Recent grad creates job search spoof ads

October 6, 2009 7:37:54 AM PDT
It's no secret that millions of Americans are desperate to find work and some are going to great lengths to stand out.

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Meet Leslie Lewis, an Oakland resident. He's a bright young man, a 2009 UCLA graduate with a Bachelors degree in political science. He wants a job, he really wants a job, and has gone so far as to launch a series of spoof ads on YouTube -- showing his adventurous quest for employment.

"I was under the impression that getting a Bachelor's would open up all types of doors for the job market," said Lewis.

Over the past few months, Leslie has applied to more than 3,000 jobs, even tailoring a dozen different cover letters, depending on the position. He's got work experience and a solid skill set.

"Organizational development, project management, customer service, computer science, research," said Lewis.

But the responses have been limited.

"It was kind of shocking at first to have sent out my first thousand emails and have gotten, after that I had only gotten two replies and one interview," said Lewis.

So he decided to launch a Web site to sell himself to potential employers, it's called http://www.hireleslie.com.

According to one Bay Area employment agency we spoke with, he's made the right move doing that.

"If you could have a website that would have your credentials, your resume, as well as some samples of work that you've done, some reference letters attached, I think that's a great way, a great presentation for yourself," said The Creative Group Div. Dir Lucy Marino.

But when it comes to posting those creative commercials, the feedback can be mixed.

"A lot of the zaniness sometimes can show signs of desperation looking for a position," said Marino.

In a nation now nearing 10 percent unemployment, it's a competitive job market, flooded with overqualified applicants. And in such a market, off-the-wall job hunting tactics do capture attention.

"Once I did receive a mug with a candidate's photo as well as his resume on it," said Marino.

These creative tactics can also be risky, if they're not relevant to the type of company or job you're applying for.

"If you're applying to a conservative type of environment, it may not be the best way, because that may turn the client or the hiring manager off," said Marino.

"Who knows if it's in the end going to help me or hurt me, but I figure I've already tried the traditional ways of getting a job, and that's not working," said Lewis.

But Leslie isn't giving up -- getting that job is critical. Because he'd love to attend law school sometime within the next decade, but says he doesn't want to go until he can pay for it in full, upfront.

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