The “best job in the world” or the “island reef job” is a position being offered by Tourism Queensland. The successful applicant will be flown to Australia and given the use of a three-bedroom house on the Whitsunday Islands. Over the next six months you will maintain a blog, work with photos, video and audio to share the offerings of the Great Barrier Reef with the world. For your trouble you’ll take home AUD$150,000 — about US$96,000.
I think you can see why it’s being touted as the best job in the world.
Competition is tough though. As we publish this over 10,500 applications have been made by video upload to the official site. There’s still sixteen days to go before the cut-off date. In this podcast we speak to Nicole McNaughton, the PR manager for the project. She talks us through the position and we squeeze some advice for potential applicants out of her. To hear our interview with Nicole, click the play button above or download to iTunes for free.
Tips to help you get the best job in the world
Here are five tips we believe will help you in your application. As Nicole stresses in the interview, it’s essential you closely read the official site and consider everything there.
1. Establish presence as soon as possible.
If you haven’t already, get a Twitter account and get active. Get on Youtube and start making friends — you’ll need them when you launch your video. Start a website, throw some time or money at a design and start posting. This won’t help you get shortlisted, but could be critical during the interview phase.
2. Follow the instructions
Tourism Queensland are after creative people with charisma, but you need to follow the rules. Especially video length. If your video’s 61 seconds long, shave it to 59 seconds. With 10,500 applications and counting, we’d be discarding anything over time without looking at it.
They know you’d love to live on Great Barrier. Who wouldn’t want to get $150,000 with a three bedroom house in the Whitsundays?! You’ve only got 60 seconds so you need a strong script.
What should your script do?
4. Answer the questions
The application page asks you to do two things in your video:
- Tell them why you’re the best person for the job, and
- demonstrate your knowledge of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
If your video doesn’t answer those two questions, you’re wasting your time. And the time of the poor person who’s got to watch over ten thousand applications. Don’t make them (more) frustrated.
5. Catch their eye (and their heart)
You need to stand out from the crowd, shine through the dross. Will they turn off your video in the first ten seconds? That’s probably the difference between the first shortlist and the scrap-heap.
But catching people’s attention, doesn’t mean being a screaming idiot. This is a serious PR job–you need to be creative, endearing, and demonstrate how you can reach out and connect with people. Tourism Queensland is looking for someone who will connect with a world-wide audience and build a following around themselves: prove you can do it.
Hear from some applicants
During the podcast we speak to several applicants.
Khalil Bryan is originally from Barbados but is now living in New York. He tells us about the research he’s done into the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and how he’s looking forward to making amazing memories there.
Dawn Clare describes how several friends from around the world convinced her to apply for the position. It’s obvious she’s good at making international connections. She talks us through her typical day and life on an island.
Mike Walker (video) wants to take six months out of his university teaching schedule to experience life and work in Queensland. He tells us what he imagines a typical day might be like and outlines some of the activities he’d love to be doing.
Sheryl Kayne is a travel book writer, focussing on immersion travel. She believes being able to communicate the experiences one has is key to this position and shares the main points of her application with us.
We couldn’t get hold of Anny Chih on Skype, but we did manage to talk to her via email. When we spoke in late January she had already spent over 50 hours on her application. We think Anny has a very strong application with her tightly scripted video, focussed blog and growing Twitter following.
We want to wish our interviewees and you, our listeners, all the best with your application for the best job in the world. Good luck…and make sure you let us interview you when you’re all big and famous!
Photos of applicants supplied by themselves. “Best job” photos courtesy of Tourism Queensland.
Update Dec 2012 – Links to http://islandreefjob.com/ videos have been removed, as the site has been taken down.