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A screenshot from DearLisaRudgers.com

Tess Vigeland: Our little blue plastic friend is headed to Ann Arbor, Mich. and a social media whiz by name of Lindsay Blackwell. A few months ago she spotted a job opening at the University of Michigan, social media director. But instead of sending in her resume and cover letter, Blackwell designed a website called DearLisaRudgers.com. Who is Lisa Rudgers? The university VP who was doing the hiring.

Lindsay Blackwell: I bought the domain name on GoDaddy for $11, put together a video presentation on the homepage that would reach out to Lisa directly to let her know who I am and why I was a good fit for the job, and why I wanted the job so badly. I used my knowledge and my intuitions about social media to create a social media campaign around that domain. I did not directly contact her, I did not directly e-mail her the link. She heard about it through other people. So I had an interview watch in place. Eight hours after I've launched the site, as of now I've had over 30,000 unique visitors in 98 countries.

Vigeland: But there's a big "but" here.

Blackwell: There is a big but, yes. I did not get the job.

Vigeland: Right, right.

Blackwell: Which is the but.

Vigeland: However, you did get another job.

Blackwell: I did. Yes, this did bring a lot of attention to me, as a young talent in this field. So I got a number of offers for other jobs, including the one that I'm in now, at GenEx Digital Marketing in Ann Arbor.

Vigeland: And what do you think other people can take out of your story?

Blackwell: I think that my story is really proof that young people who are passionate about things that they care about and that they're talented in, they don't have to doubt themselves. Maybe they don't have the resume to boast salaried experience in a certain industry or a certain field. But if you position yourself as a leader in your industry, you'll start getting that positive attention and you'll get noticed and you'll get these kinds of opportunities.

Vigeland: Well Lindsay, I'm just so impressed with what you've done here. So we're going to give you a piggy and hopefully you can put a little bit of that salary in him and start saving.

Blackwell: I will. Thank you so much.

Vigeland: Well congratulations and enjoy the job!

Blackwell: Thanks I am. It doesn't even feel like work, so that's the best part.

Did I mention she's 22? The job went to someone with a decade more experience, but Blackwell says Lisa Rudgers was duly impressed. And now everyone knows who she is, too. By the way, Blackwell's story came to light through a blog post by a fellow named Eric Tung. Turns out he was also up for that job. Saw what she'd done and thought the world needed to hear about it.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

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