Daring Job Hunters Go for Broke

With the job market tighter than it's been in many years, some job seekers are taking the hunt to a new level with daring, creative, and expensive tactics.

Job hunting season is getting more competitive than ever, and some creative participants are taking it to a risky new level.

Take Beverly Shepard. An award-winning marketer with degrees in journalism and law, she has tried for months to find work. She sent resumes, made phone calls, and networked - with little result.

Now she's put her networking into hyperdrive: She's offering friends a finder's fee of up to $6,000 to get her a full-time job.

Expanding Reach in a Big Way

Shepard, who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has set her offer to expire on April 30 as an incentive for her friends to "work fast."

Networking also inspired Mark Heuer, an unemployed management professional, to take out a billboard to advertise his job search. "I thought, 'How can I get in front of more people?' Highway 45 in Milwaukee captures 100,000+ cars a day," he said.

San Francisco resident Robin Stearns was so fed up with the bleak job market for her husband, a recent MBA graduate, that she started the site myhusbandneedsajob.com.

Both Heuer and Stearns told Yahoo! HotJobs their approaches have attracted widespread media attention and some interviews, but as of this writing no relevant job offers.

Should You Try It?

While these and other tactics — like display ads on social networking sites or elaborate video resumes — can make any job seeker stand out, some experts caution about getting too creative.

"Even in today's market, it's excelling at the fundamentals that helps job seekers stand out," says Andy Denka, executive director of financial staffing firm Accountemps. "Individuals should focus their efforts first and foremost on creative top-notch resumes, networking with everyone they know, and honing their interview skills."

For more tips, check out my article on extreme job hunting and this article, "Unconventional Job-Search Strategies: Savvy Move or Silly Stunt?"

"I recommend doing things that set oneself above the sea of candidates that are out seeking opportunity," says Heuer, who took the billboard approach. "Especially now in unprecedented times."

But renting a billboard now might just make you seem like a copycat.

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