A local TV creative services director spent seven months looking for a job that needed his unique skill set. Mostly, he got impersonal rejection letters.
We’re downsizing. Your position’s been eliminated. We’re going to go in a different direction.
If you’re a local TV creative services and/or marketing director, this may sound familiar.
If it hasn’t happened to you, you’re either fortunate or you haven’t been around long enough.
Often, you don’t see it coming, and although most of the time it’s through no fault of your own, you’re out of a job.
Chris Hussey found himself in similar straights and spent seven months trying to find another job.
Hussey says when he came to his last position, he thought he was going to be there for a long while. “Sometimes the business has other ideas.” Hussey says his position was eliminated.
Hussey has 13 years’ experience as a creative services director for stations in Iowa and Alaska prior to being laid off from a station in Michigan.
Hussey wrote about his experiences trying to find another job and posted it to LinkedIn, where I saw it and reached out to him.
First, here’s the math. Hussey spent seven months searching, submitted his resume 284 times, which resulted in him getting a return of 30 calls/interviews.
“An engagement rate of about 10%,” he writes.
While being a local TV creative services director is a specialized job, to be successful you have to a generalist. A copywriter, producer, editor, a media buyer, a public relations and communications expert, to name a few. You do all the things that an ad agency does.
So you’d think that broad experience would have value, right?
Hussey says, yes, with that skill set, “at the very least I should get a look. Then to get rejected so many times was kind of bizarre.”
Hussey writes that his favorite rejection email arrived at 1:38 in the morning on Easter Sunday.
Most of the rejection letters he received were of the impersonal, form-letter variety that started off, “While your skill set is impressive, we’ve decided to proceed with candidates better suited to the position.”
Or, “Thank you for your interest. We’ve decided to move in a different direction.”
And then the end of hope, “The position has been filled. We encourage you….”
Occasionally, Hussey writes, he got a personalized rejection letter.
“I took the time to send a reply. It was never mean-spirited, but always very sincere and thanking them for taking the time to give that personal touch. I felt it was worthwhile to bring a little light into their day by being a gracious loser.”
Hussey says he cast a very wide net in his job search.
“Your ad agencies, your college and university public communications offices, government communications, companies with internal creative departments,” he says.
But of course, a good percentage of the jobs he applied for were at TV stations.
“Sticking in the business, that was definitely an option on the table, for sure.”
Ultimately, Hussey landed the position of creative services director for WLNS, Nexstar’s CBS affiliate in Lansing, Mich., about an hour’s distance from where he lives.
Hussey says he’s been mostly working remotely since he started at there.
“I can still get so much done,” Hussey says. “I can edit here on my home computer. It works out great.”
NOTE: Here Hussey’s original post from LinkedIn:
KCCI, Hearst’s CBS affiliate in Des Monies, Iowa is looking for a visionary video producer with a passion for marketing to be our next Commercial Producer. Des Moines is listed as the ninth best place to live according to U.S. News and World Report, which listed Des Moines as one of the top five most affordable and best cities to live in and Livability.com calls Des Moines a millennial hotspot. Click here for more specifics and how to apply.