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As an employer, what do you think of the creative (and sometimes crazy) tactics of job seekers? Would you really hire someone who put their resume on a billboard?

Carter O'Brien's Profile


Keith Johnson
Title: Principal
Company: Keith E. Johnson CPA PA
(Principal, Keith E. Johnson CPA PA) |

I do have a payroll. As long as I posted the position, I would consider it. Look, we're to blame for this stuff. If we weren't stingy with our hiring practices, people wouldn't need to go to these desperate measures. Companies are way too picky nowadays, complain that there is no talent when there actually is, and won't consider people who are unemployed when employing them does much more for the economy than hiring someone already employed.
If companies won't play fair when it comes to hiring, then they have no room to complain about jobseekers' extreme measures to get their foot in the door and just need to shut up.

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

These tactics are great if the person works in a creative field but that would be odd for a finance person.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Ken - why limit creative thinking in finance/accounting? Someone who goes at length, around the road blocks that Ken speaks of, should be commended.

Finance/Accounting is more than debits and credits, more than going to bankers or other lenders and filling out endless applications. Creative thinking creates systems and procedures that can streamline costs or add to top line revenue.

As a CFO, it's my job to both encourage and temper creativity so that in the final analysis, the company does better, the staff is energized, and the company has done it legally.

Angela D. Gentry
Title: Manager of Finance & Accounting
Company: D&F Marketing Inc.
(Manager of Finance & Accounting, D&F Marketing Inc.) |

I agree with Wayne. If you cannot think creatively, you cannot design an accounting/financial reporting system that meets the needs of all users.

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Angela - I think both you and Wayne have taken my post out of context. I did not say creativity is not essential in finance. I indicated that posting a billboard ad to get a job would be odd for a finance person. That was the original topic at hand. Thanks.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |


I still don't think I took your comments out of context (as I look at a billboard for a law firm and a doctor).

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Please be creative and innovative in the interview. Wow me in the thank you letter. The resume is a very efficient document, set up for quick review. Playing with it is a risk. A billboard can not capture your value, when I am driving 65 miles an hour. Do what is required and acceptable. If you wish to be creative, add a line to the bottom of the resume that refers the Hiring Manager to YouTube, showing a video of you dicsussing how you can help solve his/her problems. I have to credit Samuel Dergel for the video idea.

Topic Expert
Samuel Dergel
Title: Director - Executive Search
Company: Stanton Chase International
LinkedIn Profile
(Director - Executive Search, Stanton Chase International) |

Thanks Regis for the credit.

Innovative can be important, but it has to be relevant and appropriate.

One example of appropriate is a the use of a photo on a resume. In North America, including a photo on a resume is not generally considered to be appropriate. In Europe, it is almost a requirement. Why the difference? I would say it is a cultural issue. It all comes down to appropriate.

I do find it interesting that a photo is acceptable and a positive point (again, if appropriate) on a LinkedIn profile but not on a resume.

There are many innovative ways to stand out. The ideal way is to build a proper brand that accurately reflects your value while setting you in a positive light, especially in relation to your peers. Using social media to propagate your brand is a good way to get noticed (Regis is an excellent example of a finance professional that uses social media to build his brand).

A billboard for a finance professional? Sounds too desperate. Most employers would not be comfortable with hiring a desperate finance professional.

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Wayne - Regis and Samuel sum it up nicely. I've exercised creativity quite a bit in my roles, there is no question it is recommended (required) to advance in any profession. The more extreme expressions of creativity that might be appropriate to some professions are not appropriate for a finance professional. A certain degree of restraint is just as important as the ability to "wow", and both need to be balanced with each other.

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

Do you want to be creative and helpful? What about sponsoring refreshments for career fair booth hosts? I could find several job seekers like myself, and invest some money (no more than for a billboard) and get to introduce myself to the company representatives while bringing them free refreshments.

If it's about getting your foot in the door and presenting yourself in a positive light. A finance professional showing that they are more than just spreadsheets, having excellent communication skills, thinking strategically, would be welcome to the front of the line when they walk by the booth (coffee, energy drink, water, soda..).

Even if the person in the booth is looking for lathe operators, or call center reps, they return to the office with your card and a good experience in meeting you. Casual conversation back at the office can put you at the front of the line when an appropriate position opens up. I have also had other job seekers in completely different fields refer openings to me just based upon a positive interaction from the past. All you have to do is be there, be positive, show interest in the other person, and have your business card.

Topic Expert
Mark Richards
Title: VP Operations and Finance
Company: VP / CFO - Private Company
(VP Operations and Finance, VP / CFO - Private Company) |


Candidates get the 'wow' effect by having people around the hiring manager tell them - before or right after the job goes public.

The crazy tactics may get you noticed, but in the end, you still need to qualify for the role - so it still comes down to the ability to show the company that you have the 'promise' to deliver to what they need. Many hiring managers have seen plenty of tactics, but every candidate still needs to be screened in and evaluated - especially with any area that carries a fiduciary duties like Finance.

If you follow a plan to work yourself into a set of companies - through a solid set of networking - it will be a higher rate of success. Actually, if you have networked in - then I work agree with the comments about to 'wow' the interviewer with a solid resume, great preparation, interview performance, references singing your praises and follow-up.

For anyone seeking to get the attention of a company - I would recommend they create a strong marketing plan and targeted company list to help guide their networking. Then prepare like crazy for each meeting by understanding where each person to help you. See below for 3 resources to help you with each step.

Hope this helps.






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