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Wacky Ways Job Seekers Seek To Stand Out

With times tough and job openings scare, people hunting for jobs are coming up with unique ways to draw attention from prospective employers.

Susan Koeppen and Chris Wragge discussed several of them on The Early Show Saturday.

They range from renting a billboard to sending a bowling pin with a resume in an attempt to "bowl over" the person doing the hiring.

But, experts say, such tactics could well do more harm than good.

More than half (52 percent) of marketing executives and a-quarter (26 percent) of advertising executives said they view such tactics as unprofessional, according to a recent report called "Substance Over Stule" from The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service.

It was based on responses from some 250 executives.

Among the mosre unique methods cited in the report:

  • Gary Radke a creative marketing/advertising professional from Green Bay, Wis., launched his own PR campaign by posting his resume on a roadside billboard. He gained local notoriety and accomplished his objective, landing a job! Radke said it cost him $1,000 dollars for a month, but was worth every penny.
  • Susan Kwon bought a vintage book and created a handmade holder for a sample portfolio to send to possible employers.
  • One job seeker sent a bowling pin and said, "I'll bowl you over."
  • Another job seeker attached pineapple scratch-and-sniff stickers to his resume.
  • Mark Trenwith, an Adelaide-based Australian comedian and actor who was having a difficult time getting a job, sent a singing telegram to literally hit the high notes of his resume, and it definitely got noticed!
  • One applicant sent six postcards, and each was a piece of a puzzle. When the puzzle was put together, it was his resume.
  • One person sent an egg carton with faux eggs and a message saying she would deliver fresh ideas daily.
  • An applicant sent his resume on a big hamburger roll, saying his 'brains were on a roll."
  • A candidate sent a baseball mitt to be "part of the team."
  • An applicant had her name printed on golf balls that got into the hands of executives who were hiring.
  • One man sent a piggy bank with his art samples inside.
  • One person put up posters of himself in the garage where the executive parked.
  • A shoe with a resume attached was sent to signify getting "your foot in the door."

    Fewer than half the executives surveyed -- 46 percent in advertising and 34 percdnt in marketing -- said they might consider an applicant with a gimmicky resume, and only 2 percent of marketing execs and 8 percent of ad execs said gimmicks would help a candidate get hired. Respondents said that such stunts, even in creative fields rarely result in a job offer or even an interview.

    Views on unusual job-hunting strategies are mixed, so you may want to think carefully before straying from conventional tactics, experts say.

    Some tips to consider before considering offbeat ways of reaching out to possible employers:

  • Get in the know: Learn as much as possible about the company and hiring manager to gain a sense of how much the organization values originality versus tradition.
  • Avoid clichés: Hackneyed gimmicks, rather than an emphasis on creativity, indicate a lack of originality.
  • Create a cohesive campaign: A novel approach works best if it underscores a creative professional's unique skill set and is consistent with the individual's portfolio and other self-promotional materials.
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