WATCH: Marianne Dimain has the details of how one U of T grad made herself stand out from the crowd of job applicants.
TORONTO – How far would you go to land a job? For one recent grad from the University of Toronto, a sandwich board and a little resourcefulness landed her a job in industry of her dreams.
Last month Xingyi Yan stood outside for seven days wearing a board that said “U of T grad for hire take resume.” Fifteen job interviews later, she landed a search analyst job in the Bay street office of Reprise Media, a division of IPG Mediabrands.
“I gave up a lot to get this job,” said Yan from her new desk. “So I’m so happy to get what I want finally.”
Yan started her job on Monday. The company says when they heard about her unique job campaign, they were impressed with how resourceful she was.
“She was just completely separated herself from anyone else we have ever interviewed before,” said Joseph McConellogue, managing director of Reprise Media. “She came in with a fully equipped power point deck, a beautiful power point and basically pitched herself to us.”
Yan isn’t the first to try use unique methods to get an employers attention. Though it doesn’t always work, experts say its important for applicants to make sure they stand out.
“They are essentially clones of the hundreds of thousands of other students who are leaving school and going into the world of employment,” said Lauren Friese of Talentegg. “It’s incredibly critical that as a student or soon to be recent grad you help employers differentiate you from the other candidates.”
Talentegg is an online career resource for new grads that has helped a long list of clients find jobs. With the current unemployment rate around 13.3 per cent, Talentegg says students should start applying as soon as their final year begins.
But sometimes going too far out of the box could backfire.
“Sometimes it works out and it’s awesome and everyone’s happy and its celebrated, but it can backfire if it comes across as inappropriate,” said Friese.
Lucky for Yan it worked out in her favour. She now has this message for recent grads.
“Don’t be afraid to do something creative because you only live once and life is short,” said Yan.