Unusual Job Search Tactics

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It seems like some people will do anything to land a job these days. Paul Nawrockiosh got a job by wearing a tote board on the streets of New York City, handing out résumés, Jamie Varon created a website called Twitter Should Hire Me to gain the attention of hiring managers at the popular microblogging site. Robin Stearns launched a site called Hire My Husband to help her spouse find employment. Alec Biednzycki created a music video called Hire Me for employers and uploaded it on You Tube. And Pasha Stocking landed a gig by advertising her availability on a Bridgeport, Conn., billboard along Interstate-95.

But do unusual job search tactics really work?

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, nearly one-quarter of hiring managers (22 percent) reported that they are seeing more job seekers try unusual tactics to capture their attention in 2010 compared to last year. Here's what they say worked.

  • Candidate brought in a DVD of his former boss giving him a recommendation.
  • Candidate applying for a casino table game position came into my office and started dealing on my desk while pretending to talk to players, which showed me her guest service skills.
  • Candidate sent in a letter that explained how to solve an issue our company was having with a certain type of technology.
  • Candidate who was a prospective teacher brought in a box of props to demonstrate her teaching style.
  • Candidate came prepared with unique business cards featuring our logo and a self-introduction brochure.
  • Candidate wrote a full business plan for one of our products with his resume submission.
  • Candidate created a full graphics portfolio on our brand.

The tactics mentioned in the CareerBuilder survey may be different, but they are not random. In each example, the job seeker created a strategy that proved a competency or solved an employer's problem. That is what makes each of them memorable and enticing to a hiring manager. Stunts, videos, websites, and paid advertising may get someone's attention the first time it is done, but these tactics will lose their sizzle quickly. But strategies that prove to an employer how you can do things smarter, faster, and more efficiently for their organization will always be in style.

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