Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Job-Seeker ... what have you done lately to "get noticed?"

People will do the darndest things to “get noticed.”

I do understand. Really. But even more important than getting noticed, is what you say/do after being noticed. It’s critical that you find a way to communicate to a recruiter or hiring manager what it is that makes you unique. It's not just your experience, it's also "how you do things," your passions and values and all the factors that make you one-of-a-kind.

But getting to that point is often the most difficult thing to do.

So, what have you done lately to “get noticed?”

Remember the guy (Michael Swanson) that made a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself and sent it to Microsoft? Here's the link to his site. From what I recall, he didn't get a job, but he did get a very nice thank you letter written by the VP of HR, Mike well as a lot of free publicity about his cardboard cutout.

I've never received a cardboard cutout, but I have received the following:

A box of Godiva Chocolates with a card that said something like:

"I'm even better than the finest box of chocolates!"

An autographed photograph that implied the job-seeker was a "Star in the Making!"

A five minute voice-mail that said,

"Please, I need a job so much. I haven't seen my family in five years.
I even missed going to my father's funeral. If you'll hire me,
I'll be able to travel back to my country and visit my father's gravesite."

There's a million whacky websites offering up ideas to help you "stand out from the crowd." I'm just saying, use common sense. Oftentimes, the cheesy ideas are the one's that leave you standing "out" from the crowd of people invited for the interview.

Cardboard cutout? Well, it's no longer an original idea, but it would be pretty impossible to throw away something that took so much time and expense to create.

Just remember, nothing is guaranteed. Even Michael didn't get the interview.

Want an alternative to the cardboard cutout?

Network - Network - Network - Network!

Dennis Smith

{tags: career, interview, job search}


Anonymous said...

In Microsoft lore, my cardboard cutout story has been blurred with the fact that I have been working here for almost 6 years now, and most people assume that it got me hired. You're correct that it didn't. Networking finally landed me the job. But, I hear about the cutout *all* the time. :)

Dennis Smith said...

Hey Mike! So glad you chimed in! I am glad to hear that you nailed your job through networking, and I'm not surprised.

I've gotta tell ya, I think the cutout was one of the all-time coolest things ever done by a candidate. I can see how it evolved into lore at Microsoft as this story will continue circulating the Internet for years to come.

Thanks for dropping in,