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Meet Jeremy Redleaf, Creator of Resume Shirts and Odd Job Nation

August 12, 2014

Ever visited Odd Job Nation, seen the offbeat Odd Jobs web series or worn your resume on a t-shirt?

Well today we’re talking to the creative man behind all three: Jeremy Redleaf – an actor, writer, director, producer, entrepreneur and public speaker. Jeremy’s Odd Jobs series has won: a Streamy Award for “Best New Web Series”; the 2010 Independent Television Festival for “Best Writing”; and the “15 Gigs of Fame” Jury Prize from the NY Television Festival.

As a performer, Jeremy has appeared in numerous films, series and animated projects and recently joined the cast of Sesame Street, creating the role of Gonnigan. Here is Jeremy’s inspiring story…

Story Resumes: Jeremy, welcome! Let’s start back in 2009. How and why did you create Resume Shirts?

Jeremy: First came Odd Job Nation, a job site/underemployment portal that I founded earlier that year. Resume Shirts sprung out of thinking about the needs of our users… you know, “What kinds of products would be helpful if you were searching for a job?” I’ve always felt that in order to start something or find a new opportunity, the first step is to start talking about it everywhere you go. Resume shirts was our tongue-in-cheek solution for sparking conversations about employment. After all, you never know who’s behind you at the grocery store!

Story Resumes: How did your Resume Shirts score features on CNN, Newsweek, Associated Press and Time Out NY?

Jeremy: It was one of those products where the press found the story virally. We couldn’t have gotten there if we tried! Some of our Odd Job Nation press mentioned the product and we also advertised it on our original web series.

Story Resumes: Can you share any good news stories from job seekers who have worn your t-shirts?

Jeremy: We had several people land jobs off their shirts! That’s been the most rewarding part of this. A woman named Brittany even wore hers in the NYC Marathon.

Story Resumes: So how did you become known as “The Titan of Odd Jobbery”?

Jeremy: It’s all very accidental! I’m a filmmaker and started with the web series… built Odd Job Nation around the show… and then kept going! At some point, I realized that I sort of *am* the king of odd jobs and started to fully lean into it. To me, odd jobs are a fun way to see the world, meet people and finance the pursuit of your passion. Taking a desk job to pay the bills will slowly kill your soul.

Story Resumes: What about your videos do you think resonated with the judges of the Streamy Awards, NY Television Festival and the Independent Television Festival?

Jeremy: “Odd Jobs” was an incredibly special project… we caught lightning in a bottle… but I guess we  found a relatable, timely story with good dramatic stakes and a balanced mixture of humor and heart. That, and Devin Ratray (Nebraska) and Alexandra Daddario (True Detective) are magical together.

Story Resumes: What would be your most memorable Odd Jobs video and why?

Jeremy: Episode 3, “The Chump” is my favorite. (We get hired to be extras in a rap video and it goes horribly wrong.)  How many people can say they’ve been stopped on the street and asked to do their signature terrible dance? Just me and Elaine from Seinfeld.

Story Resumes: What would be your advice to jobseekers who are frustrated with being unemployed or underemployed?

Jeremy: First of all, breathe! Everything is cyclical. Beyond that, participate as a member of a community. Help out other people whenever possible and don’t expect anything in return. Your network of relationships is so much more powerful than your resume ever will be.

Story Resumes: Sensational advice. Thanks so much for your contribution Jeremy and we look forward to seeing all of your future Odd Jobbery creations!

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