by Kevin Donlin
Hi, I’m Kevin Donlin and an executive job search consultant.
Alan Collins asked me to stop by and provide you with some of my “unconventional” strategies for landing your next HR gig.
So I’m going to provide you with four quick tips.
And they start with Ted Williams (pictured left).
Maybe you’ve heard of him and his “golden voice.” If you’ve been hiding in a cave for the last week, then check his video below:
Ted is the formerly homeless, formerly unemployed man who was hired — literally off the street — by the Cleveland Cavaliers for his dream job as an announcer. Other job offers are still pouring in from around the country.
If you’re unemployed in HR, you can learn a lot from Ted Williams’ job search.
No HR manager, headhunter or hiring manager would ever say to a homeless person, “You know what you need to do? Go stand in traffic with a sign and talk like a radio DJ to every person you meet.”
Ted could have followed every single piece of conventional job search advice — gone to his local library, waited to use the free computers, and applied online for advertised jobs. And he would still be unemployed.
Luckily, Ted Williams is a natural born Guerrilla Job Hunter.
He did four simple things, which you can do, too …
1. Ted got out of the house and met people
If there’s one advantage to being homeless in a job search, it’s this: You can’t avoid meeting people.
By contrast, many unemployed folks in HR with roofs over their heads often go to great lengths to avoid people. They sit at home, in front of the computer, zapping out resumes and e-mails and feeling productive. But that’s usually a pointless waste of time.
Instead, Ted was out in the game, every day, meeting and telling people about the job he wanted. And he met just the right person — a reporter who told his story. The rest is history.
You never know who you will meet on the street. That person ahead of you in line at 7-Eleven, or sitting next to you at Starbucks, may be a VP at your dream employer. Of course the chances of meeting your dream employer on the street this week are small. But your chances are ZERO if you stay at home and never get out.
* How many people have you talked to this week about your job? How do you know? What is your quota?
2. Ted didn’t use an ordinary resume
You can’t get much less ordinary than Ted’s “resume” — it was handwritten, in magic marker … on a piece of cardboard. The first line read, “I have a God given gift of voice.”
That’s … extraordinary.
Not recommended for most HR professionals. Probably a better idea to print your resume on paper and hand-deliver it to hiring managers, if possible. But a great idea starter.
More importantly, Ted didn’t waste weeks revising his resume until it was “perfect.”
* How many ordinary resumes have you sent to employers?
* If you’re not yet ready, how much longer will you wait for your resume to be “perfect” before sending it out? And how many jobs have you missed out on in the meantime?
3. Ted didn’t interview, he performed
When most job seekers get an interview, they retell success stories from their past, hoping employers will take a leap of faith and hire them.
Ted performed for anyone who would listen. His first “interview” — the YouTube video above that made him famous overnight — didn’t feature him begging for a job. No, he was DOING THE JOB in that video interview. Big difference.
* How can you perform your most-employable skills at a moment’s notice?
* If you’re an HR generalist, can you show people how you use Twitter or Linked in identify hard-to-find job candidates (like Engineers or IT professionals)? Sure you can.
* If you’re seeking a job in labor relations, can you give a quick demo on how you typically handle a difficult employee grievance with a union steward? Of course, you can.
* If you’re a comp & benefits director, can you show people three quick ways they can potentially reduce the company costs of their health care program? If you can, then why not do it?
You get the idea — there is NO job that cannot be performed in an interview…or at a moments notice. If you’re hired you will have to perform anyway. So why wait? Give your potential employer a sample of what you can do.
4. Ted kept a positive outlook
Yes, your situation may be dire. You may have been jobless for months or years. You may have troubles with your finances, family, or health.
But you probably won’t be sleeping under a highway overpass tonight.
So do what it takes to greet the world with a smile. It’s the fastest way to make the best impression on anyone. And it doesn’t cost a dime.
If Ted, a homeless, recovering alcoholic/addict, can be unfailingly polite and positive in his dealings with others, so can you. Again, just watch his video on YouTube, if you haven’t already.
Still not able to stay positive? Fine — fake it for just 30 minutes tomorrow. Get out of the house. Meet one person. Talk to them about your job. Perform your skill. Do it with a smile.
After that, you can go home and scowl for the rest of the day. At least you’ll have a home to go to.
Bottom line: If you get out, meet people, send an extraordinary resume, and “perform” in a positive way — like Ted Williams — you may find a job, too.
Or the job may find you.
That’s the “unconventional way” for finding your next HR gig.
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Kevin Donlin, an expert on executive job search. His articles have been featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and elsewhere.
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