Guerrilla Job Search Secrets of the Homeless Man with the Golden Voice
- Article by: Kevin Donlin
- Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
- June 27, 2011 - 10:01 AM
Maybe you've heard the "golden voice" of YouTube sensation, Ted Williams. He's the formerly homeless, formerly unemployed man who was hired -- literally off the street -- by the Cleveland Cavaliers for his dream job as an announcer. Other job offers are still pouring in from around the country. If you're unemployed, you can learn a lot from Ted Williams' Guerrilla Job Search.
Here's why ...
No social worker on earth would say to a homeless person, "You know what you need to do? Go stand in traffic with a sign and talk like a radio DJ to every person you meet." Ted could have followed conventional advice -- gone to his local workforce center or library, waited to use the free computers, and applied online for advertised jobs. And he would still be unemployed.
Luckily, Ted Williams is a natural born Guerrilla Job Hunter. He did four simple things, which you can do, too ...
1) Ted got out of the house and met people
If there's one advantage to being homeless in a job search, it's this: You can't avoid meeting people. By contrast, unemployed people with homes often go to great lengths to avoid people. They sit at home, in front of the computer, zapping out resumes by email and feeling productive. But that's usually a pointless waste of time.
Instead, Ted was out in the game, every day, meeting and telling people about the job he wanted. And he met just the right person -- a reporter who told his story. The rest is history. You never know who you will meet on the street. That person ahead of you in line at 7-Eleven, or sitting next to you at Starbucks, may be a VP at your dream employer. Of course the chances of meeting your dream employer on the street this week are small. But your chances are ZERO if you stay at home and never get out.
* Do you know EXACTLY what job you want to do? There are plenty of homeless (and "homed") people looking for "any job" ... and they struggle for months.
* How many people have you talked to this week about your job? How do you know? What is your quota?
2) Ted didn't use an ordinary resume
You can't get much less ordinary than Ted's "resume" -- it was handwritten, in magic marker ... on a piece of cardboard. The first line read, "I have a God given gift of voice." That's ... extraordinary. Not recommended for most people, who should print their resume on paper and hand-deliver it to hiring managers, if possible. But a great idea starter. More importantly, Ted didn't waste weeks revising his resume until it was "perfect."
* How many ordinary resumes have you sent to employers?
* If you're not yet ready, how much longer will you wait for your resume to be "perfect" before sending it out? And how many jobs have you missed out on in the meantime?
3) Ted didn't interview, he performed
When most job seekers get an interview, they retell success stories from their past, hoping employers will take a leap of faith and hire them. Bleh. Ted performed for anyone who would listen. His first "interview" -- the YouTube video that made him famous overnight -- didn't feature him begging for a job. No, he was DOING THE JOB in that video interview. Big difference.
* How can you perform your most-employable skills at a moment's notice?
* If you're in sales, you can pick up a phone book and make cold calls.
* If you're a designer, you can draw on napkin.
* A teacher can deliver a memorable 5-minute lesson.
* A customer service manager can pose as a customer, call his target employer, and analyze their phone service.
You get the idea -- there is NO job that cannot be performed in an interview. Because, if you're hired you will have to perform anyway. Why wait?
4) Ted kept a positive outlook
Yes, your situation may be dire. You may have been jobless for months or years. You may have troubles with your finances, family, or health. But you probably won't be sleeping under a highway overpass tonight. So do what it takes to greet the world with a smile. It's the fastest way to make the best impression on anyone. And it doesn't cost a dime.
If Ted, a homeless, recovering alcoholic/addict, can be unfailingly polite and positive in his dealings with others, so can you. Just watch his video on YouTube, if you haven't already. Still not able to stay positive? Fine -- fake it for just 30 minutes tomorrow. Get out of the house. Meet one person. Talk to them about your job. Perform your skill. Do it with a smile.
After that, you can go home and scowl for the rest of the day. At least you'll have a home to go to.
Bottom line: If you get out, meet people, send an extraordinary resume, and "perform" in a positive way -- like Ted Williams -- you may find a job, too. Or the job may find you.
That's the Guerrilla way.
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
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