A recent CNN article by Samuel Sherraden, an Economic Growth Program analyst at the New American Foundation compared the difficulty of finding a job in this economy to gaining admission to an Ivy League college. In the article, Sherraden said:
Since the beginning of the recession in December 2007, job openings declined from 4.4 million to 2.4 million and the number of officially unemployed persons grew from 7.5 million to 15.7 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If the 15.7 million officially unemployed workers were to apply for those 2.4 million jobs, the chance of any one of them finding a job are about 15 percent, or roughly the same odds as being accepted to the University of Pennsylvania.
This is a sobering realization for those people searching vehemently for work. In situations like these, people will either get motivated or step up their efforts at finding work or give up completely. Hopefully the majority of people get motivated, though finding a job through the traditional way of sending-a-resume-and-hoping-for-an-interview will hardly cut it anymore. These job seekers have to get creative to make the right contacts and find a job.
Companies are starting to notice this and companies dedicated to jobseekers are popping up all over the place. One such company, ResumeShirts.com, will print your resume or witty cover letter on a t-shirt that you can wear in public in hopes of catching the right eyes.
“We custom-print people’s resumes on their shirts because, well, you never know who’s standing behind you in line at the grocery store,” Jeremy Redleaf, CEO of ResumeShirts.com said. “We just had a recently-unemployed customer named Brittany order a ResumeShirt to wear in the NYC marathon. She figured this was her best shot at exposure.”
Job seekers are also thinking outside the box. One laid-off professional, Michael Checkaway, offered an all-expense vacation package to anyone who could come through with a relavant job for him. Checkaway works in public relations, so this idea only made him more attractive to potential employers. He now has a job as a project manager/event planner for medical professionals.
“It’s a job I’d been chasing after since last fall. I’m excited for the opportunity and relieved to have finally found something,” he said.
Do you think outside-the-box ways like these are a legitimate way to find jobs/job leads, or do you think it’s too gimmicky to work for the average unemployed person? What are the advantages and drawbacks to using methods like these?