As a resource for unemployed professionals my firm interacts with hundreds of frustrated job seekers. The first question I
ask is if they have a creative job search to find employment? It seems that everyone is searching the same way. Scanning online job boards and applying through that method. To be successful in getting a job sooner and reduce your frustration, you have to expand your typical comfort zone. Don’t just conduct your search using one method. Use several for maximum results.
Recently I remember reading an article about a job seeker who advertised on a billboard on a busy thoroughfare. On the billboard, he listed his name, contact information and website where you were able to view a video of him, his resume, personal information, etc. Talk about a creative job search method! Obviously, there are things to consider for this method. What geographic area are you most interested in and whether or not you have the financial ability to make an investment like that.
Another creative job search strategy I have seen is this person who made a sign, similar to a sandwich board, and wore it at one of the busiest intersections of town during rush hour. This method seems to work out well for panhandling, but I’m not sure how effective he was in his job search. I admit though, that I haven’t seen him in quite some time. Was this creative? Sure. Will it work for you? This is hard to say because your personality needs to reflect the creativity.
An important point to consider when implementing your creative job search methods is to match them with the type of position you are searching for. Think about the kind of message you are sending. What impact does this message have on your personal brand and reputation? Some industries are obviously naturally creative and lend themselves to interesting tactics. Others are a little more conservative, yet you still need to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself.
As you have probably noticed, your creative job search strategy needs to fit your personality. If you promote certain character traits when, in reality, these traits are nothing like you, you want to be careful of that. As an example, an employer may need someone with a certain amount of flair to be successful in the position and think, based on the personality you present, that you are the right candidate. Come to find out, you don’t have that spark and can prevent you from earning the job.
The recommendation is to implement more than just one tactic. Similar to marketing for a business, you need to have a complete sales and marketing plan. Businesses use a variety of tools including television, radio, newspaper, direct mail, online resources, billboards, paid advertisements, skywriting, banners, social media, creative business cards and swag, logo wear, and a host of other methods to get their name and product/service into the marketplace. As a job seeker, you have to think of yourself as a business owner. What you are selling is you and you need to get your product to stand out in your creative job search methods.