Rosemount resident put his resume out there, billboard styleRosemount grad hopes billboard will lead to job offers
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
When you’re looking for work in a tough economy it can be difficult to make an impression. But Bennett Olson thinks he has a way. The 2008 Rosemount High School graduate put his name, face and website in front of thousands of people Wednesday, eight seconds at a time.
Rather than rely on resumes and cover letters, Olson bought space on an electronic billboard. For $300, he got 24 hours in rotation with a handful of other ads in front of drivers headed into downtown Minneapolis on Interstate 35W.
For Olson, the move was all about getting noticed.
“I was just kind of thinking of an idea of, how can I grab businesspeople’s attention,” Olson said. “I’m kind of an idea person, and taking a different approach to things. Sometimes that’s just the way you have to do it in business.”
He considered options like online advertising, but the billboard seemed like the most cost-effective way to get his name out. The billboard features Olson’s face on the left with a big message, “HIRE ME!” and the address of Olson’s website. It also features icons for Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, in case potential employers want to track him down there.
Olson, who was involved in marching band and worked behind the scenes for theater productions at RHS, has a history of doing things differently. He bought a townhome in Rosemount less than a year after he graduated from high school. He spent much of the past four years working in the bowling alley at Treasure Island. He’s only been unemployed for about two weeks, but it’s not in his nature to sit around and wait for something to happen.
Olson earned an associate’s degree in business from the University of Phoenix. He expects to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration next year. He’s not sure exactly what kind of job he’s looking for. He likes the idea of using social media and other technology to help businesses, whether that’s in administration or marketing or some other area. That’s another reason he is using the billboard. He wants to put himself out there and see if he hears from anyone looking for his particular skills.
Working at Treasure Island, he had a role in promoting the business through Facebook and other channels.
“I love where the technology is going,” he said. “I want to get a job in using technology for your business.”
Olson hasn’t abandoned more traditional job-search methods. He applied for 10 jobs last week. But he’s excited about his billboard.
“I’m just looking to see what opportunities can come my way and search through those to get my business career started in a good direction,” he said. “I kind of want to fast track it. I don’t want to be unemployed for six months.”