4 “Unconventional” HR Job Hunting Secrets…From The Homeless Man with the Golden Voice

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.

Here’s why…

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.

Burning question:

* 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.”

Burning questions:

* 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.

Not Ted.

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.

Burning questions:

* 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.

Your feedback is welcomed. Please click HERE to add your comments,insights or thoughts on this article.

Want more “Unconventional Job Search strategies” that can help you get your next HR job quickly: then check out my Instant Job Search System, which you can learn more about by CLICKING HERE!

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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7 Responses to “4 “Unconventional” HR Job Hunting Secrets…From The Homeless Man with the Golden Voice”

  1. Richard Says:

    Good info here. Let me add one, while you stand proud of the detailed questions you reviewed and are ready to ask your prospective employer (culture, first six months role preview, burning initiatives, what people do in the org that makes them successfull, etc, etc, etc,…)- times up! You will have 5-10 minutes max in most cases to “interview” the interviewer. Something most HR folks do well and want to do. So…pick the best one or two and forget the laundry list.

  2. Charles van Heerden Says:

    Some great pointers Kevin. Point 1 resonates strongly, as it is fundamentally all about real connections with people. By using a rating scale it is easy to analyze the true value of search activity. Emails (score 1) and phone calls (score 3) rate well below face to face contact (score 5).

    And of course, a positive mindset and outlook is critical, even though there my be an underlying level of frustration and even desperation. Best of luck and happy hunting.

  3. Koven Roundtree Says:

    I was fascinated with the Ted Williams story and loved the fact that a person with such and amazing talent could turn his life around. Ken you have some great points that I will definitely put into practice. Thanks!

  4. Kimberly Hardin Says:

    This is a very good article. I will be sure to share it with friends that are looking for work. I particularly appreciate #1. As an HR professional, I have always noted how individuals looking for work that make the effort to come in and speak with me about getting a job, and are persistent about it, are more likely to get an interview than someone who just submits an application or resume waiting to get called. It has taught me lessons in job searches that more people need to be aware of to increase their chances at working at their most preferred company.

  5. Murali Menon Says:

    Quite a good piece of advice.Thanks

  6. Sandra Ramos Says:

    Good aticle!

  7. Sandra Ramos Says:

    As I was reading the article, I was thinking about the 4 main points that the article mentions.
    In fact, I think that these are good practices to take into account while seeking a new job, but as an HR profeesional, and related to one of our main responsibilities, I think that we can take these keys to work within the company to achieve good internal relationships, to spread our work, to know more about our client’s needs and, obviously, to keep improving our job.