Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Prospective job hunters and entrepreneurial multi skillers use websites

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Alice Lee has achieved that elusive of Warholism, even if she has yet to hear back from Instagram about that job.

A couple of weeks ago, this enterprising student set bloggers et al talking with a website: dear instagram aimed at Instagram prospecting for a job. Instagram is a photo sharing site/app with an assortment of filters to transform your pictures.

With swirling typefaces and a GSOH, bordering at times on youth exuberance; she says she skipped classes to create the site, Lee pitched her tent site.

Clever? That's the debate amongst interested parties and educationists, as the question gets asked, will this be the way we apply for jobs in the future? Is the CV dead?

Lee, if anything showed some enterprising spirit and previous jobs at Foursquare demonstrate her tenacity.  Then there's  Neta Marshall who also wants to work at Instagram, but by comparative analysis has set herself a tall order with lee

Finding that job
As part of our Masters Online module, we press are journalists-to-be to use cognitive and semiotic skills to appeal to potential employers, not through bespoke sites, but tailored to their overall strengths and what their choice employer would be looking for.

Take a look for yourself at the about us pages of

which links to individual sites and play juror, before we assess their work in the coming week or so.
Some of the characteristics you might consider are cleanness of the site, its simplicity, weight and zen quality. That is when you cohere all the qualities you get the whole. Consider the parameters below:

  • Aesthetics and style
  • Clear communication of design
  • Content, its quality and layout
  • Navigation
  • Miscellaneous innovations

It stands to reason, if you are wanting to work for an online site, it's appropriate you demonstrate this within your limited window off opportunity. And there's experiential evidence that shows this works, at least my end.

Entrepreneurial skills
Stuart Cosgrove, a well known figure in the UK's television industry - a senior executive at Channel 4- once said CVs were difficult to believe because a candidate's history could not be verified.

It gave me an idea, in 1997 looking for my next job, I devised what I called a Visual CV. Whilst working in South Africa, I had interviewed Nelson Mandela at a press conferences, but who would believe me, so the CV contained a column with icons illustrating just that.

It worked, as I would later get a call from the then deputy editor of Channel 4 News Peter Barron, now a senior google exec, to come and see him. I would become a regular freelance at Channel 4 News for about four years.

This shot of me much interviewing the former head of the CIA James Woolsey illustrated, without hearing the interview, that I had an interest in international affairs and I could interview leading news people.

Now as the next generation job-hunt, the market perceptively looks more difficult. Employers have become more discerning and their job at picking a candidate as a BBC editor told me, more difficult.

For every job, they'll be a hundred applicants and out of them at least five could do the job admirably; I call it the 5 percent rule.

So anything you can do to demonstrate key skills is paramount. And in the expression of wanting that job, it's not enough to say you're multi-skilled as mostly everyone is, the key is whether you understand the medium and the production and affective state of content.

You've got a limited amount of time to strike. What are you going to do. The next step is yours?

David Dunkley Gyimah is a senior lecturer and Phd researcher in online site building using css, flash, etc, combining cognitivism and semiotics, with videojournalism and docs at