7 Highly Unusual Ways to Try to Find a Job

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Revamping your resume will only get you so far. Here are seven creative—and not necessarily recommended—strategies some struggling job hunters are using to try and find work. This post could also double as: 7 Indicators of a Bad Job Market.
Offer a cash reward. The longer you’re out of work, the idea of paying someone who helps you land a paying gig seems easier and easier to swallow. Among the job hunters who’ve offered money to anyone providing a referral that leads to a full-time salary are: an unemployed marketing consultant offering as much as $25K (the actual amount would depend on his new salary); a woman in Texas who flashed a $1,000 reward on Facebook last summer to anyone helping her find gainful employment as a financial analyst or accountant; and a Los Angeles man offering $3,000 to anyone helping him end a nine-month-plus job search. While these job hunters offered rewards on their own, there’s a new company that encourages candidates to promise cash bounties—sometimes as much as $10,000—for referrals that successfully lead to employment.

Try curses, potions, and spells. The WSJ reports that there’s been a rise in practitioners of hoodoo—”an ancient belief system based on spells, potions, balms and curses that slaves developed long ago in the Deep South”—who are using the rituals and remedies with the hopes of finding jobs, avoiding foreclosure, and otherwise restoring their mojo.

Get cosmetic surgery. There are indications that plenty of older workers (or the older unemployed) are viewing facelifts, eye lifts, Botox, laser peels, teeth whitenings, and hair loss treatments as career investments, not mere vanity procedures. The idea is that a more youthful appearance helps one find (or keep) a job, especially if it’s in a field such as sales, which requires regular interaction with the public.

Buy a shovel and pray for snow. In the aftermath of some of the recent big storms, freelance shovelers have taken to the streets and stoops, clearing sidewalks and digging out cars for $20 or $40 a pop in New York City. Some of the shovelers were out-of-work Ivy League grads, reported the NY Times.

Bump into the right people. The Chicago Tribune’s Gail MarksJarvis offers a roundup of several “creative” ways to find job leads, and while some of the tips fall just short of stalking, they may work—for example, hanging out, eavesdropping, and starting conversations at Starbucks and gyms where hiring managers live and work. Here are some other spots to target for networking:

If you have a specific company or job in mind, try parking lots in office parks and warehouse districts. Hang out at conference hotels and choose seats on trains and in airports next to people with laptops.

Move to Australia. The WSJ reports that American workers—construction and mining workers especially—are in high demand Down Under, often earning over $50 an hour. In the last five years, the number of Americans working on long-term visas in Australia has increased 80%. But a job Down Under doesn’t necessarily equate to quick, easy money: Visas, local certifications, and living expenses can run tens of thousands of dollars, so making the move is often only worth it if the worker is planning on staying a long time.

Just ask for a million dollars. A comedian who made several YouTube videos asking for a million bucks—for himself, not for charity or any remotely noble purpose—has apparently found a sucker, err donor, willing to oblige. The money is supposed to be handed over to comedian Craig Rowan at New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade on February 2. Some world we live in, huh?

If you’re wondering kind of sales pitch Rowan employed, here’s an example:


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