It turns out Cloonan was pursuing one of the more difficult jobs in the advertising business — a fellowship with the giant media firm, WPP. Cloonan explained the challenge to Flanagan.
The fellowship is seen as something of a ‘golden ticket’ in the advertising industry, but over a thousand people apply for less than 10 places. I had a degree from Trinity but I was up against people with PhDs from Oxbridge and the Ivy League, so I had to get noticed
Cloonan knew sending a cover letter and resume like everyone else would get no where. What to do? Start a blog and start tweeting.
Months before the position opened up, Cloonan started his blog ‘Tall Irish Leprechan’ and created the “WP fellowship” Twitter account. Cloonan quickly became a critic of WPP by providing his own commentary on advertising campaigns run by WPP companies.
If nothing else, it got me noticed by the group. They may have thought I was crazy, but they knew who I was.
The result? As Flanagan reports, Cloonan now buys and sells TV shows for 13 countries as head of acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region for Group M, WPP’s media investments management arm.
Blogging and Tweeting is of course no guaranty that’ll you land the perfect job. You need to be smart, ambitious, and a bit of a maverick. A lot of pieces need to fall in place as well.
But all too many young people, including a lot of law grads, fall into the trap of sending out cover letters with a resume, hoping to get a good job. Sure, there’s the economy but with the ability to network and build a reputation online, the old way of getting a job is not going to cut it anymore.
Take a look at Cloonan’s story. Take a page from the playbook of young lawyers who got jobs in firms they wanted to work with through blogging and social media. It’s possible.