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Frustrated job seeker sets up popup stand. Gets job offer three days later

Job seeker was frustrated with traditional route getting him nowhere. Decided to try something new and it paid off.

A job seeker in London, UK, took an innovative approach to the job search and it paid off.

Tired of getting nowhere through the usual route, 24-year-old Haider Malik decided to set up a popup stand outside a subway station (or a “tube station,” as they called in the UK) and hand out his resume to potential employers.

According to NDTV.com, Malik, who holds a first-class degree in banking and finance from Middlesex University, had been unsuccessfully looking for a job since the beginning of the pandemic.

He reportedly became “increasingly frustrated with Zoom interviews that would not allow him to properly showcase his personality,” so he headed out to London’s busy financial district of Canary Wharf on the morning of November 2, and set up a board on which he posted QR codes for people to access his resume and LinkedIn profile.

Malik told MyLondon that he felt nervous and awkward at first, but soon started smiling and initiating conversations with people, and they started to engage.

“A lot of people gave me their cards, they gave me their phone numbers, and started talking to me,” he said. Someone also posted his picture on LinkedIn and it went viral.

How fast did his plan work?

Haider arrived at the station at 6:45 am and gave out all his CVs within an hour. At 9:30AM he received a message asking him to come to an interview for a role as a Treasury Analyst at the Canary Wharf Group.

“I got a text message from the director of the department at about 9.30am saying ‘come in for an interview at 10.30am’,” he said. “I had my car in the car park so I took the board and took all my stuff. I was like ‘wow, this is crazy’.”

Meanwhile, “For the first three days my phone was non-stop ringing, it never stopped ringing and LinkedIn was really busy,” he said.

November 2 was a Tuesday. On Friday, Malik was called for a second interview with the Canary Wharf Group and was offered a job the same evening.

This is a great example of getting creative with the job search and making yourself stand out from the competition. Other examples include Alec Biedrzycki, who recorded a song called “Hire Me,” and Josh Butler, who auctioned himself off on eBay.

Not everyone is going to come up with some zany idea, and not everyone should go stand in the street to find a job. What Malik’s story demonstrates, though, is that sometimes you have to get creative to get noticed and set yourself apart from the competition. It might be with a clever LinkedIn profile tagline, a great social media presence, website, or portfolio, or a brilliant cover letter. Maybe you write articles or make a name for yourself as an expert, so that when you apply for a job, you’re easy to find online and make a memorable impression.

Find a way to stand out and highlight what makes you unique.

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