Yes, we all know about the 'global recession' and how it's affected the job market in the UK and US. Competition is inevitably fierce. Opportunities are relatively limited. So the best way to get a job these days is to do something completely different to stand out and that’s exactly what Shed Simove did.
Could You Do More?
Before the days of the Internet, Shed Simove was already thinking of innovative ways to get a job. When applying for his dream job at the BBC, he wasn’t happy with being led down the ‘apply, interview, offer’ model of recruitment. He felt he needed to do more to be buoyant in the inevitable pool of talent that would be applying for such a sought-after role.
To Get Personal
So Shed did some research into his potential new boss and discovered something personal that he could exploit in order to get noticed. He found out that his would-be boss was a Coronation Street fan and that his favourite actor was William Roache.
Armed with this knowledge, and a crafty dose of determination, Shed tracked down the actor and requested a signed photo addressed to his employer. He then sent the picture, which read something along the lines of ‘Hire Shed [signed] William Roache’, along with his application to the recruiter’s office and landed an interview.
There’s always something else you should have said, isn’t there? Shed felt the same after his interview. He wasn’t content and still felt he needed to do more.
So he got in touch with a local pizza place and ordered a customised pizza to be delivered to his hopeful boss’s office during his lunch break. His original idea was to create a self-portrait using olives and pepperoni, but finding a skilled pizza-making artist at 11am on a Tuesday in West London was a bit of a challenge. So he sent the pizza with an accompanying laminated note inside that read ‘Hire Shed’. He got a second interview and landed the job of his dreams.
How Extreme is Your Job Hunt?
Sending food seems to work. Dan Conway, who declares himself ‘The Extreme Job Hunter’, sent a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to a would-be employer and landed a placement at a top UK media company as a result.
Dan’s been figuring out the best way to get a job for a while and is the most determined person I’ve seen when it comes to standing out and getting noticed. He’s tried the lot:
- The Extreme Job Hunter to a recruiter's office with his CV stuffed inside,
- The Extreme Job Hunter to anyone who can get him a job,
- He’s even The Extreme Job Hunter on eBay.
You can't argue with the drive, eagerness and creativity this dude has. It’s one thing putting those words down on your CV or Resume, but having The Extreme Job Hunter is priceless.
Do You Google Yourself?
Alec Brownstein wasn’t content with the ‘apply, interview, offer’ recruitment model either and tried something unique to get noticed.
He ran a number of Google Adword campaigns targeting the top creative directors in New York so that when they Googled themselves, the top result was a message from Alec asking for a job.
Being wacky and unafraid to try something different can be the best way to get a job and we can learn from some of the underlying principles that the above job hunters show.
Do your research
Shed Simove and Alec Brownstein show that targeting your job hunt and doing your research on the actual individuals that are hiring can get you a job. If you know exactly whom you’re dealing with, what makes them tick and some personality traits, you can use it to get closer and affect them where they care. This not only makes you stand out, but it also creates the beginning of a bond and relationship with your would-be employer that an anonymous application fails to do.
Be persistent and determined
Shed and the Extreme Job Hunter don’t stop. They’re consistently doing more to stand out. Constantly banging on the door can help you remain at the front of a recruiters mind. The advertising theory ‘top of mind’ doesn’t just work for Coca Cola, it can work for you in your job hunt.
Understand you need to do more
The most important thing that all of the above job hunters share is a clear understanding that simply applying and interviewing isn’t the best way to get a job anymore. Yes, you could do much worse than creating a unique CV that stands out, but to truly land the job of your dreams, you’ve got to go the extra mile.
So don’t be scared to do something crazy and drastic to be memorable. Be creative. Be wacky. What’s the worst that could happen?
What’s the craziest thing you've done to get a job?