The scarcity of jobs puts pressure on today’s students and job seekers to stand out from the crowds. Those that can tap into their creativity and social media savviness, like Leah the Lego Intern, are finding path to success is much easier.
Leah the Lego Intern
A communications major at Northwestern University, 20 year old Leah was looking for an account management internship in an ad agency earlier this spring. In response to a request to ‘create a piece of persuasive advertising with you as the product,’ she created her Lego Intern Set. She used Lego’s Digital Designer tool to design a mini version of herself and gathered the necessary pieces. Then, she created two assembly kits, complete with Lego-esque packaging. Finally, she created an 11×17 inch poster highlighting her key skills – excitement, purpose, attention to detail and so on.
Impressed with her quick work, she shared photos of the kit and the poster on Reddit and the rest is history. Redditors liked her work and up-voted her to the top of the first page, from where prominent sites including Adweek, Mashable and HuffingtonPost featured her ‘LEGO resume.’
Connecting the “Dream Opportunity” and the “Dream Talent”
On her imgur gallery, Leah noted that she only made two sets of her Intern Kit to begin with, as “this is really only for agencies that are dream opportunities.”
In an interview with Mashable, she shared that:
“Looking for a job can be a bit frustrating at times. I’ve applied for dozens of jobs and had a handful of interviews… I know I’d be a great addition to any team, but I needed a better way to communicate that rather than just sending in a boring resume.”
Indeed, her creative approach helped her stand out from a pile of 1,000 applications for a summer internship at Energy BBDO.
Leah’s razor focus on her dream opportunities and the abundance of applications received by agencies leads to two larger implications for employers.
First, employers are entering “the war for (good) talents” and have to stand out themselves to attract top talent. As MSLGROUP’s Chief Strategy Officer Pascal Beucler shares in a blog post:
“While many of our managers keep asking “What will this candidate bring to us? Does it correspond to our recruitment criteria?”, Leah and her peers are asking “What will this company bring to me, in terms of listening attitude, fun, “intrapreneurship”, work-life balance, Citizenship commitment… and compensation” – but the latter doesn’t come first.”
Second, recruitment strategies need to evolve to keep up with today’s realities and potential employees. As Beucler notes:
“the Leahs of today won’t necessarily follow the path, send boring résumés or join “speed-dating” recruitment sessions, whether off- or online…They don’t look for opportunities, they are the one creating the opportunity.”