Dear Evil HR Lady,
I'm a recent college graduate and have been actively job hunting for about 6 months. As the number of resumes I've sent out approaches 300, I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong and how I can stand out among the hundreds of other applicants I'm competing with. After Googling "creative ways to get hired", I came across the idea of wearing a t-shirt with my resume on it. My dream job is to do PR in the racing industry. I'm attending two races in the coming months and I am contemplating doing this in order to get the attention of some race teams and potential hiring managers. Would you recommend wearing a resume t-shirt or does it come across as too desperate?
I'm generally a traditionalist when it comes to resumes. For instance, while I think that visual resumes look awesome, I think they are generally a bad idea for anyone not trying to get a job as a graphic designer. I don't like gimmicks, games, and cutesie stuff. I want a strong, well thought out resume and cover letter that clearly indicate why I should hire you.
But, there are two things going on here that are making me think about helping you pick out colors for your resume T-shirt: crappy job market and all the press releases I get from PR people.
But, let's talk about Public Relations people. Every week I get numerous emails from Public Relations people telling me about how wonderful the latest, greatest business book, HR software, or Nigerian Scam is. (Okay, those don't come from PR firms.) The thing is, every single one of those letters is in the same format. It's rare that one of them has anything at all that stands out, and they are so filled with long signature lines that occur before the book's description, that I wonder if anyone actually gets around to reading the book's description.
So, while I doubt racing people are sending me emails (although, heaven knows I like a good demolition derby, but that's not the same thing), I desperately want some new blood in the PR companies. Please, before I fall asleep over my laptop.
Wearing a T-shirt with your resume printed on the back (and yes, please on the back, especially if you're female--you want people to read the words, not stare at your chest), is not being obnoxious like planting yourself in a corporate waiting room, or calling a hiring manager 15 times a day. It's rather unobtrusive and it just might work.
You'd be targeting the very people you want to work for, and you may strike up some conversations with people who wouldn't otherwise give you the time of day. Make sure you have hard copies of your resume available on the off chance that someone is actually interested, but more importantly, be prepared to ask someone who speaks to you for his business card. If that person doesn't have a business card, make sure you have a pen and paper (or, forgive my lack of technology--a Smart Phone) to write down a phone number and email address.
And your resume (the real one, not the abbreviated version on your T-shirty) must be impeccable. If you end up getting anyone's business card through this, you must follow up with a perfect cover letter. Otherwise, this is all just a gimmick. And if you are wanting to do this instead of doing the work to have a great resume and cover letter, forget it.
Of course the vast majority of people who will see your T-shirt will not be involved in the racing industry, other than being fans. That's okay, because one of them might be intrigued by your resume. Be willing to expand your horizons as well.
Now, do I think this stunt will land you a job? Not really. Do I think it's worth a shot? Absolutely. As long as you are polite, I don't think it will do any damage, and it might work. Besides, i want you to report back on what happened when you wore it.
And what do my readers think? Is this a good idea or a sign of pure desperation? Is this T-shirt thing only good for those involved in promotion or could I wear one to the next Society for Human Resource Management convention? Would you wear one?
For further reading:
- Unemployed For a Long Time? Try This
- Stop Being a Lazy Job Seeker
- Get Hired (Not Fired) With Your Blog
Photo by SOCIALisBETTER, Flick cc 2.0