Six Very Weird Job-Hunting Strategies… That Worked!

By Susanna Quirke

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There many ways to apply for a job. Some will get you ignored, some will get you hired and some will probably earn you restraining order. But occasionally – just occasionally – these weird techniques get you noticed.

Below, we’ve compiled our favourite examples of outré jobhunting strategies that actually worked.


Spice up your CV

CVs are boring, right? Words on paper, black on white – just another dull, jobseeker stalwart. But some people seem to have missed the memo, coming up with bizarre multimedia CVs that are actually… well… interesting.

You could emulate this lady, whose crafty CV landed her jobs at Etsy, Modcloth and RenttheRunway. Melissa Washin printed her curriculum vitae onto cloth, then sent it to design companies who would appreciate the effort. Or you can put it on something edible, like a chocolate bar or cake. I guess that’s the sort of thing office-workers are sure to notice… Even here at Inspiring Interns, we once received a hand-crafted medieval-style scroll. It kind of made sense; he wanted to be a prop-maker.

And lastly, there’s the guy who wrote a song. Okay, technically this might not have worked in getting him a job, but top points for Youtube hits.


Switch it up

Now this is a move you have to respect. Andrew Horner, sick of sending off his CV to employers, decided they should be applying to him. Setting up a website, he detailed his experience and included cute little pictures, which never hurts. Most impressive is his spiel to employers:

“If your offer does not receive a response within a day or two, it is probably because I was not impressed with your terms, job description, or writing style. Feel free to resubmit your offer, but please bear in mind that first impressions are important, and subsequent offers are more likely to be outright ignored.”

It doesn’t get naughtier. What’s more, he got a job out of it. Full marks, Andrew, for trolling the trolls.


Google it

One for the tech-savvy among us. Alec Brownstein, a copywriter aged twenty-eight, worked at a large international ad agency. Tired of his job, he figured that the CEOs of top companies were bound to Google themselves several times a day. So he bought ads for searches of their names, which would appear as results – and got himself a job under Ian Reichenthal at Young and Rubicam.

His efforts ended up on CBS News and pretty much everyone heard about it. He even won self-promotion awards at major advertising shows. His advice for the rest of us? "Don't be afraid to put yourself out there in an interesting way," he said. "The people who you want to work for can't hire you any less than they already are. So shoot for the moon."

Six dollars for a top job? Not bad.


Get noticed

In a famous example of job-hunt desperation, Adam Pacitti was an unemployed grad. His degree in media production was getting him nowhere, with over two hundred rejections sitting in his inbox. Sick of emails, he hired a billboard in Shoreditch, London. It read: I Spent My Last £500 on This Billboard. Please Give Me a Job.

The thing went viral, of course. Before long, #employadam was doing the round on Twitter, and his website accumulated 1.5 million hits. Eventually, after receiving over a hundred job offers, he chose to accept one from KEO Digital, a top media firm.


Stand out

Alfred Ajani was a grad of twenty-two and three hundred applications down when he decided that he was sick of job-hunting. He needed a way to stand out from the crowd. So he stood in a crowd… at Waterloo Station, with his a sandwich board that read: Marketing Graduate. Please ask for a CV.”

Ajani nailed the job he wanted after a director passed him and later connected on LinkedIn. Apparently, they were looking for people who could think outside the (email in)box. Ajani’s advice for fellow jobseekers? “The job is one I wouldn't have got if I hadn't gone to the station that morning, so I advise anyone out there who is in the same position I was to think of more direct ways to speak to employers.”


Sell Yourself… Literally

And finally, there is Josh Butler, a UK teen from Essex who applied for six hundred jobs after completing his A-Levels and got none. So he did the obvious thing, and put himself up for auction on eBay. Yes, you read that right. He sold himself on an international e-commerce website.

His listing included his experience: extras work on TOWIE and the ‘Inbetweeners’ Movie, plus work experience at a PR firm. Now an FX broker at BGC Partners, Josh is no doubt laughing all the way to the auction.

Feeling inspired? Maybe it’s time you shook up your job search. Of course, the risk isn’t always worth it… But the story certainly will be.


Susanna writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment firm which specialises in sourcing candidates for internship jobs and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit our website.


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