5 Tips for Unconventional Job Development

If you want a job, think outside the box and go after the company of your dreams.
If you want a job, think outside the box and go after the company of your dreams.
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When the job market gets tight, job hunters get creative. Experienced applicants know that simply uploading your resume to an online job bank is more like buying a lottery ticket than applying for a job. With so many applicants vying for so few positions, the odds of landing an interview -- let alone a job -- are thousands to one. If you want to get noticed, experts say, you need to go "guerilla."

Guerilla marketing is a term that describes a number of unconventional techniques for selling a product or service. It can include disseminating viral videos on YouTube, plastering bus stops with posters, dropping free product samples from a Goodyear blimp, or anything else that involves thinking outside the box. To grab a hiring manager's attention, many job hunters are engaging in "guerilla self-marketing," departing from the conventional cover-letter-and-resume script to sell their unique skills.

According to a survey by CareerBuilder.com, 22 percent of hiring managers say that more applicants are using unconventional methods to grab their attention in 2010 than the previous year [source: CareerBuilder.com]. Eager job seekers are buying billboard space, running radio ads, writing up spec business plans and posting video resumes [source: Chase].

Not all unconventional job development tactics are created equal. If you think you're desperate enough to pace the sidewalks wearing a sandwich board reading "MIT grad for hire" (yes, it happened), consider the following guerilla self-marketing strategies first.