Landing a new job can be tough. Take some inspiration from these jobseekers, whose unusual tactics caught the eye of the media and, occasionally, employers.
Adam Pacitti, 24, was an unemployed graduate who spent his last £500 on a billboard advertisement in London featuring a picture of him and a website employadam.com. On the site, employers could watch a video CV and find out more about him. His website received over 1.5m hits and, more importantly, resulted in a job offer with a top media firm. The website still exists, and Pacitti now tries to help others find employment.
The billboard approach was also used by Feilim Mac An Iomaire, who spent 2,000 on a billboard in Dublin stating he didn’t want to emigrate to look for work. He received 20 interviews and several job offers, ultimately going to work for Paddy Power.
On a smaller scale, 24-year-old history graduate David Rowe walked Fleet Street wearing a pinstripe suit, silk tie and a sandwich board reading “Job Wanted”. The board offered his services free for a month, with the option to “hire or fire” afterwards. He was picked up by recruitment firm Parkhouse Bell.
His story echoes that of MIT graduate Joshua Persky, who lost his investment banking job just before the financial crisis, and walked the streets of Manhattan also carrying a sandwich board. Persky found another job at a New York accounting firm, but was laid off after just five months. He has since attempted to set up his own consultancy and to create an iPhone app.
With Spanish unemployment at an all-time low, out-of-work journalist Enzo Vizcaino decided to sing his CV on the Barcelona metro, accompanied by a ukelele and publishing it on YouTube. The video received 600,000 views, and he has now been given a job by Channel 6, La Sexta as a scriptwriter and reporter.
Teenager Josh Butler, meanwhile, put himself up for auction on ebay, with a “Buy it Now” price of £16,000. He received interviews at a number of companies, but his current whereabouts are unknown.
A more targeted approach was taken by Matthew Epstein, who created website googlepleasehireme.com, in which he wore a fake moustache and played a video CV with references from others. Epstein received an interview with Google – and with Microsoft and Amazon – but wasn’t successful. He did, however, end up at a job with start up SigFig.
Battle of the egos
One big gamble that ultimately paid off was Andrew Horner’s decision to create a “reverse job application”, where he outlined what he was after in an employer and asked them to apply to have him work for them. Surprisingly, he landed several interviews and began working for a start up.
If your own ego isn’t so large, why not play on the vanity of potential employers? Alec Brownstein bought Google ads in the name of the five chief executives at his target employer Young & Rubicam. When the bosses googled their names, the ad popped up with a request for a moment of their time. He got the job.
Have you ever used “Guerrilla tactics” to land a job? Perhaps you’ve taken a gamble like some of the job seekers here and it paid off… or didn’t! Share your experiences below.