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A Radical Job Search Strategy – Offering Bounties

January 18th, 2009 · 26 Comments

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We all know that networking is the best job search method. At least, readers of this blog should know that by now.

But this weekend, I saw an article on CNN/Money that reminded me of a novel strategy:

Jacob Share, 33, started an email chain by sending his resume and job search objective to his family and friends. He asked them to send it on to others and offered a monetary prize in the amount of $150 to the person who led him to a job as a Web development manager.

“The process went quickly after I sent my initial mailing to almost everyone I knew,” he said. “It only took one friend’s forward beyond that initial mailing to get a referral that lead to the ultimate job offer.”

Now, I’m not saying I thought of this idea of offering a bounty to people in your network to help you find jobs. But during my startup days in 2004-2005, I did play around very seriously with the idea of starting a website that would help people offer a bounty to everyone in their network to help them land a job. My idea was even to slice and dice the bounty so that while the person finally giving you the job lead got the majority of the bounty, everyone down the “chain” of referrals would get a piece as well.

I never went anywhere with it ultimately, and startups to this day are playing with the idea of paying bounties for job search.

But this article reminded me of the idea of creating a human job search referral chain, and it made me think, hey, these are desperate times; there are crazier things I could be suggesting!

After all, number one, I’ve told you before, if you’re in a job search, you should be telling anyone and everyone you know about it. You should be shameless and not at all embarassed. Everyone you meet or talk to in the course of every day should be aware you’re looking for a new job. There’s no telling who will end up helping you out.

So maybe greasing the wheels a bit with the promise of a monetary reward will get people’s attention.

And number two, there’s nothing stopping you from emulating exactly what the guy in this article did. It just might work. Just do a mass emailing to your address book. Doing so is a bit forward, but it’s less aggressive than the annoying people who send mass Obama joke emails. And I’m willing to bet that in these times, most people would understand.

And in this era of Facebook, it’s probably easier to do than ever. Update your status ever day to let people know you’re offering… I dunno… $200 to the person who can refer you to a new job. Suggest they let their friends know about this too. Pass the word along. Maybe do something like up the bounty by $10 every day or every week or so.

Crazier things have been done.

Related posts:

  1. How To Save Your Job Strategy Summary
  2. The Quickest Job Search- Find Your Next Job When You’re Not Looking For One

Tags: Networking