Unconventional Ways to Land Your Dream Job

It takes more than a resume and good cover letter to land a job these days. Employers are now looking beyond the resume and into other examples such as verifiable work experience, websites, blogs, contests won and even viral videos that separate a job seeker from the pack.

One big  differentiator for job seekers is verifiable industry experience. For programmers involved in open source – a very hot job market at the moment – employers look for programmers who have submitted code, which not only proves technical experience but their ability to collaborate with other developers.

"As far as hiring open source developers, every now and then somebody submits a nice piece of code and it helps in terms of hiring," said Amr Awadallah, Founder, CTO and vice president at Cloudera.

When it comes to cybersecurity, another hot job field, it helps for a job seeker to have posted common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) on the CVE.org website, a dictionary of publicly known information security vulnerabilities. At computer security company IOActive, CVEs can even trump professional experience.

"For us the ideal candidate is somebody who may not have professional experience, but we can see from their website they’ve worked on a lot of projects, a lot of source code and been involved in the open source or public security community," said Mike Davis , principle security consultant at IOActive. "They also potentially have CVEs posted."

The computer security field also routinely looks for people who have won hacking competitions and other security competitions. Yet competitions can help for other positions like graphic designers,  web developers, programmers, video editors, writers and more says Investopedia’s 6 Extreme Ways To Land Your Dream Job.

The article outlines other unconventional avenues to garner employers’ attention, including creating a campaign through social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, having a personal website and/or blog, and creating a viral campaign through YouTube and selling yourself through means like purchasing ad space.

A tight job market can call for strategic and at times unconventional methods to land the job you want. Taking extra steps can separate you from the hundreds of other job seekers that may be seeking the same position. Just be careful not to overdo it.

–Chandler Harris

Comments

20 Responses to “Unconventional Ways to Land Your Dream Job”

September 30, 2010 at 1:07 am, Rey Jaberina said:

Sometimes it’s not the unconventional ways… in tight job market, 150 internet applications won’t get you a job, it’s still whom you know not what you know or have.

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September 30, 2010 at 1:07 am, Rey Jaberina said:

Sometimes it’s not the unconventional ways… in tight job market, 150 internet applications won’t get you a job, it’s still whom you know not what you know or have.

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 5:38 am, TR said:

Also unemployed since March 09. Martin, I’ve been yelling at the moocows myself lately, and you’re right–they don’t mind. Supported my company’s diversity initiatives like a good little employee right up until I handed my job over to India and they handed me a nice severance package. Well, that’s gone, and so, it seems, are the opportunities for anyone past a certain age (OK, so old phart…whatever) who might actually be able to take the ball and run with it…what to do?? You figure it out please let me know!

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 5:38 am, TR said:

Also unemployed since March 09. Martin, I’ve been yelling at the moocows myself lately, and you’re right–they don’t mind. Supported my company’s diversity initiatives like a good little employee right up until I handed my job over to India and they handed me a nice severance package. Well, that’s gone, and so, it seems, are the opportunities for anyone past a certain age (OK, so old phart…whatever) who might actually be able to take the ball and run with it…what to do?? You figure it out please let me know!

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 5:39 am, TR said:

Also unemployed since March 09. Martin, I’ve been yelling at the moocows myself lately, and you’re right–they don’t mind. Supported my company’s diversity initiatives like a good little employee right up until I handed my job over to India and they handed me a nice severance package. Well, that’s gone, and so, it seems, are the opportunities for anyone past a certain age (OK, so old phart…whatever) who might actually be able to take the ball and run with it…what to do?? You figure it out please let me know!

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 5:39 am, TR said:

Also unemployed since March 09. Martin, I’ve been yelling at the moocows myself lately, and you’re right–they don’t mind. Supported my company’s diversity initiatives like a good little employee right up until I handed my job over to India and they handed me a nice severance package. Well, that’s gone, and so, it seems, are the opportunities for anyone past a certain age (OK, so old phart…whatever) who might actually be able to take the ball and run with it…what to do?? You figure it out please let me know!

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 6:50 am, johnny bravo said:

Need to be careful here though. My “unconventional” way to get a job was to get myself interviewed as a Subject Matter Expert in a few widely read, and respected, magazines. At one company, my first boss hired me exactly for this type of expertise and thought the articles were great for marketing myself. Add in a global reorganization soon thereafter and a different boss, from another country, in a global economic climate of fear. The position above mine came open and he pushed me to apply for it. Because my tenure at this company was still somewhat short on in-house experience, I could only reference my professional history that the afore-mentioned periodicals thought were interesting enough to write about. Apparently, his culture (just keep saying to yourself “praise diversity!” in times like these) sees such references as symptomatic of the American Ego, as his culture is less self-promotional and even though I know I nailed the interview and even finished my presentation exactly one minute early with no questions from the interviewers (because I was prepared, and answered their expected questions in my presentation), he pulled me to the side afterwards and complained that I come across as “over-confident” and that I’ve had many experiences that no one else at my company have had, or might want to have. I honestly didn’t know how to respond to that- except to say that it could be that my experiences make me intimidating to those above my rank, and a hero to those below.

Think I’ll shut up? Hell no. I am the sum total of my experiences and have paid dearly for them in terms of personal costs, and won big with them in terms of awards, pay and honor. But this IS something to be on the lookout for with globalization- it’s not that you just might have to learn how to communicate more effectively with others from different cultures, but you also might have to pretend you are less than you are, because America got the pioneering genes, and the rest of the world got the Sheep Herd genes.

– Johnny Bravo

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 6:50 am, johnny bravo said:

Need to be careful here though. My “unconventional” way to get a job was to get myself interviewed as a Subject Matter Expert in a few widely read, and respected, magazines. At one company, my first boss hired me exactly for this type of expertise and thought the articles were great for marketing myself. Add in a global reorganization soon thereafter and a different boss, from another country, in a global economic climate of fear. The position above mine came open and he pushed me to apply for it. Because my tenure at this company was still somewhat short on in-house experience, I could only reference my professional history that the afore-mentioned periodicals thought were interesting enough to write about. Apparently, his culture (just keep saying to yourself “praise diversity!” in times like these) sees such references as symptomatic of the American Ego, as his culture is less self-promotional and even though I know I nailed the interview and even finished my presentation exactly one minute early with no questions from the interviewers (because I was prepared, and answered their expected questions in my presentation), he pulled me to the side afterwards and complained that I come across as “over-confident” and that I’ve had many experiences that no one else at my company have had, or might want to have. I honestly didn’t know how to respond to that- except to say that it could be that my experiences make me intimidating to those above my rank, and a hero to those below.

Think I’ll shut up? Hell no. I am the sum total of my experiences and have paid dearly for them in terms of personal costs, and won big with them in terms of awards, pay and honor. But this IS something to be on the lookout for with globalization- it’s not that you just might have to learn how to communicate more effectively with others from different cultures, but you also might have to pretend you are less than you are, because America got the pioneering genes, and the rest of the world got the Sheep Herd genes.

– Johnny Bravo

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 8:41 am, John E. Fidler said:

H-U-M-M, interesting…I’ve been unemployed since March of ’09 (The Recession only!) and I’m amazed at all the Technical Talent being wasted by employers just over-looking, experienced & healthy older workers (I was last ‘Out for Sick-leave’ in 1999…of course my Emergency Medical Training helps) by simply saying well you are “OVER-QUALIFIED”. I’m a Roboticist, that has studied Helper or Home Robotics since 1969, because I saw Robotics as our future of evolution in the work place… and worked at One SMT place of business that has been run by 3 different companies (one out-of-business), so employers-bots can’t verify? …for near 20 years. That’s my fault? Does that mean, employers only want “Job-Hoppers”, now and dedicated, tenaciously loyal workers are pass’e? The only place you can’t find me is ‘TWITTER’. I’m also on RAISECAPITAL.COM to start my own industry…looking at wasted, experienced talent pool.

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 8:41 am, John E. Fidler said:

H-U-M-M, interesting…I’ve been unemployed since March of ’09 (The Recession only!) and I’m amazed at all the Technical Talent being wasted by employers just over-looking, experienced & healthy older workers (I was last ‘Out for Sick-leave’ in 1999…of course my Emergency Medical Training helps) by simply saying well you are “OVER-QUALIFIED”. I’m a Roboticist, that has studied Helper or Home Robotics since 1969, because I saw Robotics as our future of evolution in the work place… and worked at One SMT place of business that has been run by 3 different companies (one out-of-business), so employers-bots can’t verify? …for near 20 years. That’s my fault? Does that mean, employers only want “Job-Hoppers”, now and dedicated, tenaciously loyal workers are pass’e? The only place you can’t find me is ‘TWITTER’. I’m also on RAISECAPITAL.COM to start my own industry…looking at wasted, experienced talent pool.

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 8:47 am, John E. Fidler said:

Johnny Bravo IS a case in point! Why not use his experieced expertise?

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 8:47 am, John E. Fidler said:

Johnny Bravo IS a case in point! Why not use his experieced expertise?

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 11:32 am, Martin Seebach said:

Due to age (yep, old phart) and experience all over tech and global map it feels like I am unemployable. Lack of degree counter balanced with verifiable high geek and management experience also muddies the ball. Status quo maintenance and fear of loose cannon complete mix. Finally a dollop of RE meltdown, financial mess, leaves me with no interviews after 150+ applications. What to do? What to do?

Think I’ll just head back out to ranch and yell at the moocows for a bit. They don’t mind and it makes me fell better.

To John: early recognition scares the hail outta most.
To johnny: Tread lightly…..Wolves 5 Sheep 95.
To Flash: Flash FLASH you only have 14 hours to save the universe. :)))

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 11:32 am, Martin Seebach said:

Due to age (yep, old phart) and experience all over tech and global map it feels like I am unemployable. Lack of degree counter balanced with verifiable high geek and management experience also muddies the ball. Status quo maintenance and fear of loose cannon complete mix. Finally a dollop of RE meltdown, financial mess, leaves me with no interviews after 150+ applications. What to do? What to do?

Think I’ll just head back out to ranch and yell at the moocows for a bit. They don’t mind and it makes me fell better.

To John: early recognition scares the hail outta most.
To johnny: Tread lightly…..Wolves 5 Sheep 95.
To Flash: Flash FLASH you only have 14 hours to save the universe. :)))

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 11:56 am, Test Subject said:

Kick out all the Indians and we will have our jobs back.

Reply

September 30, 2010 at 11:56 am, Test Subject said:

Kick out all the Indians and we will have our jobs back.

Reply

October 05, 2010 at 3:32 am, Mike said:

It’s not only “non-USA” cultures that might not appreciate confidence. Peter Principles who achieved status through …. also don’t like subordinates who possess confidence and other skills lacked by Peter.

Reply

October 05, 2010 at 3:32 am, Mike said:

It’s not only “non-USA” cultures that might not appreciate confidence. Peter Principles who achieved status through …. also don’t like subordinates who possess confidence and other skills lacked by Peter.

Reply

October 07, 2010 at 8:41 am, Sysnanny said:

What we older seekers need to consider is the law of supply and demand – much as we hate to admit it, in globalization as well as a tight job market (or glutted labor market), there is downward pressure on salaries. It’s part of the political people’s hidden aid agenda: take jobs (and well-being) away from Americans and give them to somebody on the opposite side of the world.

Unless we’re willing to retrench a little in the short term, our proven experience is too expensive to recruiters who are trying to do more with less. Having salary history north of $xxk makes us non-starters when a quarter of recent grads are also looking. Might be time to swallow our pride, take some new training, and be ready to accept a bit less in exchange for the opportunity to show our stuff. Two steps forward and one step back, we’re still moving ahead. And yeah, we do need inside contacts. Out 30 months, 3 interviews (two through contacts), still looking.

Reply

October 07, 2010 at 8:41 am, Sysnanny said:

What we older seekers need to consider is the law of supply and demand – much as we hate to admit it, in globalization as well as a tight job market (or glutted labor market), there is downward pressure on salaries. It’s part of the political people’s hidden aid agenda: take jobs (and well-being) away from Americans and give them to somebody on the opposite side of the world.

Unless we’re willing to retrench a little in the short term, our proven experience is too expensive to recruiters who are trying to do more with less. Having salary history north of $xxk makes us non-starters when a quarter of recent grads are also looking. Might be time to swallow our pride, take some new training, and be ready to accept a bit less in exchange for the opportunity to show our stuff. Two steps forward and one step back, we’re still moving ahead. And yeah, we do need inside contacts. Out 30 months, 3 interviews (two through contacts), still looking.

Reply

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