Strange searches: The rise of unusual job hunting techniques
I was recently reading a blog post by Frank Kern entitled You: The Best Guru Ever. In the post I was reminded of the Hunter S. Thompson quote “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
I suddenly became inspired.
I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to say that the current economy is a bit weird (or stressful). In response to the weirdness, some job searching strategies have gotten even weirder. Traditional job search methods (submitting CVs, and networking) are clearly still landing people jobs. There’s more than enough anecdotal and statistical information to prove it. Regardless, the economic downturn, has forced some to take job searching to new heights, virtual heights included.
Have you seen the Google mapped resume? Ed Hamilton has posted his resume on Google maps providing a virtual geographic tour of his work history. Not only is his resume project fun to look at, it’s fun to read. His informal Google resume is friendly and inviting, a very different approach from the traditional formal format.
Creative job searching is all about getting noticed. I suppose all job searching is about getting noticed. But some of the new, weirder, and crazier (or perhaps they’re genesis) tactics are about REALLY getting noticed.
Do you remember the sandwich board men? Paul Nawrocki, and Joshua Peresky were in two very different industries, but both lost their jobs at the beginning of the recession. After not having much luck submitting resumes, they both designed sandwich boards marking their interest in finding work. They then headed out to public spaces to hand out resumes and collect leads. The very public displays of job searching brought much media attention, and their persistence eventually paid off.
The wackiest thing I’ve ever done is mistake a potential employer for a friend. I swear to this day that my enthusiastic phone greeting, and subsequent utter embarrassment is what got me the job.
The creative, wacky, innovative, and slightly amusing tactics (or in my case mishaps) reveal an eagerness, and playfulness that can be engaging and unique. They may put a smile on the face of a future employer, and cement your name or face in their memory. Exactly what you’re hoping to do, as long as your creative strategy impresses.
If considering an unusual approach, make sure you still demonstrate a level of professionalism. Think of something that will highlight your skills and what it is you offer the employer.
• If you’re a pastry chef, write a brief resume on a cookie (show off your style)
• If you’re an event planner, present your resume as gift (the details count)
• If you’re a screenwriter, write an impressive script as a cover letter (although you probably have an agent)
You get my point. When times are weird, you may decide it’s time to turn to your inner weirdo. Creating innovative job search tactics can be fun but make sure the tactic is still insightful and highlights the skills you offer a company.
Does anyone have any interesting, innovative, or just plain weird job search strategies?