Why ‘Old School’ is ‘New School’ when it comes to marketing yourself and applying for jobs

20 May Why ‘Old School’ is ‘New School’ when it comes to marketing yourself and applying for jobs

Its a digital, complex, fast world we now live in. Information is at our fingertips, algorithm’s run everything and screens are in our face constantly. There’s a whole lot of “E” (e-commerce, e-marketing, e-mails…) and the trade off has been less of YOU.


I have previously written about the digital recruitment world we now live in. The low down is…. “robots” are replacing the humans in determining whether your resume / online application is short listed for positions based on key word searches and a whole lot of technical ‘streamlining’ of recruitment processes. (Such as the ATS – Applicant Tracker Systems, which are just sucking the life out of the business of personal branding, ‘humanness’ and recruitment)


I like to challenge the rules, do things differently and think outside the box….I don’t like boxes. They aren’t human shaped.


So here’s a thought……

You want to stand out right? You want to be noticed? I mean, that’s kind of the whole point of marketing yourself and applying for a job (whether it is advertised or not)….so how do you do things differently it in a professional way?



I think its time to start kicking it ‘old school’ a little….Remember the ‘good ol’ days?…Snail mail instead of e-mail? Conversation instead of sms?….humans instead of machines…personal connections, rather than social media connections…..


So… Try this….


Next time you apply for a job…sure, do the whole “e” thing and apply online and tick that box….but then…get crazy and…. PRINT your resume in colour (and if it doesn’t have colour, wake up, slap yourself, then add some colour and make it look like a modern, fresh and innovative marketing document). Then HAND WRITE (yes, freaky I know, but its like riding a bike…it will come back to you…) a little ‘post it’ note or “with compliments” slip (remember those) and personalise it….”Hi NAME, I have applied for the position of “x” online, on (date). I wanted to ensure you landed your eyes on all I have to offer (without a chance of slipping through technology’s cracks), as I believe my brand is a perfect match with yours. Speak to you soon, YOUR NAME..”


Write, create, whatever you want….but add some personality and be yourself.


If it was me, I would probably print the job ad out, write my name all over it…and attach my resume and my hand written note, which said “Hi (persons name), This job has my name all over it! 🙂 I like to do things differently….. and I didn’t want to chance it with technology alone, so I handed this to a snail with strict instructions to deliver it to you personally. 🙂 Chat soon….Seona Craig” or something like that. But it has to be and sound like YOU, not me.

So be yourself.


You will need to do some research to find out who to address the resume and cover letter to. Look on LinkedIn…and see if you can find the person the role would be reporting to. Or pick up the phone, CALL HR and ask for the persons name looking after the recruitment of the role. While you’re there ask if you can speak to them too…..that’s gold right there. Your already miles ahead of other applicants….if you get them on the phone – keep it brief, introduce yourself…deliver your BRIEF “elevator pitch”….(what you do/have done, why you’re good at it, what results you have had…and why you want to work for THEM). Keep on point. You can also ask what they are looking for in a candidate…and target your application better after your conversation. Tell them your name at the start and end of your conversation, thank them for their time and use manners and personality.


Then, when your application lands in front of them (especially that one on PAPER!)….it will resonate on a deeper more HUMAN level.


So many people do not pick up the phone to apply for a job any more. I advise all my clients to call up and confirm that their application went through (say, “I am just calling to confirm that you received my application, as I was having some internet troubles” or something….They then, log on to the ‘robot’, type in your name, open your resume and…..now you have their attention and you can start a conversation.


You would be surprised how much of a difference this makes! So many of my clients have done this, and reported back that the recruiter had not received their application, or looked at it due to a huge amount of applications….so this is one of the smartest moves you can make.


Beat the robot recruiters! I am on a mission to eradicate these pesky beasts from their over inflated pedestal. I want to bring the HUMAN back to HR.


A hard copy version of your resume is much harder to delete than an email…..and a lot harder to ignore and harder to forget. They will probably sit there stunned at your brilliance….shocked at the new school / old school approach for a while….. and it will be a novelty to hold an application in their hands.


Follow up again a day or two after you estimate the ‘snail’ arrived. Of course they remember you!


The labour market is competitive. The best self marketers win. Its about balance. Its about being a box breaker. The online marketing and applications should still be a major part of your career strategy, but the old school stuff will work to complement it….and take it to a whole new level.


I believe that career management should be viewed like small business management.  A savvy business uses both digital and traditional strategies to market themselves….and so should you.


There are no rules when it comes to marketing your personal brand.


Break those boxes, challenge expectations…and embrace some of the old school ways to stand out.


Remember – Technology can never fully replace the power of YOU!


Contact me to develop a creative resYOUme (and powerful personal brand) which will look fabulous printed or on screen.


To your UNLIMITED success,

Seona Craig

CEO / Founder – YOU Unlimited

Leader of the CareerPreneur Revolution


0423 171 234