If you’re going to mail out hundreds of resumes to people you don’t know, or post your credentials on some web site, you might as well stand on a busy street corner and just hand out your resume to random passersby. You’re just as likely to find a job either way. That’s what I tell people who use conventional job hunting methods, and I figure I’m making my point. But there’s nothing I can think of that someone hasn’t already done…

Larry Dinsmore stands on corners with his resume plastered on his back. While I don’t know whether someone’s going to hire him right there on the street, he is doing something smart. Larry is meeting and talking to people, which beats staring at a computer screen and waiting for an employer to magically appear with an interview invitation. (This time-honored strategy was invented by personnel jockeys, aka “recruiters”, in big companies who sit on their butts waiting for the perfect candidate to magically appear on their pc screens. Nice work if you can get it.)

My guess is that Larry may actually get a job before you get a call about your online resume. His approach isn’t as goofy as you might think. While there are better ways to meet the right people, if Larry picks the right corners, he may meet the person who introduces him to his next boss. While his approach isn’t very high on my list of good job-hunting strategies, Larry’s one big step ahead of his lazy competition. He’s getting a little exercise to boot.

And I’ll bet he’s having a better time. If you want, he’ll make you a shirt with your resume on it: DamnINeedAJob.com.

What have you done today to meet someone who may introduce you to your next boss?

  1. Your theme from last week’s newsletter about interview dress codes struck quite a chord with me. Ten or twenty years ago, a candidate who dressed appropriately for a professional position wouldn’t be sanctioned by the new clothes police of Corporate America. It was expected to show up dressed as a professional adult.

    Have you ever see those old newsreels of American baseball games? All of the spectators were dressed to the nines. Compare that to what we see today. People don’t respect themselves in the same way. It is as if they go to great strides to dress down, sloppily, or to follow the latest fashion trends.

    For example, adult men wearing baseball caps backwards and indoors, failure to comb their hair, and wearing dress shirts outside of their trousers. Adult women showing inappropriate bare skin, undergarments, and tattoos in an office setting or in public. In the United States, there is a general lack of respect and civility for other people. We convey that by how we dress. Sadly, the standard has declined in epic proportions.

    I watch “Charlie Rose,” and frequently see well-known people dressed as if they didn’t care. Obviously, many do make the effort to dress well. Years ago, on television, men wouldn’t appear wearing a baseball cap and jeans. Perhaps the rich are different than us, but we don’t even see “Sunday Best” in places of worship any longer.

    You and I both come from similar ethnic backgrounds: Greek and Italian, respectively. I was taught that you respected the other person by how you dressed. I also believe that corporations need to understand that the potential applicant is also a potential client.

    We may say “Don’t judge the book by its cover.” However, if you were applying for a position, and the hiring authority was dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt, what message does that convey on a conscious or subconscious level? For me, it is one of disrespect and immaturity.
    Regardless if the other person(s) are very good at their respective jobs. Or the company is well-known and respected.

    Many years ago, it happened to me. I couldn’t take the gentleman seriously when he was dressed as a teenager. Perhaps that showed a lack of tolerance on my part; however, it was the perception. He was too casual in dress, and it permeated our following discussion, along with my impressions about his company.

    Work is not a playground or our homes. It is curious to watch shows such as “Mad Men” to see what was acceptable back in the 1960s compared to now. If you walk into a McDonald’s, you see the staff dressed very neatly and with ties in many instances. It sends the message that they have self-respect and high regard for their customers. Despite earning minimum wage, they display a much higher standard than we see in “Casual Corporate America.” Because wouldn’t we expect jeans and tee-shirts at the most famous fast food restaurant in the world? They don’t have to sell us anything except the food, but they go the extra mile.

    The adoption of the casual dress code, in my opinion, has led to a decline in how we interact and do business. The fact that a candidate has to clarify what is acceptable before an interview is very interesting. That he or she has to explain themselves during the discussion is also disturbing. Or that he or she is made to feel uncomfortable because they showed respect to the other party, and it was not reciprocated.

    I understand that many companies have minimal client contact, and want to make their workers comfortable. But what happened to common sense? A company is selling themselves in these instances. Shouldn’t they raise their game accordingly? You preach to respect the candidate. For me, this is a prime example when it is not followed.

    Two books that should be required reading for any new graduate are yours, along with “Dress for Success” by John Molloy. Being respectful shouldn’t be penalized. We all need to recognize that being different than the masses is not always a bad thing.

    Thank you.


  2. Look, people are different. The editor of Vogue and I will never understand one another. I happen to be a lawyer in solo practice. This often involves two things I really hate, 1) getting up very early in the morning; and 2) wearing a suit and tie. To me, the best clothes are the most comfortable clothes and if it was up to me I would never weat anything except blue jeans and Jerry Garcia pocket tees. But I can’t code well enough.

  3. Hi I’ve moved from florida about 1 year ago lived with a childhood acquaintance 4 about 11 months she reluctantly agree to hire after I was going crazy looking high and low 4 employment. Because of my experience in my field she quickly became intimidated by know how and recognition by the owner make a long story short after working with this company
    4 about 9 months I decided to bow out gracefully. The situation became stressful once the owner finally admitted to me I was more qualified to run the store and she caught wind of this it became a very hustle place to work thus the dec ion that I made. Although I have an impressive letter of recommendation I can not find employment try explain that 2 a potential employer. Help.