Wednesday, November 24, 2004

How Not To Get A Job

The day before Thanksgiving in Toledo, OH, and its been pouring out with ice cold winds. Not the blizzard, or even light flurry, I had hoped for. Save for some freak weather pattern, this is what it will be like for the duration of my stay. Which, I suppose, is all the more to make me thankful for the great weather I have living in Southern California.

I'll perhaps post one of those silly "Things I'm Thankful For" lists later on tonite or tomorrow, but for now I wanted to draw attention to this article I found on AOL's Career Builder website. Here it is in its entirety:

Inventive Tactics Can Land You the Job

How do you get noticed in a stack of resumes? More than one third of full-time, employed workers surveyed by say they used unorthodox methods to catch a potential employer's attention and successfully land a new position.Thinking outside of the box can give you an edge in today's competetive job market. Using a creative approach to market your skills and experience not only helps you to differentiate yourself from other candidates, it demonstrates that you are someone who can bring fresh ideas to the table.Job seekers admit to employing an assortment of tactics to get the attention of the hiring manager, to stand out, and basically market themselves for a job. These can range from the conventional methods, such as networking and mass mail, to the offbeat, like advertising at a football game, to the downright unethical like lying and flirting.

It's All in the Presentation
Unique packaging of the resume proved to be an effective job search tactic for some workers. One candidate wrote his resume on a basketball to apply for a position at a sporting goods company. Another individual sent a resume in an ice-cream carton made by the prospective employer.

Going That Extra Mile
Other respondents said their willingness to go above and beyond what other candidates were offering was their key to success. One woman said she would work for free for two weeks to prove her value. Another candidate showed up to the interview with a comprehensive plan to help the company improve customer service on a global scale.

Straight to the Top
Making a direct plea to leadership gave some candidates a foot in the door. A few candidates reported sending a resume, portfolio and letter of introduction to the CEO'shome address. Another candidate invited the company owner to a baseball game to network in a more relaxed social setting.

Persistence Pays
Survey respondents also said that demonstrating enthusiasm and commitment aided them in the selection process. Respondents reported showing up to the place of business daily to see the hiring manager, some waiting up to six hours. Others called the hiring managers repeatedly to reinforce credentials and reiterate why they were most qualified for open positions.

Stay Aware of the Line
Crossing the line could kill your chances if your chances if you aren't careful. Three percent of respondents admitted lying to get a job. This included bending or cushioning accomplishments, changing birthdates and falsifying education. And, one percent said they flirted to get the job, like wearing a tight skirt or taking out the manager's daughter.

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.

I can't tell if CareerBuilder is advocating these tactics. The basketball resume thing might work if he were applying for a job at, say, a scrapbooking supply store. Note the article says that this sort of tactic worked for "some workers".

I hope that the woman who offered to work for two weeks free didn't feel guilty that she might have taken a job from someone else who actually needed the money, and instead felt proud to encourage the company to take advantage of unpaid labor in the future. I wonder if the CEO who received a resume at his HOME address fired the staffer who gave away the location of his private home to a complete stranger, a complete stranger who also likely deserved a restraining order after showing up at the place of business daily to stalk and harass the hiring manager.

Then again, who am I to critique tactics on how to get hired? I complain here frequently about not being able to find work. In Los Angeles, and most cities nationwide, there hundreds, if not thousands, of guys just like me logging onto Craigs List on a daily basis responding to the same ads. Besides a snazzy cover letter, there's little else to do to grab the employers attention. And how the hell can someone send a basketball via email?