Josh Butler - Picture courtesy of Huffington Post

Job seeker auctions himself off on Ebay

Kevin Makra|

My recent article How to land a job with one email created a bit of a stir with many readers. Most loved the passion that Tristan Walker displayed in landing his dream job, but some felt that it was a ‘shot in the dark’ and Tristan just got plain lucky. It may be true that Tristan had luck on his side, but he certainly created the conditions for this ‘luck’ to occur by being so engaged and determined right from the start. Had he not gone to such great lengths to land a job at Foursquare, he most likely would have been ‘lost in the crowd’.

In keeping with this theme, I thought I would share another attention-grabbing method that one job seeker used to land a position.

Josh Butler auctioned himself on Ebay.

After applying to as many as 600 jobs without a breakthrough, 18 year old Josh Butler resorted to the drastic measure of literally selling himself on eBay for £16,000. The idea came about after Josh endured financial pressures and felt dismayed about the job opportunities offered to young people in the UK. He stated that while he had good qualifications and experience, employers were not willing to consider him because he didn’t have a university degree. His eBay ad asked employers to give him a chance to prove himself. Call Josh crazy, but soon after this ad appeared he was offered three positions.

You can read the full article on huffingtonpost.co.uk.

I know I will receive emails that this is an ‘extreme’ job search stunt, and not a feasible method for the average job seeker to find work. True. But the point of illustrating Josh’s experience is to stress the importance of ‘standing out from the crowd’ to get noticed. You don’t need to post an ad on eBay, or stand outside on the street corner with a sign looking for work (which I’m sure you have read has been done before with some success). What you do need is to always consider the ways that you can separate yourself from other job seekers.

Here are three important ways to get noticed in the job search:

    Follow Your Passion – Fake passion is not easy to convey unless you are a high paid actor (and even some of them don’t do it very well!) Use your passion to your advantage. Employers can see through those candidates that are just ‘looking for a job’ and those that are really excited for a new challenge to work for their company. Don’t be afraid to let your career aspirations shine!

    Put Yourself In an Employers Shoes – You’d be surprised how many employers find it difficult to find candidates that are energetic and passionate. For a moment, put yourself in an employer’s shoes. If you needed to hire, what characteristics would you want to see in a potential candidate? Voila! These are the same qualities you need to strive to achieve. Employers will be thankful!

    Stand Out From the Crowd – You don’t have to resort to Josh’s example above to find work, but how can you stand out from the crowd? Maybe it’s a blog where you post ideas about your industry, a LinkedIn connection that facilitates a meeting with a key individual in a company, or a networking event where you hand out personal business cards. What things can you do to get noticed?

There are many attention-grabbing ways that job seekers have resorted to in the past. What we should take away from these experiences is the importance of creativity, dedication, and passion in the job search. Apply these key ingredients in the job search and you will always come out on top!


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at kmakra@sentormedia.com.


Category: Job Search Strategies, Student,