4 Novel Ways to Tackle Your Job Search In 2013


It’s a tough job market out there, which means you’re going to have to step up your game if you want to land your first (or next) gig.

In this spirit, some bold individuals are finding extreme ways to proactively market themselves to potential employers.

While these unique (and sometimes wacky) tactics might not work for everyone, there are valuable lessons to be learned from these outside-the-box job search ideas.

1. Try an unconventional resume format

Infographic resumes are making a big splash with creative people the world over. These graphic takes on a traditional resume can highlight key functional skills as well as an applicant’s personality in a dramatic and eye-catching way.

Video resumes are also making a big comeback. While video resumes can sometimes come across as incredibly cheesy, some have taken the idea of a video CV beyond its typical awkward format.

For example, when Graeme Anthony was looking for a job, he put together this “Interactive CV” which makes a compelling case for why he’s a top notch candidate for communications and PR jobs:

Traditional resumes are still required in most industries, so you shouldn’t toss your old faithful Word document just yet.

What we can learn from infographic or video resumes is that if you’re looking for a job that requires a healthy dose of creativity, put together a resume that reflects your talents in a unexpected way. If you need to stick to a traditional format, try thinking about novel ways to describe your skill set to reflect what’s unique about you.

2. See your name in lights!

Rather than relying on a resume to get her name out there, one woman from Atlanta, Georgia, used the holiday season to publicize her job hunt by spelling out “My wish, HR job, Liz Hickok, LinkedIn” with strings of Christmas lights on the side of her house.

There are also many examples of job seekers taking this concept the extra mile and spending thousands of dollars on billboard advertisements. While their confidence is to be admired, we don’t all have the capital (or gravitas) to pay for our mug to be plastered on a roadside billboard.

If there is something we can learn from these blatant self promoters, it’s that it’s critical to get your name “out there,” whether through social media, a personal website, or networking like crazy.

3. Create your own personal ad campaign

If a creative resume and billboard beside a major highway haven’t landed you a job, you could always think about running your own ad campaign.

Alec Brownstein, a 28-year-old Copywriter, landed a job through a fantastically simple personal marketing campaign. When advertising execs Googled their own names (admit it, we’re all guilty of the “self-Google”), Alec’s paid ad was the first result on the page. The ad directed these potential employers to his personal website, and resulted in multiple job offers for Alec.

The stunt cost mere cents per click (for a total of $6), and all it took was a little outside-the-box thinking.

Alec’s tactics can teach us a lesson about online networking strategy. Like Alec, you should learn where your potential employers hang out online, and use that channel to connect with them.

4. Get employers to compete for your affection

Andrew Horner decided that after two years of unfruitful job searching, he was going to turn the tables and ask employers to apply to have him work at their company. With a bold list of “must haves,” he set up a website which went viral once people got wind of his “reverse job application” scheme. Andrew ended up landing himself a job and keeps the website active to inspire others ask: “What do employers have to offer me?”

Treating your job search like you’re a superstar in the NBA draft might not be a wise choice for everyone, you can take a page out of the “reverse job application” playbook. When you’re looking at a potential job, you should be interviewing your potential employer. What advantages does the company offer? What is the culture like? Make sure you ask the right questions to be sure that whichever company you choose, it will be the right fit for you.

While you don’t need to start a social media campaign or have “hire me” billboards made up anytime soon, everyone could use a little more boldness when heading out into the job market.

With a little creativity and elbow grease, I’m sure you can come up with your own personal marketing tactics. So put your thinking cap on, capture the attention of potential employers, and land yourself a job!

About the author

Ashleigh Trahan is a Toronto-based recruiter and freelance writer. She is one of those pesky Gen-Y's that believes making a living and doing what you love don't have to be mutually exclusive. She's a fast talker, avid runner, and her fine arts degree makes her a formidable opponent in the game of Pictionary. You can connect with her @ashleightrahan.

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