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Job Applicants Try Unique Methods to Stand Out

winterHow far will you go to grab a manager's attention and land the open position? Some workers tend to take extreme methods, which may help them stick out for the wrong reasons.

OfficeTeam, a staffing service, surveyed 250 executives in order to find the strangest stories they have heard or seen candidates do for a job offer. Here are some odd examples:

— "I remember a job candidate bringing in milk and cookies."

— "I have seen magnets on people's cars directing others to websites for their resumes."

— "I remember someone had his resume delivered in a pizza box."

— "A job applicant spritzed her resume with perfume."

— "Someone wrote a press release announcing she had been hired and used it as her cover letter."

"It's understandable for candidates who aren't having luck with traditional job search methods to try more creative ways to get noticed," says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Although these tactics might grab an employer's attention, they also carry an element of risk."

Some job-searching methods can be depicted as desperate instead of proactive:

— "A person who was job hunting advertised his skills on a sandwich board."

— "I've seen job candidates pay for billboards to get an employer's attention."

Other job applicants tend to gain attention from their packaging or formatting rather than from the resume itself.

— "A woman dropped off a balloon with her resume."

— "We received a resume made into a paper airplane."

— "Once we received a resume rolled into a bottle."

— "A job-seeker came in with an oversized schematic that he rolled out on the table and used to 'pitch' himself to me."

— "I received a laminated resume."

Surveyed executives listed some past positive approaches used by job candidates:

— "Receiving handwritten notes as opposed to e-mails."

— "Using a good reference — I swear by references, so that's very important."

— "People who take the time to research the company, do their homework and follow up on their ideas."

— "People are dressing up more than they did in the past."

— "The job-seeker turned the table and wanted to know all about me. The tactic worked."

"While unconventional methods can be hit or miss, one surefire way to stand out is by going the extra mile to showcase your skill set, professionalism and enthusiasm for the position," says Hosking.

For more information, visit www.officeteam.com.

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MONEYMAKING OPTIONS

With tighter budgets during this slow economy, workers are trying to find ways to stay afloat and make extra money. One-in-10 employees decided to find a second job, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey, while others are using their imaginations to develop moneymaking ideas.

CareerBuilder.com provides unique examples of how some workers are paying the bills:

— Had a portable propane burner to heat oil and sold catfish dinners on his porch.

— Gave blood plasma.

— Earned money on a game show.

— Juggled chain saws in a talent contest.

— Grabbed things from the Lost and Found and sold them online.

— Cut co-workers' hair in the office.

— Took part in university research studies.

— Modeled for an art class.

— Wrote notes in class for college students.

— Participated in poker tournaments.

— Tasted recipes for a book.

For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

To find out more about Amy Winter and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM

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