Elizabeth Nieves, a 26-year-old former account executive and digital producer, recently moved to Chicago and wanted to switch over to copywriting. But launching a career as an ad creative can be hard, and repeating herself over and over again during calls was getting exhausting. So she decided to create “HireEliBot,” a Facebook Messenger bot that essentially serves as her own personal advocate.
“I didn’t have previous copywriting experience or any contacts that could help me get my foot in the door, so I had to get innovative,” said Nieves. “I knew that if I came up with a great idea and executed it well, it would help me get noticed.”
To start a conversation, bot users press “Get Started,” and the bot welcomes recruiters with a picture of Nieves, asking whether they’d rather get to know her or hear a joke first. The bot’s various functions and buttons tell users anything that they might want to know about Nieves’ background and experience.
Press the “Get to know Eli” button, for example, and can swipe right, Tinder-style, to find out more about who she is, the school she went to and where she’s worked in the past. Users can also use the bot to take a peek at her portfolio, as well as contact her via email or phone. The bot will even offer to write her an email for you.
While she hasn’t landed a gig yet, Nieves said that creatives at agencies including Digitas have experimented with the bot and emailed her through it.
But Nieves said that she also wanted to create the bot to challenge the underrepresentation of women in technical professions like coding, but she didn’t want it to sound plain and dry. The bot took her a month to develop and test out.
“I didn’t want it to sound like a bot, but actually represent my personality,” she said. “If you can have fun with creativity, that’s when it stands out.”
Standing out in the advertising industry is not an easy feat, perhaps that’s why in recent years there has been a spike in the number of aspiring ad creatives who have resorted to wild gimmicks in order to get noticed. Last year, for instance, college grad Erik Sena created his own on-demand Snapchat geofilter targeting agencies in San Diego, to help him land an agency job.
While Nieves’ bot has a call-to-action, giving agencies a way to get in touch, she knows that she needs to do more to get noticed. So she’s also tweeting out links to it to the Chicago agencies she’s targeting, including Lapiz, Leo Burnett Chicago and DDB Chicago, among others.
“The ultimate goal is to land a copywriting job,” she said.