Although the job market is improving, landing that dream job is still a challenge. While some stick to the traditional formula of filling out online applications and emailing resumes, others get a little more creative, finding innovative ways to get the attention of employers.
The trick to landing an interview is finding a way to stand out from the rest of the pack. While you can do that through your resume, its hard to make a lasting impression when most recruiters only spend six-seconds looking at it. Sometimes, you may have to take a different approach and here are three examples of people who have done creative things to find a job.
The "Jobless Paddy” Campaign
In response to Ireland's high unemployment rate and the possibility of having to relocate to another country to find work, unemployed Féilim Mac An Iomaire spent his last of his savings on a billboard advertisement.
The 26 year old Irish graduate posted an advertisement on a busy road in South Dublin with the tagline ‘Save me from emigration’ in an attempt to land a job. The billboard included a link to Féilim's gmail account and he quickly received a number of job interviews. Féilim then finally landed a job with Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker.
Our Thoughts: While we wouldn't encourage anyone to spend their life savings on a billboard, what we do like about Féilim’s approach was that he was willing to put himself out there. His goal was visibility in an area where his dream employer would see him. While this was a great and fortunately successful idea, there are other, more cost effective ways to create visibility. An alternative approach could be creating business cards and treating them like miniature billboards. While you are job hunting, pass them out at networking events or any other social gatherings. Let people know what you do and what you want. You never know who may see your “ad.”
The Interactive Video Resume
Graeme Anthony was a well-known professional in the Manchester Public Relations scene, but he was looking to make a move into a senior role. So what did he do? Graeme created and produced a YouTube curriculum vitae interactive video (C.V.I.V) in hopes of landing that new position. Graeme’s video was personal, informative, and complete with links to additional “About Me” and “Portfolio” sections.
The response from the video was overwhelming. From small start-up businesses to large companies, Graeme received a ton of requests from companies looking to interview him. To show how far video travels, even large multinational organizations requested that he come work abroad for them. After negotiating with a few companies, Graeme finally agreed to with for Manc Frank, a PR agency in the Manchester area.
Our Thoughts: Because of the advancements in modern technology, video interviewing is one of the latest trends in hiring so you can imagine video resumes are growing in popularity as well. When done correctly, a video resume can put you above other applicants. It is a creative way for job seekers to showcase their abilities beyond the traditional paper resume. A video resume will allow prospective employers to see and hear the applicant's capabilities and how he or she presents himself or herself.
The Google Job Experience
Google AdWords is an online advertising tool that can help companies reach customers who are searching for their products or services. For instance, if you Google “sneakers,” you may see ads pop-up from sneaker companies like Nike or Reebok. So what does this have to do with finding a job? The answer is Alec Brownstein.
Alec was a copywriter who wanted to work for a creative advertising agency. Rather than emailing his resume or filling out online job applications, Alec decided to use a bit of strategy and do an experiment using Google Adwords.
Understanding that many high profile people often Google themselves, Alec purchased AdWords on Google for the names of the top five creative directors from the agencies he wanted to work for in New York City. So now whenever the creative directors Googled themselves, Alec’s messages asking them to hire him would show up in their search results. Out of the five creative directors on Alec's list, he had interviews with four of them. Ultimately, Alec finally landed a job with Y&R New York and because there was virtually zero competition for serving ads on these people’s names, he only spent $6 on the ads.
Our thoughts: Alec’s approach was perfect because he knew whom he wanted to target and found a creative way to reach them individually, in a way that they wouldn’t expect. Using Google AdWords may not work for everyone but there are other ways to be strategic and get in front of key decision makers. If you know who runs the department you want to work in or the name of a hiring manager, instead of emailing your resume, try something new like mailing a hardcopy version of your resume to that person directly. Very few candidates mail their resumes anymore so use that to get in front of the right, targeted person instead of having your resume get lost in the person’s inbox.
The job market is tough, so professionals need to apply a little creativity to their job search. All the people mentioned in this article realized traditional methods of finding a job could only take them so far and decided to try something new to get the attention of employers.
It’s still important to continue with the traditional methods like filling out applications, networking, and posting emailing your resume to job boards or recruiters, but it’s also important find other unique ways to get yourself noticed by employers.