young man shouting with a megaphone at a crowded placeBusinessweek recently had a great article on the creative tactics some millennials used to land jobs. Two examples really stood out to me:

A “talking” resume

Victor Petit sent hiring managers a traditional résumé with a large photo of him on the back. In place of the mouth there was QR code, which many currently use on résumés; clicking on it with a mobile device elicits further information. A talking mouth that fit right into the picture (if you put the mobile device where the mouth would be) showed up to give more information about Petit, who used his talking résumé to tell hiring managers exactly what he wanted them to hear.

Most millennials I know (especially recent graduates) are always looking to the advice of industry professionals. We’re all mostly familiar with the dos’s and don’t of job seeking. And one MAJOR don’t we’ve always been told is don’t include a picture on your resume. Good thing Petit decided to go against the norm.

How creative and different to have a resume that “talks” to you? I know if I were a hiring manager, I would be thoroughly surprised and impressed. Petit showed potential employers that he has the ability to think outside of the box, which is always a plus when it comes to selecting top talent. And including a “talking portion” on his resume gave him the chance to give potential employers much more information about him than what could be captured on a black-and-white resume.

Job seeker ads

Alec Brownstein knew he needed to get in front of recruiters. He determined that they must all Google (GOOG) themselves. So he purchased Google ads that would show up when they searched their own names. He bought ads targeting five recruiters, got four interviews and two job offers. It cost him $6.

In my book, this is most certainly ‘job seeker genius.’ For just six bucks, Brownstein elevated himself from just another guy looking for work to having not one but two companies offering him employment. Talk about working smarter and not harder!

Like Petit, this certainly shows that Brownstein is creative, but it also shows his determination. How many job seekers do you know who are so determined that they’ll make sure hiring managers and/or recruiters will see their “ad” every time he or she Googles him/herself?

His job-hunting strategy also revealed a lot about his knowledge pertaining to Google, analytics and branding—all three important areas for the majority of businesses. A lot of people don’t pay attention to Google Ads or even understand their purpose or how to use them. Even more don’t consider that higher ups—the people job seekers want to get in contact with—often Google themselves, and like everyone else who uses the search engine, constantly see ads.

What’s the moral to these stories?

Like the title, a lot of times, it pays to be different. With millions of unemployed Americans, you have to consider that hiring managers most likely see the same “type” of job seeker approach numerous times per day. This can quickly become routine and boring. But every now and then, someone’s tactics stand out, whether it is because they’re so bizarre or unconventional. Uniqueness catches a hiring manager’s eye and can often put a job seeker so much further ahead than the other applicants.

Keep these stories in mind as you look for your next job. Think outside of the box and be creative. Hopefully in the end you will also discover the benefits of being a “different” kind of job seeker.

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