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How to land your dream job: Nine inventive ways

The global job market is in a precarious position. Increasing numbers of people compete against each other for vacancies, from the CEOs recently made redundant to the unemployed undergraduate. The current unemployment statistics are worrying - but it has inspired some new and creative ways to grab an employer's attention.
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1 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

A well-dressed man with over thirty years' experience in the toy industry, Paul Nawrocki, took to the streets with a sandwich board that displayed "Almost Homeless". No, he doesn't want some spare change.

Paul wants a job.

The unemployed professional, once Director of Operations at Sababa Group for over four years, paraded his board across Grand Central Station and the Rockefeller Centre after being laid off in an unsuccessful bid for the company to stay afloat. The tactic worked.

Thousands of news outlets reported Paul's story. Eventually after 25 months of being unemployed he secured a position at Fantasma, a company specialising in children's magic tricks and props.

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2 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

After a year of unsuccessful resume hand-outs, emailing and interview rejections, Kelly Kinney decided that publicising herself could be the answer.

Often competing with hundreds of applicants for one post and attempting to keep her family afloat, Kelly decided to print her resume on the front of her shirt, with an accompanying cover letter on the back.

To make sure her status was emphasized, she emblazoned the design with "I NEED A JOB" to try and catch an employer's eye. When asked about her motives in this unusual stunt, Kelly stated:

"The name of the game is how you can get noticed, how you can distinguish yourself from everybody else."

This idea may have merit, or may just be seen as an amusing gimmick - as companies have now sprung up to offer 'resume merchandise' - including custom shirt designs and even underwear.

(Source: Flickr

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3 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Social networking is increasing in popularity but perhaps the potential of tools like Twitter in finding work is still not being used to its full potential.

By performing a quick search, you can find general job advice and listings through hashtags like #jobs, #jobadvice, #recruitment, and #jobhunt.

If you're looking for that particular sales, business or teaching job, narrow down that search to help your chance of success. Consider hashtags such as #prjobs, #salesjobs, #teachingjobs or #educationjobs.

Follow companies that you're interested in working with - and don't be afraid to comment. You are what you tweet, and this is a way to come to the attention of an employer.

Make sure to build a relevant network - this often is organic due to the nature of Twitter, and staying in the industry circles can help you land your dream position. By being connected to other professionals in your field, lucky hires may find their dream job simply floating about in their Twitter stream, waiting for them to inquire.

 

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4 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

LinkedIn's platform is very advanced and is being used consistently by employers around the world. LinkedIn has over 35 million users globally - and executives of all Fortune 500 companies are on the platform. Apart from a job search engine, LinkedIn has a number of useful tools for the jobseeker.

LinkedIn recommendations can be invaluable - if you have recently lost your job or have struggled for a while to return to employment, something concrete that shows you were valued whilst in work can put you in a positive light.

Consider finding out where people originally came from - for example, Microsoft's latest hires came from the game industry and media incorporations. Check out the company and see if they're hiring. Even if there are no current vacancies, by researching what skills a company is potentially seeking in new employees, you may be able to plan and have an advantage in the next recruitment scenario.

If you want additional job security, consider building your network before disaster strikes. The more people that know of you, the more likely you have connections that can be used in helping gain a new job.

(Source: Flickr)

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5 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Instead of trawling the streets with a cluster of printed resumes, why not keep a stack of business card format copies?

A spin on the traditional, network-linking business card, some companies are now offering customised, folded business cards with your resume available in a portable format. You may not be able to guarantee that it's been read, but at least your resume has reached the hand of your potential future employer.

(Source: Flickr)

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6 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Google AdWords are often used by SEO specialists or start-up businesses to try and get themselves on the map - so Alec Brownstein decided to use this tactic to raise the attention of top advertising creative directors.

With a $6 purchase of five names, when the top directors Googled themselves, a personalised message from Alec appeared:

"Gooogling yourself is fun. Hiring me is fun, too."

Four of the creative directors offered him an interview, and two later extended their offers to employment. The ploy was successful, and now Alec is employed in New York for one of these firms.

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7 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Pushing to get to the top? Do it - literally. Alex Kearns, an unemployed graduate of Swansea University, England, had no luck in his job search. After sending out scores of resumes and receiving no response, Alex decided to make sure his credentials got past the gatekeepers by unfurling a giant version of it in Trafalgar Square, London. 

The sculptor Antony Gormley's One & Other Project allowed winning applicants an hour to stand on the forth plinth in the square.

Instead of using it to promote an ethical or global cause, Alex took a novel approach in using that valuable time to drum up interest in his resume.

After the stunt, a manager at the International Business Development Group rapidly contacted Alex, where he now works selling consultancy services to companies in the UK and abroad.

(Source: Flickr)

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8 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

For the creative types out there, consider using a showreel or animated resume online to get the attention you want.

A rapidly digitising network of information means that we have more freedom available to us in showcasing ourselves - the standard paper format resume now is often rejected by employers who prefer emailed copies, or for job hunters to complete applications and tests online.

In creative industries, some jobseekers have gone further than an online portfolio, and moved on to film in order to secure an interview - demonstrating the skills they want to showcase and what the employer is looking for.

By engaging an employer longer than the few seconds it takes to scan a resume and reject it, you may have more chance of success in a competitive job market.

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9 of 9 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Smartphones, applications and mobile technology are developing and expanding at an incredible rate - but why not use more of the features to your advantage?

One job hunter, Victor Petit, decided to engage potential employers by the use of QR code software.

A new slant on personal branding, Victor gave employers a resume complete on one side with a life-sized image of his head, and his full resume on the back. Where his mouth should have been, a QR standard barcode was ready to be loaded. Using a smartphone you were able to listen to Victor introducing himself.

Seeking a job in the communications industry, he decided that the best way to secure an internship would be by a means that allowed him to express himself "vocally, as soon as they read the paper version."

This means of communication inspired campaigns across the world - from the political to music industries.

(Source: Flickr)

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