Jannic, he was dashing off to shoot a video for his KICKJANNIC project. Why this sense of urgency? As an international student, he received confirmation of his optional practical training authorization on February 1. According to Jannic, he now has “until May to secure employment in the U.S. or I will have to return home.”


As someone who’s been in recruiting for many years, I intrinsically enjoy helping people find jobs, whether it’s with my own company or through referrals. While this post is for informational purposes and does not serve as a reference or endorsement, I do hope that Jannic finds an employer that can put his creativity to work.

Are you looking for someone to join your digital marketing or social media team? Do you know someone who knows someone? As recruiters, we have an opportunity to help others and make a difference in their lives. Our business relies on referrals … let’s reciprocate and pay it forward, too.


Have you seen other job seekers using social media best practices to connect with employers? What strategies do you think are most effective? Is there such a thing as “too much” when it comes to standing out during the job search?

Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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