August 20, 2013

Was this a Job Seeker Mistake or Masterpiece?

young woman making a decision with arrows and question mark above her headHave you ever felt desperate in your search to find a job? I know I have. I remember spending hours upon hours applying for jobs and waiting anxiously for my phone to ring. And this occurred for months.

Many job seekers will find themselves in this state, especially during an extended job search and especially during this economic time. And it’s easy to allow desperation to turn into depression, despair, and eventually, “I quit” and giving up.

Most helpful tips and tricks to steer you away from the job search depression do so in an attempt to keep job seekers from making mistakes. After all, when you’re desperate you’ll most likely do just about anything, but not everything is good for you (and your chances of landing a job).

Take Brian Zulberti, a 2009 Villanova Law School grad who was looking for a job. He had already drunk two red bulls the night he decided to take his job search efforts one step further. Zulberti, who was e-mailing every lawyer he could find in the legal directory, decided to add a photo of himself in the emails.

The photo (according to USA Today) was of the 30-year-old grad “in a T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, showing off his sculpted arms.” The article said a day later Zulberti was an internet sensation.

The article says his act garnered many headlines, including:

  • Gawker: “Lawyer Asks Hiring Firms to Google Him. Puts nude selfie on Facebook”
  • MSN: “Law school grad bemoans job search, flaunts toned arms in cover letter”
  • The Mail Online, London’s Daily Mail tabloid: “That’s one way to bulk up your résumé!”

A law blog even found other “questionable” pictures on Zulberti’s Facebook page to complete a “bad ideas” topic-inspired post. For example, in his job seeking efforts, he had previously posted a photo of his naked torso (with the top of his underwear visible) standing in front of a mirror. A sign was taped to the mirror (which covered his face) that read: “Hire me!!! no … as a Lawyer, … NOT A ESCORT… wait is it something I’m wearing.”

On sending the “rolled sleeves photo” in his emails, Zulberti said he was desperate to an extent, but he thought adding the photo and a little sex appeal might improve his chances. He said, “I never sent any pictures in my underwear to employers. I sent a picture in a muscle shirt. I will allow others to debate whether or not that was appropriate.”

Were his actions appropriate? Many would say Zulberti made a mistake in his job search efforts and in him being desperate “to an extent.”

But, the article goes on to explain how Zulberti also received a lot of support, with people telling him not to give up; thousands of hits on his Youtube video; talking to a Philadelphia radio show; and an invitation to appear on The Steve Harvey Show.

Zulberti said, “I went from being a guy with no job to a guy with no job on TV.” Before this incident Zulberti wasn’t a recognizable name, yet now, great deals of people know who he is. His actions have garnered him media attention and spread his name out there. Are his chances of landing a job higher now that he’s more recognizable, even if his recognition was sparked through controversy?

Was Zulberti’s photo-added-email a job seeker mistake? Or a masterpiece that has now given him exposure he otherwise may not have received?

Share your thoughts!

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Marks’ stories have also been published in a variety of newspaper, magazine and online formats including The Arizona Republic, The Daily Herald, Arizona Foothills Magazine and various classroom magazines of Scholastic Inc. Service is her passion, writing is her platform and uplifting and inspiring the community is her purpose. Marks received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.
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