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Extreme job hunt: Applicants ditch resumes for guerilla tactics

When traditional job-hunting methods fail, some are turning to the unconventional.

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The pitch: Job seeker Kim Walker prepares to videotape her 30-second self-promotional spot at the TeleMedia Studios in Chelmsford, Mass. The ‘commercials’ by those looking for work appear on cable-access TV as well as on YouTube.

Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor

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As unemployment climbs, jobless Americans are doing more than asking for a job. Some are affixing résumés to their cars. Others are posting job appeals on YouTube. A few are even offering rewards for job referrals. To quote a lyric from the musical “Gypsy,” some people have decided that “you gotta have a gimmick” these days to land a job.

Take Pasha Stocking of East Hampton, Conn. She paid more than $1,000 to rent a billboard in April on Interstate 95 in Bridgeport. It sported her larger-than-life picture and the words “Hire Me!” The single mother of three, who lost her job as a marketing and sales director last June, says she’s received at least 300 e-mails and a few job prospects as a result of the billboard, after months of getting nowhere. “I definitely think I’ll get a job offer out of it,” she says in a phone interview.

Then there’s Jann FritzHuspen. After 18 months of looking for work, in September she express-mailed a coffee mug along with her application to three prospective employers, asking each if they’d meet her for coffee. Two ignored her. The third agreed and, a month later, offered her a job as executive director for a nonprofit organization in Roseville, Minn.

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