Taking a gamble to get a job

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Tough times tend to call for radical actions. And looking for a job in today’s volatile and difficult labour market would seem to easily qualify for this dictum.

In the current climate, job seekers need to be creative and non-traditional, and be willing to take a big gamble, in order to stand out from the many-million pack, wrote Josh Tolan, from US-based Spark Hire, in an article for Mashable.

“This might mean making a professional video resume or turning your application into a handsome infographic. But maybe even these outside-the-box methods aren’t enough. Sometimes you need to roll the dice in order to really show what you’re made of,” he wrote – before detailing a few of the more unusual  job seeking gambles to catch his eye.

1. Slap on a mustache: Matthew Epstein created a viral marketing campaign, including a website (googlepleasehire.me), in a bid to land a job at Google. As part of his campaign, he also slapped on a fake mustache and created several video resumes. He didn’t manage to score a job at Google – but he did interview with the company [along with Microsoft and Amazon], and ended up taking a position at a startup called SigFig.

2. Buy a billboard: With the last of his savings, Irish graduate Feilim Mac An Iomaire spent the last of his savings on buying and designing a billboard on a busy road. On it he begged potential employers to give him a chance before he had to emigrate for work. His “Jobless Paddy” campaign could have labeled him as desperate – but it paid off with over 20 interviews and, eventually, job offers from two top Irish marketing agencies.

3. Reverse the job application: Instead of sending off traditional applications to multiple companies and then waiting to hear back from them, Andrew Horner set up a website advertising himself and what he was looking for in an employer. Formatted like a traditional job description, it included a form to fill out at the bottom for employers interested in speaking to him. The tactic could have made him appear entitled or conceited – but it landed him several interviews and led to a job at a startup.

4. Fly near social butterflies: Sometimes finding a job might be all about who you tweet with. Popular US blogger Sarah Evans ran an open call on her social media networks to profile a few job seekers. Mark Edwards tweeted her for a chance at exposure to a greater audience. With more than 50 applications, it was a gamble that Evans would choose him, but she did – and he landed a full time job at TeshMedia.


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