Jessops staff put appeal for jobs in shop window

Photos in window

When Jessops finally closed 187 stores last week, more than 1,350 people lost their jobs. Now it has emerged that five enterprising staff members who worked at the Warrington store have taken an unusual approach to finding new positions. They have put their photos in the window of the branch, with the words "Five unemployed and loyal staff seeking work. Can you help?"

But does this sort of wacky appeal tend to work, or are you better off with a traditional approach?
The exploits of the five employees has, according to reports, led to some success. Offers from would-be employers have been in touch including a photographer offering an apprenticeship.

Clearly it shows an enterprising attitude, and it has helped these people stand out in a crowded jobs market. Over the last few years there have been a few stories of people who found success with unusual approaches.

Odd ideas

Back in June last year, Giles Metcalfe, a 23-year-old European Politics graduate of Leeds University walked around Liverpool Street Station in the City with a sandwich board reading: "Leeds graduate looking for job in financial services" and handing out his CV. He was spotted by a recruiter, and is now an Investment Communications Executive at Legal & General Investments.

Simon Ellis, MD Investments at Legal & General Investments said: "Giles's stunt was how he came to our attention as one of our employees saw him and took a copy of his CV. We had a position that we believed he would be suitable for and were impressed by his initiative and somewhat unique way of making himself visible, so we felt we should invite him to an interview."

Back in 2009 Robin Stearns, 28, a housewife from San Francisco got fed up of watching her husband job hunt, so she created a site called It featured her holding a sign asking for people to hire her husband, along with a link to his CV. The couple received dozens of approaches from employers impressed with their creative thinking. They have since taken the site down.

Quick-thinking Jamie Varon tried several creative approaches to get an interview with Twitter - including taking the hiring manager some cookies. In the end she set up a site called, blogging about her attempt to get a job. As a direct result of the site she received three serious job offers - sadly none from Twitter. The site has since been removed.

Alec Brownstein, a 29 year old advertising copywriter found a particularly clever approach. He identified the creatives at advertising agencies that he wanted to work for, and bought Google advertising to appear whenever anyone searched for their names. When these individuals searched for their own names, his advert appeared saying 'Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun too' with a link to his work and his resume. One of his targets offered him a job.

So does it work?

Clearly in these instances it did. However, Browstein's new bosses say that they have received hundreds of wacky applications and this is the only one that worked - because it was so clever. They cited one who sent an oven glove the week before they sent their CV, warning that they'd need the glove because his CV was so hot. They were deeply unimpressed.

The trouble is that these approaches can backfire. At best they can fall wide of the mark, at worst they can irritate the target audience and undermine your attempts to find work

Steve Orr, Director at Hays, the recruitment specialists, told AOL: "In a competitive and challenging jobs market, some jobseekers are looking at new ways to stand out from the crowd, such as advertising themselves on billboard and sandwich boards. It's always great to see people being creative with their job search, but such methods are unlikely to work for many industries or for senior positions. For senior professionals it will do more harm than good."

He adds that tried and tested approaches can often be the most successful, saying: "They should be dealing with recruiters who already have a trusted relationship with the employers they are looking to get in front of. It's also worth remembering that getting an employer's attention is important but jobseekers will still have to prove why they are the right person for the job and be targeted in their approach to their CV and the interview."

Darain Faraz, a LinkedIn spokesperson told AOL: "Standing out is important, but this doesn't mean you have to stand in the street with a sandwich board!" While you may get lucky, you may alternatively alienate potential employers, and gain unwanted attention for your approach.


He added that the key way to stand out in this market is not in the street, but online. He explains: "In a competitive job market, having a searchable, online presence is key when looking for new opportunities. LinkedIn profiles are often the top results that appear in search engines, so can give you great visibility to potential employers. That's why it's really important that your profile is relevant, up-to-date and clearly highlights all your key skills."

He adds that networking, both offline and online through things like LinkedIn groups can be key. He says: "LinkedIn has over a million groups you can join, making it easier than ever to follow and connect with the companies, individuals and groups that can help you build the career you've always dreamed of."

But what do you think? Would you try something unusual in order to find work, or stick with the traditional CV? Let us know in the comments.

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