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Arizona Man Hired in 6 Weeks with Guerrilla Job Search Tactics

31 March 2010 Written by: Kevin Donlin 2 Comments
Arizona Man Hired in 6 Weeks with Guerrilla Job Search Tactics

How do you find a job quickly, in this rotten economy?

Hunt like a Guerrilla.

That was the experience of Mark Thomas, a systems administrator from Mesa, Ariz., who started a new job on March 8, 2010, after a search of only 6 weeks.

According to Thomas, he would have been hired sooner, but “the entire executive team was gone at a conference for a week.”

Thomas succeeded after using three unconventional job-search tactics:

1. The Job Shopping List
2. The Guerrilla Resume
3. The Coffee Cup Caper

Read on to learn how he did it …

1. The Job Shopping List
The first thing Thomas did was write down the names of 20 companies he wanted to work for. Hiring or not, it didn’t matter. He just made a list and went after them.

Most job hunters do the opposite — they go after for jobs. Specifically, advertised jobs, with lots of competition. And most job hunters struggle. This is no coincidence.

Here’s how to create a “job shopping list,” as Thomas did, that leads to employment.

Can you think of one ideal company you’d love to work for? Good. Now research to find their competitors, clients, and vendors/suppliers. That ought to produce at least two more names.

Keep sleuthing until you turn that one ideal employer into three, then 10, and then 20 names.

Guerrilla fact: Even companies that aren’t hiring will create a job for the right person. The next tactics will show you how to be that person …

2. The Guerrilla Resume
Thomas then wrote a Guerrilla Resume, which involves two essential elements: full-color graphics and testimonials.

Thomas’ Guerrilla Resumes featured logos from three prior employers and laudatory quotes from three past managers.

Can you get in trouble for using graphics from past employers, clients, schools, or associations?

I’m no lawyer and this is not legal advice, but of the hundreds of Guerrilla Resumes created over the past decade, I’m not aware of one that raised a legal ruckus. That’s because, in contrast to printing a logo on a T-shirt and selling it on Ebay, you’re not trading off the graphics in your resume — they’re simply pictures to illustrate your relationships.

Testimonials in your resume are more straightforward. You can get them from recommendations on your Linkedin profile, which are publicly available. Why wait and hope for an employer to find them online when you can insert them in your resume?

3. The Coffee Cup Caper
Pop quiz: Where do most people send their resumes? The HR department.

Yet, who creates jobs? Owners, CEOs, VPs, and other top-level executives, who give hiring orders to HR.

So, logically, to gain access to an unadvertised job or have one created for you, you should contact top-level executives.

But … these people are busy. How to get their attention? By offering solutions to their problems in ways that make or save money. Because this is what top-level executives spend most of their days doing — making or saving money.

And a proven way to get the attention of hiring authorities is a tactic we call, “The Coffee Cup Caper.” In its basic form, it’s a coffee cup and Guerrilla Resume in a box, with a letter that says, “Could we meet for coffee?”

For Thomas, this technique had the desired effect, but in a roundabout way, after he sent resumes-in-boxes to 10 companies in February 2010.

“One of my target companies wasn’t positioned financially to bring anyone on board. The owner was a former employee of the man who did hire me and actually rents office space from him. He told me, ‘I know someone down the hall who’s looking for your skill set — let me take your resume to him,’ says Thomas. “The next thing I knew, I had an offer to come in and interview from a company I had never heard of.”

When’s the last time you submitted a resume online to HR and they said, “Hey, we’re not hiring, but I know someone who is. Let me print and walk your resume over to them”? Never, that’s when. Can’t happen. Won’t happen.

But it can happen — and did happen — that a printed color resume in a box, with a coffee cup, and a request to meet, made such an impression that a hiring manager literally became an advocate for this job hunter and hand-delivered that resume to his future boss.

Thomas landed job interviews with three different employers during the 21 days he sent out 10 Coffee Cup Capers to his shopping list of companies. That’s a batting average of .300 — Hall of Fame numbers in baseball, and not so bad in job hunting, either.

That’s the power of Guerrilla tactics.
Resource: Resume not working? Ready to try something different in your job search? You can get instant access to the same Guerrilla Resumes mentioned in this article, at my website. Just click here.

Kevin Donlin is a frequent Career Jockey contributor. He is also a co-author of Guerrilla Resumes. This is a recommended Career Jockey resource for writing a resume that will make you stand out and get noticed.

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.


  • Joseph said:

    I highly doubt this works.

  • Jorge Lazaro Diaz said:


    I understand if you are suspicious of using an approach some would consider a bit “out there.” However, I’ve been on the hiring end. I have never received the coffee cup as an invitation to meet for coffee, but would likely accept the invitation even if for the curiosity of it. “What Color is Your Parachute?” a job hunting classic states that the most successful job hunt methods depend upon face to face networking. One of the more successful methods is to show up cold turkey at a company whether they are hiring or not and ask for work. It’s the daring in it that gets you noticed. I’ve written a lot about that in this blog.

    Don’t knock an approach because it seems too bravado. If you are wanting work, you need every edge you can get so you stand out from everyone else.

    Jorge Lazaro Diaz

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