Saturday, October 31, 2015

The case for unique job hunting tactics

I know how to get a job, alright!

Exhibit A: Bribery will get you everywhere

My then-future boss put me up at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Cleveland because they give warm cookies to guests and he liked those cookies. Armed with that information, I asked the desk clerk if she could hook me up with an extra cookie, you know, for insurance purposes. An entire bag of them floated my way. I was hired.

Exhibit B: When in doubt, leave something behind

In mid-2002, I was eager take the Mid-South by storm.



 But to do that, I had to actually become employed there. Enter: the coat. It was August in Memphis, which meant any business-y interview attire was doomed to be uncomfortable. Off came the coat, which landed in my potential employer's back seat. And there it stayed until I arrived to start a five-year stretch. Side note: the coat was actually borrowed. Its owner totally understood the strategy.

Exhibit C: Bond with the boss over terrible food

Getting to Baton Rouge was not that difficult. I knew the boss, but I did not yet know the second in command. After a long drive into town, he's the one who took me to dinner, purportedly to wine and dine me while filling my ears with all the secrets and charms of the capital city. While the conversation was good, he and I managed to find the only restaurant in all of south Louisiana incapable of cooking good seafood. I lasted longer in BR than the restaurant did.

More widely accepted techniques

I've read mixed reviews on this one, but I believe in applying. Apply for jobs you believe you are fully qualified to do. Apply for jobs you think you are moderately qualified to do. You can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. It has been my experience that employers are willing to teach you some things that aren't on your resume, as long as what is there is a positive, can-do attitude.

If you are actively looking for a job, spend time doing that every single day. Every. Day. Some days will come up dry. Others will be more fruitful. Do something every day, whether it's checking for new job postings, networking among friends and coworkers, or making sure that interview outfit is good and ready.

And finally, this one's a biggie for me: never stop learning. I've worked in the same industry for nearly 20 years, moving from city to city. Each stop has taught me something incredibly valuable that I've carried with me, skills that can either play in my current career or help me cross over into a new line of work. I read trades, I click links posted by experts and those in the trenches, and I do my best to keep up with trends. I'm prepared. I can talk shop and more.

If you're on the hunt, good luck! And if you have any advice for job seekers, please share it!

*Disclaimer: While I have personally tested each of the above strategies, I would not recommend relying solely on any of them. Except for the cookie plan. If that doesn't close the deal, nothing will.

My little home office is a work in progress