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Would You Resort to a Gimmick to Land a Job?

Job SearchPeople can sometimes resort to extreme gimmicks when they're looking for work. The current recession has pushed some jobless Americans to do something a little over the top in their attempts to land new jobs.

But are they signs of desperation or creativity? You decide:

  • A 53-year-old registered nurse in Florida printed a t-shirt with her web site address and contact information and wore it while riding her bike around the neighborhood.
  • A new MBA graduate became a cab driver in New York after four months of unsuccessful job hunting. He attached his resume to the back of his cab's front seat, hoping riders would notice and help him out.
  • Then there's the story of Joshua Persky, an MIT graduate who stood on a busy New York City street wearing a sandwich board plastered with "Experienced MIT Grad for Hire" while handing his resume to anyone who'd take it. It paid off when an accounting firm hired him.
  • And some of us have heard about the job-seeker who attached a shoe to his resume as "a way to get my foot in the door."

Of course, success in any of these gimmicks is measured by whether they get you hired or, barring that, how many interviews you land. And that can depend on whether an employer sees your gimmick as creative or desperate. It may work well for jobs in professions that thrive on creativity, such as advertising or marketing, but maybe not so in other fields.

Standing out makes a difference. But it's better to stand out through your qualifications, as expressed in your resume and cover letter, as well as in the interview process, to land the job. Going beyond that may help — but only if the audience buys your act.

What do you think of the "over the top" methods some job seekers use? Have you been tempted to try something similar? Tell us about it.

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