French jobseeker Philippe Dubost became an internet phenomenon last week after creating an ingenious and inspired CV.
Dubost – a web product manager based in Paris – won widespread admiration for posting an Amazon-lookalike CV to his personal website at PhilDub. Brilliantly, Dubost's curriculum vitae is set out as though he were a product for sale on the world's biggest online retailer. Dubost has called his home page "Philippe's Amaz-ing résumé".
Dubost managed to include all the personal information usually found on a CV in the form of an Amazon product page. For example, we know that he speaks English, French and Spanish, is a keen marathon runner, and has an MBA from the University of Dayton, Ohio.
Clearly, Dubost's CV has done its work, as he has reportedly received over 100 job offers from around the world. Given Dubost's obvious online talents, it's no wonder that so many employers are rushing to click on 'Add to Cart'
As for me, the moment I saw Dubost's page, I immediately thought: "Best. CV. Ever."
To keep up with this story, you can follow Dubost on Twitter.
But as impressive as it is, he’s far from the only person to use their ingenuity and skill to rise above a moribund jobs market – so I’ve rounded up the cream of the crop so you can decide if Dubost’s efforts are indeed the best yet.
[Related link: Look for a new job online]
Adam Pacitti's £500 billboard
Of course, Dubost isn't the first jobseeker to create a social-media splash by thinking up a wickedly witty way to sell his skills. Earlier this month, 24-year-old Brit Adam Pacitti made headlines worldwide when he placed the following job-seeking plea on a billboard in London:
Pacitti – a media production graduate from the highly regarded faculty at the University of Winchester in Hampshire – actually spent £530 plus VAT (a total of £636) on the hoarding in London, but recognised that "my last £500" sounds catchier.
[Related link: Words that sabotage your CV]
Again, it seems as if Pacitti's job-hunting stunt has worked wonders, as he has been approached by more than 50 employers expressing an interest in hiring him. Let's hope this initial interest turns into firm job offers, because Pacitti clearly has an abundance of the talents necessary to succeed in the cut-throat world of advertising and the media.
But this isn't the first time that Pacitti has been an internet sensation. Five years ago he made a name for himself after spending £6,000 in an online search for his soul mate in The Girl of my Dreams.
Follow Adam Pacitti on Twitter
Preying on boss’ vanity
In the summer of 2009, Alec Brownstein was a 28-year-old American working as a senior copywriter at world-renowned advertising agency Young & Rubicam in New York.
Bored with his role as a big-company cog, Brownstein hit on a brilliant wheeze: He used Google AdWords to buy the names of his favourite creative directors.
If you’ve not heard of it, AdWords is Google’s system for buying advertising space around search terms. So if you type in “BMW”, for example, the adverts that appear will relate to that search. Google runs this on an auction basis, so wannabe advertisers bid against each other for space on the key terms.
As no-one else was interested in buying advertising space around the name of the creative directors, Brownstein's sponsored links were very cheap, costing just $0.15 a click. That meant each time one of these five target names was typed into Google, Brownstein's job-seeking ad appeared at the top of the results page.
Brownstein’s bet was that they would search for their own names online, to see what people were writing about them. And each time they did, they got the message "Hey, [name]: Goooogling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too" with a link to his website, alecbrownstein.com, appearing as an advert next to the search results.
It paid off. Four of the five creative directors he targeted got in touch with him and he received two firm job offers – and all for a total advertising spend of $6 (£3.80). Brownstein also picked up two advertising awards for his ingenious campaign.
Make a splash with your CV
While the old-school CV isn't quite dead yet, it obviously pays to get creative to get yours noticed. For example, design graduate Katie Briggs caused a splash when she created an eye-catching online CV as an infographic.
Then again, sometimes 'interesting' can go too far – as one musical video CV demonstrates. With over 58,000 views on YouTube, Hire Me has attracted a decent level of interest, but one telling comment reads, "Please hire this guy so he doesn't have to write more music”.
With the internet now well into its third decade, the future of job-hunting is undoubtedly online. Even so, there's a lot more to getting a job than simply uploading your CV and waiting for offers to come rolling in. To win in today's highly competitive job market, you must show prospective employers your creativity, talents and will to succeed.
Hence, there's no harm in trying these three attention-seeking ways to use the internet to grab the attention of future bosses:
1. Buying Google AdWords focused on your chosen field, firm or manager. (Set yourself a sensible budget before diving in.)
2. Posting a video CV to YouTube and spreading the word through friends and family. (Online networking is a lot less effort than face-to-face contact.)
3. Buying ad space – either online or 'on the street' – in order to attract passing eyeballs.
Finally, if viral-marketing campaigns really aren't your thing, then there's always the tried-and-tested method of wearing a sandwich board in your local business district. This approach may seem old-fashioned, but has worked for thousands of job-seekers over the decades.
Look for a new job today!