06/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are You Advertising Your Job Search?

Are you advertising your job search? Twenty four hours after publishing my last article I received an e-mail from savvy, Eric Barker. This Ivy Leaguer just completed his MBA at Boston College and did a nosedive into the worst job market of our generation. So, he let his creative job search juices flow and decided to purchase ad space on Facebook to announce his candidacy, specifically to Microsoft. Honestly? When I read his e-mail I thought, "Damn, I wish I had thought of that!"

Facebook allows people to create ads for themselves on a pay per click basis. You even get to bid on how much you want to pay per click (could be as little as 10cents/click). You can also limit your spending and select a highly targeted audience. Eric's ad specifically targeted Microsoft and the text underneath his photo read, "Hi, my name is Eric and my dream is to work for Microsoft. I'm an MBA/MFA with a strong media background. Can you help me? Please click!" This is one of the most unconventional, clever job search strategies I have ever heard of. And, it is so obvious!

I got to speak with Eric, briefly, and ask him how he conceived and decided to execute the strategy. He thought it would be a good idea to show off his skills in brand marketing to a prospective employer by leveraging them in his job search. Eric said, "You have to brand yourself in a social networking environment. I saw this as an experiment in personal branding. In marketing in general and job hunting how do you break through the clutter, how do you differentiate? I differentiated myself by marketing myself in a way that proves my ability to do the job." In addition, in alignment with the suggestions I made in last week's article, Eric's ad positioned himself as a positive candidate while simultaneously targeting employers in which he was most interested.

Also, he admitted that he was curious to see if people would actually respond and reach out their hands to help. He says it was inspiring, "I'm really happy that I learned first-hand that people really want to help each other. I had my optimism confirmed. This is the most rewarding part of all." He's received media attention, significant expansion in his network, recruiters contacting him to offer their support and help (even if they don't have a job for him). He has also received interviews, including a phone interview with his target, Microsoft. What was the damage? $50!

Eric says the reason this didn't catch on sooner is because people easily allow themselves to get overwhelmed. They think it is too expensive and that it takes an engineering degree to understand. Actually, it is as simple as literally typing your text and uploading a photo.

In the interest of demonstrating the effects of social networking I am letting people know that Eric is still in the job market, and if you are interested you better move fast! You can e-mail me for his resume at

Also, please share your tips and experience with unconventional job search strategies below! You never know, you're idea may just be what the person reading it needs!

Jason's Career coaching bridges the practical, strategic elements of finding and managing your career with following your life's true calling! For a complimentary copy of his e-book, "Mind Your Mind, Manage Your Thoughts: Tips to Turn Your Mind into Your Ally" e-mail