3 Lessons to Learn From The Guy Who Handed Out CVs at a Train Station

It’s not always easy to find a job after you leave university. You fire off a slew of applications and get nothing back. It’s disheartening. One recent graduate had enough and tried a new tactic to get attention.

23-year-old Cedrik von Stumm (no, he’s not a supervillain) applied to hundreds of jobs without success after finishing an MSc in Financial Mathematics. Determined to buck the trend, he stood outside a busy train station in London’s financial district armed with CVs and a placard displaying his credentials.

He stood there for half an hour and handed out 40 CVs. Now that on it’s own is pretty good but it gets better for Cedrik. His story got picked up by one of England’s biggest newspapers, the Mirror.

Not only did the newspaper post an article about Cedrik to the website (which gets more than 5 million monthly visitors), they included his email address at the end. His job search must have reached a staggering number of potential employers by now.

He isn’t the first one, either. In September, an American man desperate to provide for his family handed out CVs outside a sports stadium in St. Louis. Donald Grooms’ photograph, in which a sign says “My family’s dreams don’t work unless I do”, was widely shared in the media.

Stories like these illustrate some things all job seekers should take on board.

1. Make yourself stand out

While not everyone can hit it as big as these two, these stories show how important it is to pursue other methods of finding a job. You need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. This is especially important when you consider that only 37% of recruiters see online job boards as a good source for quality hires.

That may mean taking your job search offline and getting your CV in front of people, as in these examples. But it could also affect how you approach your CV itself. Avoid using the same buzzwords as everyone else and instead use simple, straightforward language to really show why you would kill it in the job.

2. Expand your audience online

Not everyone can be featured in the press but that’s not the only way to make yourself visible online. Read our guide on building an online presence that can boost your job hunt. This has the double benefit of making you easier for employers to find and making you look good when they do find you.

3. Don’t give up

The stories of these two men also highlight determination. They both showed that they are willing to do more than other people to get a job. This is a quality that employers appreciate and seeing a demonstration like this is much more powerful than having it written on a CV.

By taking these lessons on board, you will enhance your job search no end. That’s why it’s important to look at stories like these not only as entertaining but also a chance to learn.

Here are some tips on other methods to use in your job search.

Images: Daily Mail and Imgur

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Originally published at blog.startupcvs.com on November 13, 2015.

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