Calif. Mom Linda Smith Offers $500 To Get Her Daughter A Job

Linda Smith offers $500 to someone hiring her daughter The recession has forced many job seekers to go to extremes. There was the husband who paid for a billboard reading "Please Hire My Wife," and the British guy who paid for a billboard reading "I spent my last £500 on this billboard, please give me a job." Now a woman from Menifee, Calif. is offering cold, hard cash to anyone who hires her daughter.

Linda Smith's daughter has been looking without success since June, so Smith, 61, decided to pitch in: She created a hand-held sign offering $500 cash for a job, grabbed a pile of her daughter's resumes, and stood on the side of the road handing them out, reports The Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside. "I'm offering $500 cash the minute she gets hired for $15 an hour or more as an executive assistant, or an office job," she said.

Lots of people are struggling to find full-time work in California, a state with a 9.8 percent unemployment rate -- one of the worst in the nation. But Smith's daughter, Lisa, has another hurdle: She's been out of the job market for the best part of two decades. In 1996, Linda Smith was struck by a drunk driver, which left her with mild dementia. She couldn't remember dates or how to get to places. Her mind was too foggy for her to work.

So her daughter Lisa, 36,quit her job as a full-time commercial model to care for her mother. The two of them lived off of Lisa's part-time jobs, a government caregiver stipend, and her mother's disability money. But as the newspaper reports, in June a doctor gave them the wonderful news that Linda was well enough to live alone. On the flip-side, that meant no more caregiver funds.

More:Creative Ways To Land The Interview

As Lisa's applications for full-time work went unanswered, her mother wanted to help. But she was worried that if she made calls to potential employers she would say something wrong. So last week, she had the idea of standing on the side of the road, with a sign, offering cash to hire her daughter at at least $15 an hour.

It's a bargain rate. According to, the average salary for an executive assistant in the area is $54,000, or $26 an hour.

There has been encouraging response, reports the Press-Enterprise, but some motorists have declined the resume, saying they're looking for a job themselves.

If you're looking for a creative way to grab the attention of an employer, but don't particularly want to part ways with $500 or blow you face up on a billboard, job search expert Miriam Salpeter has some suggestions. Go to association and committee meetings where you can impress the people you want to impress, she suggests. In some cases, it can also be a winning strategy to write about the company (kindly) on the internet. Apple Inc., for one, has been known to recruit employees from forums on its products.

And if all else fails, you can always wrap your resume around a chocolate bar.

To find out how to master the most excruciating interview questions, tune in here to our "Lunchtime Live" video hang out, this Friday 12.30 p.m. EST.

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