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Question #3: "How can I stand out in today's hyper-crowded job market?"
Answer: Try unconventional, "guerrilla" job search methods to get the attention of employers.
Here are three examples of tactics used by creative job seekers to land job interviews ...
"One Michigan man mailed cover letters with two aspirins taped atop each. His opening sentence: "Your customer service headaches are over!" This message resonated with employers, who called to interview him.
"A Las Vegas man mailed a paperweight and cover letter to an employer in California. The paperweight was a miniature of the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. His cover letter began: "Not everyone who lives in Vegas wants to stay in Vegas," playing off the famous slogan, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." As a result, he was flown to a job interview.
"One aspiring assistant basketball coach mailed the right hand from a store mannequin to the coach he wanted to work for. Rolled up and gripped in the hand was his cover letter, which began: "I can be your right hand man." He was hired.
Do any of these methods strike you as gimmicky or too offbeat to work in your industry? Fine. Don't believe me.
Try mailing something unusual along with your resume and cover letter to three companies you have no intention of working for, to test these ideas for yourself.
Despite being carpet-bombed by bad news on a daily basis, you can find a job in this economy, if you're willing to try new things that take you out of your comfort zone.
You may feel comfortable zapping out resumes by email or applying for jobs online in your sweats. But how's that working for you?
Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0." Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit MyNewJobHunt.com