Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

Summary: In a recent post about tactics to help land a job in an uncertain economy I included a cartoon of a sorry-looking fellow wearing a "Will work for food" billboard as he paced the sidewalk and said it "hopefully wouldn't come to this". I was just joking, you know.

TOPICS: CXO, IT Employment

In a recent post about tactics to help land a job in an uncertain economy I included a cartoon of a sorry-looking fellow wearing a "Will work for food" billboard as he paced the sidewalk and said it "hopefully wouldn't come to this". I was just joking, you know.

Yet someone out there has carried around a sign that said, "Will work for paying bills." in an effort to land a job. Another candidate advertised on a billboard, while a different one wore a shirt to an interview that said, "Please hire me."

So much for not seeming desperate, huh?

These examples come from a recent survey highlighting some of the most unusual tactics job seekers have used to get hired, according to the employers who were subject to them. Eschewing the more popular 30 second elevator pitch, one candidate approached the hiring manager instead in a restroom. Another job seeker, clearly a technically-inclined one, created an electronic resume with flash animation and musical score.

"Candidates have a short window to make a lasting impression on potential employers," said Jason Ferrara, senior career adviser at "Those who apply resourcefulness and an inventive approach to their job search may have a better chance of standing out in the minds of hiring managers. The key is making sure you are maintaining an appropriate balance of creativity and professionalism so you are remembered for the right reasons."

Perhaps it is because I have yet to have my morning coffee, but it is the candidate who showed up with breakfast for the employer every single day until they were hired that really warmed my heart. I mean, sure, I'm not hiring for any position right now, but I'd probably consider creating one for someone who brought me a daily latte or bagel I didn't have to forage for myself.

How about you: What's the most ridiculous thing you've done to land a job you really wanted? Was it worth it?

Topics: CXO, IT Employment

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  • I've never had to

    In technical writing, it's all about your portfolio. Mine has been
    good enough to get me a job nearly every time I interview.
    • Well good for you

      Your portfolio may be great; but your attitude sucks. Technical writing is not all that challenging of a position. In times like these, it isn't about being "good" or having a good portfolio. It is about whether you are needed no matter how "good" you may be, are the dollars there to pay your salary. Get a clue.
      Just sayin
  • RE: Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

    Despite the stats, I see thousands of high paying jobs posted on employment sites - (aggregated listings) (aggregated listings) (matches you to the jobs)

    Good luck to those that need jobs!
    • The dirty little secret

      If you're good, you'll get hired. Most people who can't find a job
      aren't that good. The modern American's answer to that is to
      whine and blame capitalism.
      • Arrogance

        It is easy to sit up on a high horse and judge those that you believe appear to be of less value than yourself. Until the day you come into work and discover the value your employer places on you when delivering the news that you have been laid off.

        Yes, there are numerous jobs all over the Net. There are thousands of people applying for them as well. There are also jobs posted that don't actually exist or are put on hold. There have been times for some people where unemployment lasted two weeks. Others, a year. Others, have never been unemployed. It adds nothing to the situation for those that have not to sit back and point out that there are jobs and to judge those that are unemployed as "not good". If I were you boss, if I detected this type of arrogance in you, or anyone else that worked for me, I would let you experience what you so poorly judge. You can't be that great of a joy to work with given your lack of empathy for others.
        Just sayin
      • The real dirty little secret?

        That the LEAST capable (as in CEO's involved in bundled defunct mortgages for instance) decide who is to be hired.
        Kind of kills your entire propaganda piece, doesn't it?
      • You've Never Lived.

        That's called the "Just World Fallacy." Note the word "fallacy."

        Don't worry. You'll get it. Right after you fall on your ass with nobody to blame.
        Casey J. Parker
  • What employers want...

    I've heard it put this way, and having interviewed and hired many people over the years myself, this has the greatest ring of truth:

    Too many candidates try to make themselves look "interesting." But what employers want is someone who is "interested."

    Few prospects even bother to send a thank you note after the interview reaffirming their interest. When someone does follow up with a thank you note, they stand out like a beacon.
    • A thank you note...

      sounds more like they went to a garden party instead of an interview. Most Americans want to be viewed as someone that can do a job competently, which is why they are reluctant to write a thank you note for a job they have yet to be offered.
      • Thank you notes

        I always write a thank you note. I even thank folks that have determined not to hire me. I am finding more and more how true is the statement that goes "it is not what you know but who you know" I would like to add to that, "and how you know them". I will keep plugging away at it though. I know I am talented, interested and interesting, and a hard worker, filled with good ideas and the knowledge to see them through in a manner that benefits the organization's efforts. Somehow, I am not communicating this I guess.
        Just sayin
  • RE: Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

    This is the cartoon that warms my heart:
  • interviews..

    Interviews can be amusing, I don't care which side of the table you are on. I'm not a very interesting person, but I am interested in doing the job, that's what's important (besides competence). I once had an interview, where near the end of it, the interviewer suddenly almost jumped up out of his seat and leaned across the table and said brusquely, "What makes you think you can do this job?". Obviously if I was not looking for something challenging I would not have been there and I said as much. Sometimes an interviewer will try to see how easily a prospect is rattled. So don't be rattled.
  • RE: Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

    Thank you, you gave me a much needed smile.
    Just sayin
  • RE: Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

    Fuck this life. I hate this fucked up life. Fuck God too. Cos hesa fucking asshole, who likes to make life miserable for me. Fuck job. Ima die and goto hell. Ill get a job there.
    • RE: Desperate times, desperate job hunting tactics

  • You are not alone if you are unemployed.

    You can relate to Aubrey and see how he survived his career transition.
  • There again.

    It doesn't matter how hard you work, how smart you are, how educated you are, how much people like you and think you're doing a great job. Sometimes, crap happens.

    I've been laid off 3 times, which caused us to file for bankruptcy and lose our house. I have my Masters in IT, and I'm a Mensan. I've always been praised by my co-workers, but those above are occasionally nervous around me even though I try to make it clear I have no interest in their job. I do an excellent job and work hard. I went into the military to get back on my feet and got my student loans paid off. Unfortunately, I found out that I could not breathe at altitude and spent the last year on oxygen 24/7, and just got medically retired. It is not enough to cover expenses. So I'm back looking for work again.

    The only work I've found so far is part-time typing for a local author. Not exactly what I'm qualified for, but work is work. I also daily go out crabbing/fishing hoping to at least bring in some cheap food.

    Suggestions on how to get past recruiters and HR people when you have a wide set of skills and a good strong work ethic? I've been a librarian, technical writer, web designer, analyst, and most recently a paralegal. I'm in-process of finishing my project management and lean six sigma certifications since the military paid for them.

    Any suggestions gladly accepted.
  • Thank you works both ways!

    I live in London (UK) and just joined the debate because I was looking for innovative ways to get noticed. I have been both sides of the recruitment table and know only too well what employers are looking for but getting past the first sift of CV's is the most difficult stage of the process. I laughed when I read about candidates who send a thank you note because here in England it would not work and in fact everyone would think you a creep. Thank you works both ways and I have spent as much as five days working on an application for a senior position, including researching the company and trying to find the right comparison of skills to show how well I match the job specification. Not only do they not thank you for the effort, you are expected to wait until the alloted time has passed and then you know you have not been selected. I dont care how many applications there have been for a job, a really quick email or phone call to say thanks for your application and sorry you were not selected is surely the least you can do for an unemployed person? Those of us who are in urgent need of a job, need to be told as soon as possible or we sit by the post (mail) box and check emails every 10 minutes hoping for a positive result. I remain positive non the less and hopefully an employer will give me an opportunity to prove myself soon. To the arrogant frgough I would say enjoy your arrogant time because nothing remains the same and there will undoubtedly come a time when you will not feel so secure. Thechnology changes everything and even the most complex jbs are made simpler so you may nat be needed in the near future - think how that would feel Mr smug git!