JOB SEARCH / APR. 15, 2014
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Would You Do That? 7 Gimmicky Job Search Stories

Josh Persky started a trend in 2008.

After the investment banker was laid off, he wore a sign board on a New York City street corner that said “Experienced MIT Grad for Hire.” Persky later earned the title “Sandwich Board Guy” and a position at an accounting firm.

Since Persky’s street gig, other job seekers have adopted standout means for finding work. Gimmicks don’t guarantee interviews or offers—hiring managers still show preference for job boards and Persky endured months of unemployment before he finally secured a new position—but these stories prove that employers pay attention to perseverance and creativity from potential hires.

The Instagram Barber

After Clark Walker enrolled in a Salt Lake City barber school, he routinely uploaded pictures of his clients on Instagram. After a year connecting with other stylists, he followed a barbershop in New York that posted a photo with a caption that read “Now Hiring.” Once they viewed his Instagram profile and held an informal interview, Walker landed his dream job there.

The Broke Billboard Man

Adam Pacitti wanted to work in the media—so much that he send his last £500 to build his own “Hire Adam” campaign that included a billboard, website, YouTube video, and viral resume. Within a month, Pacitti received 60 job offers and took a position with KEO Digital.

The Vanity Google Copywriter

Alec Brownstein garnered attention from five creative directors in New York City with six dollars. First, he purchased Google adwords for their names; when each director Googled himself, he found a custom advertisement with his name that linked to Brownstein’s portfolio. The copywriter secured four interviews and two job offers after creating the ads.

The Vine Resume Creator

Dawn Siff says that her Vine resume wasn’t the only reason The Economist Group hired her as a project manager—a referral from a friend connected her with the company. Still, she says that the viral video "impressed them" after their initial contact.

The eBay Auctioneer

After Josh Butler faced over 600 rejections from not having a university degree, the teenager decided to stop pursuing traditional job search methods and auction himself on eBay. The page, titled “Josh Butler Wants a Job,” received multiple interview offers from various businesses.

The Christmas Light Designer

People in Liz Hickok’s neighborhood already knew her affinity for Christmas light displays—so it came as no surprise when she strung up a message that said “My Wish: HR Job” during Christmastime in 2011. Hickok heard of new openings from neighbors and passers-by based on the light display, received heavy traffic on her social media profiles, and heard from companies around the world after news outlets covered the story.

The Video Game Builder

Alexander J. Velicky spent 2,000 hours creating “Falskaar,” a mod to the video game Skyrim, in an effort to find work with its creator Bethesda Game Studios. Though Bethesda did not hire him, Velicky accepted a position as Associate Designer for Bungie four months after completing the project.


Traditional job search methods are still the most common and preferred avenues for finding work, so don’t ignore their potential. While gimmicks rarely succeed, these stories still prove that taking risks and flaunting personality during your job search could propel you toward your dream career.

Image source: Flickr

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