In 2009 Dan Conway graduated with a BA (Hons) Creative Advertising.
In June 2012 Dan was 27 years old and was made redundant the week before his second child was born. As the impact of the financial crisis was hitting the UK job market hard, Dan was not getting anywhere in the search for a job, despite handing out hundreds of CVs. He decided to do something to make himself stand out from the crowd, branding himself as ‘The Extreme Job Hunter’, and launching a viral media campaign, using only creative and sometimes crazy stunts. We’re happy to say, the campaign finally pulled off and Dan secured a job with an American firm, Vitamins Direct. We caught up with Dan to ask him what advice he has for students today.
Can you tell us a bit more about your experience of job hunting and how ‘The Extreme job hunter’ came about?
I experimented applying for a job using a radical and humorous cover letter. The company loved it and offered me an interview, but I didn’t get the job. At that point the idea began to ignite in my head about doing this on a bigger scale. Turning my hunt for a job into a viral media campaign that was entertaining, and which ultimately would showcase my skills and personality to potential employees. And so theextremejobhunter.com was born.
You have now secured a job with Vitamins Direct as Marketing Manager – was this as a result of a particular stunt?
It wasn't as a direct result of a stunt aimed at applying for their vacancy. However it was as a result of the whole extreme job hunter campaign. They came across my campaign virally through social media, checked out all my stunts and site, and realised I was perfect for a vacancy they currently had.
How important do you think using creative methods in approaching employers is, particularly if you are going for creative roles?
Essential. I wouldn't even bother applying for a creative role without having something relevantly creative to go a long with it. You won't stand out, and it's almost like saying to the employer, 'I'm creative but I’m not going to show you because I took no initiative.'
Can you tell us more about your new job? Is it the kind of job you were hoping for?
It is exactly the type of thing I was hoping for. Its fun being involved in the marketing of a company, helping make decisions and knowing your ideas are having a positive impact.
Do you have any other advice for students and recent graduates who are job hunting?
After paying all that money for a degree in a creative field, don't be stupid and apply for jobs in a boring traditional way. Get thinking creatively and use your relevant skills (that you've hopefully gained) to apply for a relevant job. You can listen to a short interview with Dan on BBC Radio 5 live here or visit his website here.