Do Job Search “Gimmicks” Work?


With the job market as bad as it is, most job hunters are looking at ways to make themselves stand out from the crowd. In other words, doing something that is unique and creative as part of the job search.

This obviously is not anything new. Job seekers always have tried unusual ways of getting themselves noticed, using gimmicks of some sort or another. But, with the unemployment rate higher than it has been in some time, and likely to stay that way for a while, many are reexamining the issue again, grasping at anything that might help.

Most professional career consultants frown on such gimmickry, saying it does little to help an applicant. Better to spend the time on polishing the resume and cover letter, making them as compelling as possible to the hiring manager.

Their advice has been to keep the resume and cover letter simple and professional – using good quality paper, a professional typeface, a neat, organized layout. Black lettering on white paper. And they advise that an applicant be sure to avoid misspellings or grammatical errors. This, they say, counts for much more than any gimmickry.

But, some might counter, is there really anything to lose? There is no simple answer to the question. It may depend on the type of job for which you’re applying. For example, something in a more creative, artistic type of business or sector might lend itself to some kind of trickery. But using gimmicks would probably be more detrimental in applying for a more traditional, conservative kind of job.

So, will using some kind of gimmick get you noticed? Certainly. But will it produce any results? Not if you don’t have a dynamite resume and cover letter with which to back it up.

To land a job, you still need to rely on the tried to true, and, yes, rather mundane, job search strategies – doing a self-assessment to sharpen your own idea of your strengths and what you can bring to the job market, networking with as many people as you can, researching the places where you want to work, and writing the best resume and cover letter that you can.

Contacting RealStreet Staffing is another proven way to find work. We can place you in temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments with some of Washington DC’s best companies. We look forward to hearing from you!

I have worked with RealStreet for the past five years to provide supplemental staffing for two federal government contracts. It has been a great partnership. I find RealStreet to be attentive and responsive to our needs, reliable, and they consistently find great people that fit what we need for multiple roles on two different programs.

Kevin T. Fitzpatrick, PMP, Peer Review Program Manager

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