Standing Out In An Ever-Growing Talent Pool

As companies continue to announce massive layoffs, like the 35,000 announced due to the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger, job seekers find themselves one among many talented applicants. It is necessary in an environment such as this to be very aggressive and sometimes very creative in order to stand out.

According to a survey of 3,000 job seeker by Challenger, job search times in the third quarter were 4.4 months, up from 3.6 months in Q2. An article by Dana Mattioli in the Wall Street Journal gave evidence that some job seekers are going on 1-year without landing a job. Adding to the difficulty is that most job seekers are unwilling to relocate, which is completely understandable considering the harsh housing climate. So how can you make your mark?

Last week, the New York Post reported on a man Joshua Persky who was recently laid off from the banking sector. The man walked through New York wearing a sandwich board reading, “MIT grad for hire.” An accounting firm picked him up about a year after he was laid off from an investment firm.

This kind of out-of-the-box, aggressive self-marketing will help many job seekers in the coming weeks and months get noticed. Most likely, many job seekers, older workers included, will become familiar and learn to use not only social networking sites, but also video-sharing sites such as YouTube. A video resume is creative, innovative if done well, and easy to send out, since you only need a link.

Another networking idea for job seekers is volunteer work. Volunteering for one of your favorite charities, soup kitchens, homeless shelters or child care facilities could be a great way to build your resume, especially if you offer your time to manage other volunteers or fix a budget. Job seekers can use the opportunity to meet like-minded people who may have job leads or work with organizations who may have openings.

What other ways can job seeker creatively promote themselves in the current job market? What have you seen?

Colleen Madden
Research Consultant

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