Creating Job Search Buzz

I recently met Katie Neal. She’s fresh out of college and eager about starting her career in advertising. Katie wanted to be different so instead of sending out the same boring cover letter and resume that the rest of her peers are sending, she came up with the idea of sending out a bag of coffee beans and a donut shaped card that read “Need more buzz in your beans? Katie Neal needs a place to put her coffee… and her buzz.” Also, instead of just sending those out to “hiring manager” or “HR director” she came up with a targeted list of agencies and people at those agencies who she thought might be good points of contact.

I think this is a cool idea, but I have no idea what other ad agency job seekers are up to.

Do you have any cool/interesting examples of how job seekers are getting their feet in the doors of their target companies?

Also, Katie is located in Austin and is still looking for a place to put her buzz to work….caffeine buzz that is. Check out her LinkedIn Profile.


  1. Katie- how about some love for the local coffee guys here in Austin? Little City or Jos would be a better choice than Starbucks.

  2. We were taught in advertising school to not be gimmicky when looking for a job. Give me a break – it’s advertising. Do you think all the other job seekers out there lack the creativity to come up with something like that?

  3. Amy-

    I don’t think that there aren’t creative job seekers out there, but please tell me if you have heard of any other peeps doing something like what Katie did. Times are changing and I’m guessing some ad schools are as far behind as many ad agencies. Job hunting is different then it used to be. Recruiters and HR folks get a ton more resumes, I assume, due to the ease at which the internet allows folks to submit them. I think it is ok to pull a stunt to get an agencies attention, but a spoof website mocking everything they stand for should not be part of the campaign. 🙂

  4. I have to agree with Myles. Starbucks? I actually think a clear plastic bag of non-branded beans or maybe even a non-branded paper-bag style coffee pouch..the kind you get when you buy bulk coffee..would have been cool…maybe you could have even written the note on the bag?

  5. Out of college I sent out DM letters with a packet of Folgers coffee (long before coffee shops were the rage). The premise was simple, “I’d like to give you a cup of coffee so you won’t have to get your own. I’ve got something important to say.”

    It was cheap. Mailed at the regular rate. And I only sent out ten packages before I got an interview and a job.

    Nice work. Be creative. Stand out. It’s not silly, it shows moxie and ability to think in new ways.

  6. Even if your going for a job on the business side I would highly recommend getting an AD at ur school to design your promo piece. Was nice she went the extra mile and will make her stand out. For everyone’s sake lets stay away from being punny tho’, buzz coffee..zzzzzz oh and lets add some !!!! ellipses and exclamation points thats sure to get the job done.
    Good thought, bad execution.

  7. While I was at GSD&M, we received a picture of a girl sitting on a BMW shortly after we were awarded the creative account. It was good for a laugh. Couldn't tell you if they hired her or not.

  8. We had a candidate send us a cake with her picture printed on the top. Yup, her picture printed (in fairly decent resolution) with lettering saying something to the effect of “hire me”.

    It basically ground the agency to a halt as we all wanted to see it. That said, I think she was wildly under qualified and I do not think she got an interview.

  9. yeah… i am in the process of applying for internships at ad agencies. i battled with the idea of sending an uncoventional resume/cover letter. but i was told to keep the creativity 2D – on paper.

    something like a coffee bag is hard to keep track of and its bulky. but i heard of ideas like sending a shoe with your resume on it with the idea of "now that I have my foot in the door, look at my resume." or i've also heard of people sending a cake or t shirt with their resume on it.

    ultimately, i feel like those 3D resumes are a little too desperate to get attention.

    what does someone who works at an ad agency think of applicants who send unconvential 3D applications?

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