Can You Annoy Your Way to The Top?

  • Should you "annoy" others for career gain?

    We've all heard the stories of people who wear sandwich boards or hold up signs that say "Hire Me!" — but does any of this pestering actually work? According to Dan Schawbel, a writer at PersonalBrandingBlog and author of Me 2.0, one should think twice before being too aggressive. "When you're overly aggressive and pester potential clients or hiring managers, you are giving off a negative brand impression. Long-term career success is about building focused relationships with people in your industry and potential clients. Even if you can't close a deal or get hired now, by maintaining a strong connection and a sense of respect for the other party, you are setting yourself up for success in the future. In a crowded marketplace, it's critical that you stand out; not by annoying someone, but by becoming a marketable product!" he told MainStreet. Photo Credit: srgblog
    HR experts have seen it all
  • HR experts have seen it all

    Brendan Cruickshank, Vice President of (a leading job search engine), has just about seen everything. And crazy definitely gets his attention. "In this current environment, you have to be ultra-persistent," he told MainStreet. He mentioned the case where a job seeker took out a billboard advertisement on I-95 complete with relevant job experience and contact information. "It shows desperation," he said. I would say so! Photo Credit: bettina_m
    20 cities in one month
  • 20 cities in one month

    Cruickshank also shared with us the recent case of a job seeker who used JetBlue's unlimited all-you-can-jet pass to hit more than 20 cities for job interviews in a single month. (Even if you don't land a job out of that, it's a great plot for a novel or screenplay.) He also told us that job hunters should avoid applying to jobs they are totally unqualified for; his job search engine company sends out alerts when a position opens up that fits a user's particular qualifications. This is supposed to make the job search process a bit less painful. Even though proper targeting is useful, there are still cases where pestering or persistence can pay off in a big way. Here are some ways to get exactly what you want, without the desperation factor. Photo Credit: ackook
    An offer they can't refuse
  • An offer they can't refuse

    Strategy: Adding serious value. Example: Brenda Della Casa knew she wanted to work as a TV casting agent, but couldn't break into the business no matter how hard she tried. She kept trying to set up a meeting with one prominent casting director in particular, but each time he told her, "Thanks, but I am not interested." Here's how she finally broke through: "I went to a club, recruited 30 people for the TV show he was working on and sent him an e-mail telling him I had found '30 amazing people' for his show. He was happy and asked for the numbers and I told him, 'They come with me.' He bit and called me into the office, and after meeting with me, he hired me on the spot. It was the break I needed because I wound up working in the industry for nine years and on some of the most successful shows on TV and that experience is what got me to New York City." In New York, she started a writing career and even got a book published by McGraw-Hill. She remains close friends with the casting director who gave her the lucky break. Photo Credit: mattimattila
    Following up, relentlessly
  • Following up, relentlessly

    Strategy: "Reminding" people to do something constantly. Example: It seems the PR people who call constantly are the ones who eventually end up getting coverage for their clients (we should know, we are the media). Although you may not gain any long-term respect, frequent follow-ups can help you get the answer you want. In the radio advertising business, it's a well-known fact that listeners won't act on information given to them until at least the third time it's presented. Photo Credit: Kecko
    Go higher in the food chain
  • Go higher in the food chain

    Strategy: Ask to speak with the manager or supervisor. Example: If you get "no" from someone low in the company food chain, try asking a higher up. This annoyance technique works especially well when asking a bank or credit card company to lower your rate or reverse a fee. It can also work in your career search or when trying to sign a new client. Use this technique sparingly, though; you can easily alienate key contacts at the company by "going above their heads" one too many times. Photo Credit: boonejag75
    Hold the middle ground
  • Hold the middle ground

    Strategy: Be the only normal one left standing. Example: CNN reported on a woman who showed up unannounced at an office with a cherry pie in-hand. She hoped this would help her "stand out" from the other applicants — instead it was perceived as "scary" and "very awkward." Sometimes the best way to get the job is to have someone else appear less legitimate than you. Although solidly Machiavellian and potentially unethical, if you find some creepy things about another potential hire on the Web you might consider forwarding that info on. You're just being helpful, right? If you do employ this tactic, know that it may backfire if your interviewer is turned off by it. Photo Credit: farmerjulie
    Create a stir on the Web
  • Create a stir on the Web

    Strategy: Use an unusual online presence to create interest from employers, and potentially "crowdsource" for job referrals. Example: On, Srinivas Rao lists — as you might guess — 100 reasons why he should be hired. Rao had already submitted an "endless amount of resumes" and was "getting bored with writing cover letters" so he wrote up 100 reasons he would make a great employee. Some of the reasons, he admits, have nothing to do with professional qualifications ... "I can play Christmas carols on the tuba," for example. But he also lists his professional experience and has a resume available for download. One hiring manager who met with him credited the site with catching her attention. He is still looking for work, but in the meantime has launched a personal development business. (If you know of any openings, give him a shout!) Photo Credit: roland
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