Unusual Job-Search Tactics That Might Actually Work

Today’s competitive job market is causing job candidates to try creative approaches in order to grab a hiring manager’s attention and secure an interview.

In fact, Robert Half recently polled executives, asking them to recall the most unusual job hunting tactics they’ve seen applicants employ. One candidate offered a money-back guarantee for the initial six months if he didn’t perform as expected. Another brought the entire department doughnuts.

Although you don’t need to wear a sandwich board decorated with your top qualifications to make an impression, thinking outside the box when it comes to your job search could prove beneficial. Here are some unconventional approaches to the job search and reasons these tactics may just work for you:

Be Persistent

One executive surveyed mentioned a job candidate who called the company’s human resources department every day for three weeks to express continued interest in the position he applied for. The result: an interview. Contacting a hiring manager after submitting your resume has always been a good best practice, but in today’s market, you may need to follow up more often. Be careful about being a pest, however. In most cases, daily contact is too much; once every week or two is usually sufficient.

Keep in mind that it may be worthwhile to keep in touch with a potential employer even after the position you applied for has been filled. An executive interviewed for the Robert Half study remembered a candidate who did not get the job but still took the hiring manager to lunch several times afterward just to stay in touch. “I finally found something for him,” the survey respondent said.

Be Proactive

Several of the executives were impressed by job candidates who took the initiative to show how they could benefit the employer. One applicant, for instance, prepared a presentation specific to the company’s business needs. Another, an IT professional, brought in samples of how he would redesign the firm’s website. The lesson to be learned here is that employers seek new hires who can make immediate contributions. Even if you don’t prepare a custom project illustrating the value you can bring, make sure your resume and cover letter clearly explain why hiring you would make good business sense.

Be Creative

One hiring manager noted that a job seeker sent a DVD that highlighted his previous experience. Another respondent mentioned a candidate who showed an animated PowerPoint presentation outlining projects he’d completed in the past. An unusual application can grab an employer’s attention, but always keep the company’s culture in mind before trying this type of approach. An unorthodox tactic could be seen as charming at one firm and unprofessional at another. Also remember not to take it too far; there’s a fine line between clever and gimmicky.

Although a creative approach can help you get a foot in the door, networking and submitting a resume that highlights your unique value proposition are still the best ways to get your name on the call-back list. Above all, employers are looking for candidates whose resumes demonstrate initiative, adaptability, and up-to-date skills.

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hiring, job, jobless, jobsearch