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article imageGuerrilla Job Search Techniques - Do They Work?

By Joan Firstenberg     Jan 15, 2009 in Business
Renting a billboard, handing out flyers or printing your contact info on T-shirts seemed like extreme methods to get a new job in the past few years. But unemployed workers are now using such techniques and more to attract attention. Does it do the job?
It used to be that if you sent out over 100 resumes, and talked with everyone you knew, you could get yourself a new job in a matter of months. But now, with more than three job seekers for every opening, it takes more than those techniques to get noticed. Unemployment in the U.S. now stands at 7.2-percent. That's a 16 year high. And there were more jobs lost in 2008 than in any year since 1945.
Eric Winegardener, a vice president at Monster Worldwide, says,
"In today's marketplace it is critical that you stand out in a crowd."
But when the crowd consists of 11 million people, it takes a really special effort.
Most experts see networking as the best way to find a job, and job searchers these days can easily network through the many Web sites that are currently available, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But the problem is that everyone now knows about these sites, making them less effective than when they first appeared.
With networking in mind, 33-year old Jacob Share began an email chain by sending his resume and job search objectives to his family and friends. In it, he requested that they send it on to people they knew, and he offered prize money of $150 to the person who could lead him first to a job as a Web Development manager. He says what happened was amazing.
"The process went quickly after I sent my initial mailing to almost everyone I knew. It only took one friend's forward beyond that initial mailing to get a referral that lead to the ultimate job offer."
In Hope Sound, Florida 53-year old Peggy Greco, a private duty registered nurse, printed a T-shirt with her Web site and contact information on it, and she wears it while riding her bike around her neighborhood. She hasn't gotten a job yet, but Greco says she has gotten a few calls, and lost a couple of pounds, to boot.
T-shirts aren't the only place where you can print your career information. Other job seekers have used sandwich boards, posted on billboards and even printed it on cocktail napkins to get noticed.
Tony Beshara, the author of "Acing the Interview" and "The Job Search Solution", suggests that "face time" is the most important strategy to aim for.
"Wait in the lobby of the building where you want to work and ride the elevator with the manager, Try to bypass HR if you can."
But some experts warn that if you get too unconventional, your odds may diminish and make you look bad.
Monster's Weinegardener says,
"I think your odds are far better by standing out through the traditional means."
Winegardener suggests that job seekers stick with doing extensive research about the companies they want to work for, get informed about who is hiring, and where the demand is for their skills, and tailoring their message to each employer. He recommends that you have a perfectly accurate resume, and follow up every interview with a handwritten "thank you" note.
As for how employers view unusual job-hunting tactics, a survey by The Creative Group, a staffing firm, of marketing and advertising executives found that the majority said they view unusual job-hunting tactics, such as sending a potential employer a shoe "to get a foot in the door," as unprofessional.
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