A few months ago I interviewed some job hunters who were using unusual tactics to get work, like renting a huge billboard for a month. I went back to them recently to see what kind of success their extreme efforts brought.
Billboard Yields Offers
Mark Heuer, the guy who rented a billboard in Milwaukee for a month, says that he got three job offers from his investment. He also got plenty of media attention, which connected him to a supportive network of people struggling through unemployment.
Heuer started a new job at the beginning of June as director of client experience for Home Instead Senior Care. The job is not one of the three offers that came as a result of his billboard.
“In the end it came down to sheer networking, even though the billboard did work in uncovering an unpublished opportunity,” he says.
After seven months of unemployment, Heuer recommends networking as the best method for finding a job today. But he still encourages job seekers to be creatively unusual.
“The billboard worked even though I did not choose the opportunities,” he says. “I suggest car wraps, bus wraps, billboards, or even yard signs to plant in front of decision-makers’ windows at their offices.”
Husband Still Looking
Robin Stearns tried a novel approach to help her husband Mike find a job after 10 months of looking: She started the site MyHusbandNeedsaJob.com.
The homepage shows her holding a big sign that says, “Hire my husband.” But nobody has yet, as of mid-June.
A 2008 MBA graduate of Georgetown, Mike says he still does a great deal of networking, which he says is “the most effective way to job search.” His efforts include attending career fairs and volunteering.
Like Heuer’s billboard, the site garnered plenty of attention around the world. “Unfortunately we’re not the only ones in this [unemployed] situation, and it’s been nice to hear so many stories of others struggling through this with us,” Mike says.
Would he do anything differently? He says: “Knowing what I know now, I would have broadened my scope a lot earlier and expanded my search while I was in business school.
He encourages other job seekers to be creative, as well as effective. “Our website still focuses on my qualifications and resume, so all is not lost on the unique way we tried to market it.”
“Persistence and patience are the key,” he adds. “And network, network, network!”