Monday, January 10th, 2011

Ted Williams and the New Era of Job Search

The job offers are pouring in for Ted Williams, the homeless man whose YouTube video featuring his “golden voice” went viral last Monday. The video was recorded by an employee of The Columbus Dispatch who spotted Williams with his sign claiming he had the God-given gift of voice and was an ex-radio announcer.

According to a CNN article, some members of the radio community have expressed frustration because there are so many others in the industry who have been let go, despite their talent. The article goes on to say that if you look at a site such as Voice123.com you will find a warehouse of radio talent.

Enter the new era of job search. There’s a ton of talent on Voice123.com as well as the traditional job boards out there. And it’s overwhelming. No one has time to listen to hundreds of voice reels or read even more resumes. And often, no one even wants that many choices.

Ted Williams has offers pouring in because he had a unique story and yes, a unique voice. No one had to dig for him. He was plastered all over the Internet within 24 hours of the video release. He became a hot commodity and “the guy we’ve got to have” in seconds. Because he stood out and you would have to be living under a rock not to notice him.

I read blog comments every day from frustrated job seekers claiming they post for hundreds of positions and get no results. And act surprised. And keep doing what they have been doing for the past year because they think this is what they are supposed to be doing. ..that these are the rules of job search. But the only rule of job search is that there are no rules.

The CNN article ends with this thought. “Imagine you get that automated e-mail sent from an HR department after they closed your profile saying, “Thank you for your interest in job #0002792614, but we have filled the position. In fact, we actually hired a homeless guy who we saw on YouTube. Good luck in your job search!”

I think their sarcasm is misplaced. If job seekers continue to use the same useless, non-differentiating methods of job search, they will indeed be beat out by someone who sets themselves apart from the pack.

Certainly William’s story is unique and not everyone can expect to land their job via a YouTube video, but William’s story proves that people take notice when you have an interesting story to tell and everyone knows who you are. Get off the job boards. Create your own great story and then find the right people to get it in front of. Hint-they aren’t the same people who are posting jobs on line.