By Sean Weinberg
The job market is down and now is the time to get creative. Or as I see it, be willing to do ridiculous things that just perhaps may get rewarded.
More people than ever are competing for the same job that you want and they may be more qualified or simply cheaper to employ so you really need to make yourself stand out.
Here are five stories of people who did just that and it paid off big time.
Every story had me thinking two things: I can’t believe this worked! And darnit, why didn’t I think of this?
- A lot of people write blogs about the things they love and don’t get anything for it but the satisfaction of spending time writing about their passion. Several years ago, the payoff was bigger. The Museum of Modern Art PR person told my college professor that MoMA hired a man who had been blogging about MoMA to be their social media manager. He obviously already had the interest and capability in the job and he was able to catch their eye, so why not the masses?
- Social media tactics aren’t limited to blogs, there’s also Twitter. A woman was following Hugh Heffner on Twitter (as women tend to do?) and began responding to "his" tweets on a regular basis. Playboy contacted her and hired her to be their "twitter person."
- Acting like the organization you are trying to get into is always a good idea. Someone looking for a marketing job got hired by an ad agency for sending a shoe with his resume and a note that read "trying to get a foot in the door."
- Penn student Alice Lee put together a website to get the attention of Instagram, a company for whom she wanted to work. It was targeted, let the company know she wanted to be a part of it, and made it easy to find her relevant work. As far as I know, Lee and Instagram have spoken but she does not work for them, at least not right now. What I do know is that her stunt garnered a lot of attention and showed what she can do.
- This one is my personal favorite: like a lot of people Alec Brownstein needed a job, so he took matters into his own hands. He created a Google Adwords campaign for New York City’s top creative directors. When they did a Google search for themselves, the top result was this message, “Hey, [insert name of top creative director], Gooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.” It included a link to his website to give the targets an easy way to learn about and contact him.
The lesson here is that now is the time to go big, go weird, and take a risk. Start with the traditional preparation: make sure you have an effective resume (using a tool like RezScore), do your homework and research the company you want to be a part of and what they are looking for, and then... go for it.
If you are creative with what you are good at and can find a way to use it to make a statement, you just might have a chance.
Sean Weinberg is the COO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Also the founder of Freedom Resumes, Sean has dedicated his career to helping job seekers write the best possible resumes.