There's something to be said for creativity when you're looking for a job. Whether it will actually get you a job is an entirely different issue.
Earlier this month, advertising executive Alec Brownstein told the world how he used Google AdWords to land a job. Assuming that creative directors at top New York ad agencies Google themselves regularly, he pitched five of them by name, with this message: "Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too," and a link to his personal web site. His cost? Six bucks. The result? Four interviews. Two job offers. One offer accepted.
Not a bad return on his investment!
Today's technology has allowed job seekers to take creative approaches, from video resumes to DVDs to social media. But some even use low-tech approaches, such as posters and sandwich boards. In the pre-internet era, I knew a guy who printed his resume on drink coasters so that hiring managers could steal a glimpse of his skills and accomplishments with each gulp of a beverage. I'm not sure whether it led to a job, but I thought it was genius.
However, while these approaches are creative, they may not always work.
Brownstein's idea was a winner probably in part because of his creativity, which is a must-have skill in the advertising industry. In that same vein, an experienced project manager can convince a company to hire him by submitting a slide presentation that demonstrates his success with past projects. Or, consider a customer service representative who could promote her credentials in an audio file to demonstrate how she would project the right demeanor over the phone.
Creative approaches may not work for everyone, but they can certainly grab someone's attention. I believe there's no adequate substitute for a resume and networking, but I welcome comments from those of you who want to try to convince me otherwise.
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