Guerrillas in the midst: Stand out from the crowd, get the job

From wearing a sign around the neck reading "Entry level job seeker" to paying $1,000 to rent a billboard with "Hire Me!" plastered on it, job seekers are trying less conventional ways to get their name and resume out in the marketplace.

On Wednesday I wrote about how to pump up your resume with standard methods, such as proofreading it often, and less traditional methods, such as sending a coffee cup to an employer and asking to have a cup of coffee with them to discuss your job hunt.

"The coffee cup caper," as described by guerrilla job-search authors Kevin Donlin and David Perry, yields phone interviews 100% of the time and an in-person interview about 30% of the time, according to a Christian Science Monitor story.

The story reports that after 18 months of looking for work, a woman express-mailed a coffee mug with her application to three prospective employers in September, asking each if they'd meet her for coffee. Two ignored her but a third agreed, and a month later offered her a job as executive director for a nonprofit organization.
Gimmicks attract attention, but they can take awhile to work and should be done in good taste.

Perry, the author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters," told the Monitor that an internship candidate sent a package containing a metronome and his resume. Clever, except for that the ticking of the metronome led to a bomb-squad call.

"If something doesn't tie into the job you are looking for or it's dangerous, don't do it," Perry said. "The idea is to get their attention in a positive manner."

Marketing and advertising executives warn that gimmicks -- such as sending a shoe to "get a foot in the door" -- are unprofessional.

Volunteering or interning may get you in the door, although such methods won't be as fun of a story to tell if you get the job walking the street with your phone number on a sandwich board.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.AaronCrowe.net

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