Vault's Verdict: While this is a great way to get noticed by a lot of people, getting noticed by the right person becomes more about luck than judgment. There are certainly examples of people being successful using this approach, but it tends to take a long time: it took Joshua Peresky a full year to find work, while Nawrocki was pounding the pavement for two years before landing a job through more conventional means—networking at an industry-specific career fair.
Posters in the New York Subway
The Tactic: Subway riders in the Big Apple recently may have come across a poster from an aspiring actor by the name of Fabrice Yahyaoui that gets straight to the point. Featuring ten headshots, Mr. Yahyaoui's name in huge type and a web address, the poster also bears the following caption: "This man is an actor. He [expletive] wants to act. Cast him." (Click here if you have a burning need to see the poster.)
Vault's Verdict: Mr. Yahyaoui's tactic relies on the same premise as the sandwich boards: if enough people see the ad, the right one might be among them. While the ad is certainly eye-catching, it is only the profanity that makes it memorable. That probably won't hinder Mr. Yahyaoui's chances of getting cast—and it may even help. However, the tactic may hurt him down the line, especially if acting doesn't work out and he finds himself pursuing a more conventional career path—one where prospective employers do web searches prior to making an offer.
The Tactic: Social media doesn't begin and end with Facebook and Twitter, and the tools aren't just for teenagers: professionals of all stripes are increasingly coming to adopt some mixture of social media into their job search, using it for networking, to broadcast their skills, and even to seek feedback and peer review. One such example is Ashley Jablow, who is graduating with an MBA from Boston College into one of the worst job markets for graduates in history. Rather than sitting back and bemoaning her fate, however, Ashley has been doing everything she can to put herself in the shop window—including contributing posts to blogs that cover her specialty area: sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Vault's Verdict: The way Ms. Jablow is using social media is a testament to its power and utility, and should pay off sooner rather than later. By making herself visible on blogs and websites relevant to her chosen profession, she is demonstrating her expertise to an audience that is already engaged in her field—greatly increasing the chances that someone with the power to make a hiring decision will find her. Rather than adopting the scattergun approach seen in the previous two examples, she is focusing on finding the right contacts, and branding herself as an expert into the process. Both of these things guarantee that she will stand out from the crowd, and give her a much better chance of success.
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Phil Stott is a staff writer at Vault.com in New York. Originally from Scotland, he has also lived and worked in Japan, South Korea and Eastern Europe. He holds an MA in English Literature and Modern History, and a Masters in Research in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Dundee.
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