Capitalizing on Creativity to Stand Out: Miles Shattuck’s Job Search Story

Miles Shattuck spent six months searching for a job in his desired field of marketing & communications. When it came to standing out from the crowd, Miles developed a creative plan. He combined traditional job search tactics like volunteering and networking with innovative methods such as creating a video marketing campaign to spread awareness about his job search. Read on to see how Miles’s creativity helped him land his dream marketing job after a career in banking.

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I help entrepreneurs in Oregon and SW Washington access professional education, training, and resources so they can start and grow their businesses. I’m the Marketing & Communications Manager for Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN).

How long did it take you to find this job?

About six months.

I applied for a handful of jobs in the fall of 2017 while I finished up my last few classes at Portland State, but I didn’t hit it hard until January; I started at OEN on May 15, 2018.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

This was my plan. First, launch a video marketing campaign on social media. This video would announce the job search to my entire network all at once and in a creative way. Then, follow that up with targeted networking meetings like coffees, phone calls, meet ups, and conferences. Finally, build my experience along the way through certifications, volunteerism, and internships.

Resources included a variety of digital tools and job boards, project management techniques, and lots of networking. I created a ‘job search project plan’ where I listed key details about all the jobs I applied for, companies I wanted to work for, people I wanted to speak with, and more.

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One important tactic I used was to really work the filters in LinkedIn. I would search my network by industry, then cross reference friends and colleagues to see if we had mutual connections at one of the companies I identified earlier. I also filtered by skill set, ‘digital marketing’ for example, and sent invitations for informational coffee dates.

By far, the most helpful tactic for me was using a video marketing campaign to kick-off my search. As a lifelong musician, I wanted to use my talents and abilities to access the ‘hidden job market’ and find the right job for me. So, using Final Cut Pro X, Ableton Live 9, a Canon t3i, and a green screen, I produced an original ‘music video resumé’ called I Got Skills. Released on January 3, 2018, it’s been viewed over 10,000 times and shared over 80 times across social media. The video was seen by a board member at OEN who not only shared it with their network, but also sent it to the Executive Director.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

Transitioning careers posed some unique challenges. The most difficult part was overcoming my lack of professional marketing experience. With all of my work experience coming from banking operations, I knew I wasn’t going to get a job based on my vast marketing experience. To overcome this, I focused on building my resumé with marketing experience. I launched a video marketing campaign, which showcased my content marketing skills. I applied for marketing internships, studied and completed free certifications relevant to digital marketing, like the Google Analytics Certification, and attended marketing conferences.

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Pro tip: list relevant conferences and workshops you’ve attended on your resumé.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Break glass. It’s hard to stand out in today’s job market. Look for ways to bring in bits of innovation and creativity to your job search. Maybe you start a website and showcase your work; publish a white paper; volunteer to manage a project for a nonprofit; or produce a video resumé. In a stack of black and white, even a colorful resume can give you an edge.

Why do you love your job?

The Mission. As a native Oregonian, the opportunity to help local entrepreneurs survive and thrive is really appealing to me. My grandmother was an entrepreneur in the ‘80s and watching her pursue her goals was inspiring. An organization like OEN would have been really helpful for her back then.

The Job Fit. I get to leverage my full range of skills and experience for an organization doing good things for people.  

The Creative Environment. Not only am I surrounded by creative professionals and driven entrepreneurs, I’m working with a fun and focused team to produce engaging content and develop creative marketing and communications strategies.