By Adrienne Erin
Online Career Tips, Contributor
You’ve updated your resume, crafted a mind-blowing cover letter, and flaunted your experience on Facebook. And yet you still haven’t landed a job in your dream career. Is there something more you could be doing? Some job-seekers have taken job hunting to extreme measures, doing everything from renting billboards to using Christmas lights to spell out their resume. While over-the-top stunts may not get you hired, these unusual ideas may inspire you to take action and separate yourself from the crowd.
1. Catch Them Googling Themselves
Alec Brownstein, while searching for a job as an advertising director, bought six ads on Google featuring the names of well-known creative directors. When the directors searched their own names, they came across Brownstein’s ad, which included a pitch for a job and a link to his website. According to AdAge, Brownstein landed four interviews and scored two job offers.
Try This at Home: Take advantage of technology by participating in online networking groups. Don’t just set up a LinkedIn account; join and participate in relevant LinkedIn groups.
2. “Go Big” With a Billboard
British job seeker Adam Pacitti grew frustrated using traditional methods to look for a job in media. So he purchased a billboard in London declaring that he had just spent his last £500 on the billboard, and imploring someone to give him a job. At the bottom he included a link to his website, playfully called EmployAdam.com. He received sixty job offers before accepting a position in his field.
Try This at Home: Such a highly visible stunt may not work if you’re looking for a more conservative position, such as a lawyer or an accountant. But no matter what field you work in, it’s worth emulating Pacitti’s preparation. He spent months developing the campaign, creating the website, and putting together resources for journalists who wanted to run a story. Consider crafting your own story in a way that’s easy to share. For example, create an online gallery of websites you’ve designed or post videos of lectures you’ve given. With all the tools available today, you don’t need to restrict yourself to a piece of paper.
3. Set a Target
Marian Schembari coveted a job in book publishing, so she purchased Facebook ads targeting employees at the exact houses where she wanted to work. Her $100 investment resulted in establishing desirable contacts at each company and acquiring paid freelance work.
Try This at Home: Directly e-mail decision makers at companies where you want to work, even if they are not advertising a position, advises Fast Company. Consider interning or volunteering for a cause related to your career, where people in your field gather to do good. Not only will you make a difference in the world, but you’ll make valuable contacts as well.
4. Bribe ’Em
Jon Kolbe, Boca Raton father of two, grew so desperate after seven months of job-hunting that he offered a free HD video camera on Twitter to anyone who could help him find a job. He scored his first interview in months, thanks to a stranger who offered him a lead.
Try This at Home: You don’t need to give away electronics to score a job. Instead, offer employers the benefit of your expertise. Identify a potential employer’s biggest challenge, and address it in your cover letter, proving you’d be a valuable hire. Or, show off your proficiency in various languages by asking hiring managers to conduct interviews in another language.
5. Go Extreme
There’s little that Dan Conway, self-dubbed “the Extreme Job Hunter,” hasn’t tried in his attempt to find employment – from serenading the head of BBC on YouTube to entering the World Gravy Wrestling Championships. His craziest stunt was attempting to auction himself off to potential employers on eBay. Unfortunately, eBay shut down the auction before Conway could receive an offer.
Try This At Home: Practice persistence. While you don’t have to engage in a succession of crazy stunts to land a job, you may have to endure rejection and frustration. Ultimately, persistence pays off – after all, you only need one offer, provided it’s the right one!
In the end, how adventurous you choose to be in your job search will depend largely on the career you’ve chosen. It’s not a coincidence that so many of these in-your-face applicants work in advertising and media. But no matter what type of job you’re seeking, the right preparation and a little creativity can help you to make an impression that ultimately lands you the job of your dreams.
Ready When You Are
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