What can Spotify’s job advert for Barack Obama teach job seekers?


Barack Obama is soon to be out of a job as President of the United States. What can other job seekers learn from his ambitions to join Spotify?

Music streaming service Spotify have seized the opportunity to offer the outgoing President Obama a job as “President of Playlists”, playing on a public joke shared by the president that he might be interested in joining the Swedish-based company after his presidency.

However, rather than offering him the job, Spotify very cleverly published a job advert for the position, although person specifications such as “must have at least eight years experience running a highly-regarded nation” and “a Nobel Peace Prize” narrows the field of candidates down to one person.

This is smart on Spotify’s behalf because it has generated a ton of attention and traffic to their website’s careers section, as well as associating their brand with the highly regarded outgoing president.

But what lessons could job seekers learn from Spotify’s bold job advert?

Tailor your application

Make your application as relevant as possible to the job advertised, paying close attention to the requirements. The employer will have dropped numerous clues as to the most important qualities for their ideal candidate (although probably not as heavy-handedly as Spotify did), so if you want an interview, make sure you highlight any relevant skills or experience in your cover letter and CV.

Look for transferable experience

If it’s a job you’ve not done before, link the specifications to your own experience. The Spotify ad features several duties which humorously mirror the responsibilities of the President of the United States, except pertaining to the creation of playlists (“Analyse data and performance of playlists in a clear and transparent manner using all available intelligence. Attend daily briefings.”). You might not have done the exact job before, but look out for duties and responsibilities within the job advert that you do have transferrable experience with.

If you want to work somewhere, make it known

Spotify’s job advert came about thanks to Mr Obama publicly joking that he wanted to work for them after his presidency. If you have a dream company you want to work for, but there isn’t an advertised role suitable for you, it could be worth making it known to the company that you’re interested in working for them. You could use connections, speak to their preferred recruitment suppliers or be direct about it, but the chances are that if they don’t have a place for you now, they might in the future. With proper positioning you could put yourself first on their list of people to call.

Want your next job to come to you? Upload your CV to the Millbank website today and we’ll be touch when the perfect match becomes available.

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