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Extreme Job Hunting – how to stand out in the Graduate job market

With more people graduating university each year, it’s no secret that the graduate job market is a tough one. With sometimes as many as 100+ people applying for the same job, a degree can sometimes not be enough to stand out for a job. Fear not though, as this abundance of qualified applicants has led to a new phenomenon – extreme job hunting.

Extreme job hunting is where applicants will apply to jobs in outlandish and attention-grabbing ways – from wrestling in gravy (something Dan Conway of The Extreme Job Hunter did) to plastering your face on a billboard (like Adam Pacitti did). These applications certainly raise awareness of your hunt for employment, but do they help it? We asked Dan and Adam for their take on extreme job hunting.

“I applied for 250 jobs the conventional way and only had two replies – both telling me I wouldn’t be getting the job. I thought I was doing everything right. I was tailoring my CV to each job, researching each company and writing decent cover letters but wasn’t getting anywhere,”

says Adam of Adam took the bold move of putting his face and website on a billboard to raise awareness of his hunt for employment – a tactic that gained both applause and aggression

“One guy threatened to burn down my house. He didn’t like my supposed self-entitlement or my big nose. Generally, though, it was pretty positive. People were able to empathise with my situation and realised that I just wanted a chance to prove myself”.

A need to stand out from the crowd was also what prompted Dan from The Extreme Job Hunter to start applying for jobs in outlandish fashion as well:

“I was getting no results using the same old boring traditional methods that everyone else was using so had nothing to lose trying a different approach. What was the worst that could happen?”

Dan tried everything from sending his CV in a Piñata to potential employers to buying PPC (pay per click) adverts in Google on the Director of the BBC’s name to try and get a job.

Buying PPC adverts on potential employers’ names is something Alec Brownstein used in his employment search to great effect, as it got him a job at Y&R New York.

On whether it could work for you, Adam provides a word of caution:

“I get lots of people emailing me telling me they are going to hire a billboard or do some other job hunting stunt. One guy emailed me saying he couldn’t get a job as a pilot so he was going to hire one of those planes that write messages in the sky with smoke. He should have probably just gone to pilot school. These stunts only work in a few select industries where you can pay to be an attention seeker, so think carefully before you waste your money. If there’s an established route to the job you want, you should probably just follow that.”

Dan, however, says you should go for it:

“There are more people unemployed than there are jobs, and you can guarantee there is someone who is more qualified and experienced in whatever job you apply for. You have to have an edge that makes you stand out. Using extreme job hunting tactics can give you that edge if done right”.

– To find out more about extreme job hunting, read Plusnet’s post here.


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