Since this terrible recession started, we’ve been hearing about clever gimmicks that desperate jobseekers are trying to get themselves noticed. We’ve heard about people standing at a busy intersection with a “Job Wanted” sign and the guy in Seattle who took out a sign on the side of a city bus. People have tried to stand out by delivering pizzas and baked goods to recruiters (with their resume pasted inside the box cover.) There’s even a guy who offered two plane tickets to Hawaii for whoever found him his next job.
So do these gimmicks work? Probably not, in most cases. And please don’t try this at home. You have to be very clever and very bold to attempt a stunt and take the fallout from the publicity and attention (negative as well as positive) you may attract.
Having said that, I am free to rave about what I consider to be the best of the stunts I’ve heard about. Philippe Dubost is a web product manager currently based in Paris. He painstakingly created a fake Amazon.com page to present himself as a product. The reason that this stunt works is that Philippe has created the perfect blend of wit, skill and attention to detail that would attract someone who wanted to hire a web developer. If he brings this much energy to his work projects, I would want him on my team.
That brings up the bigger point: sometimes, you are the product and the delivery mechanism. I have met a number of unemployed sales professionals who bemoan their inability to get an appointment with a hiring manager. I worry about their chances for employment, because getting appointments is supposed to be what they do best. If they can’t get past the gatekeeper for themselves, how will they do it on behalf of a product?
If the medium is the message for your skill set, how important is packaging? And how does your packaging stand out from the crowd?
Would you ever try a gimmick like this? Leave a comment.