Another Way To Get A Job: Being The Fastest

Here’s another crazy job-search success story, courtesy of the Sparkings newsletter, which publishes job search advice for creative people.

This is the story of a man who really wanted a job. For 5 years he had run a successful small web design firm in Gainesville, getting clients by word of mouth and by befriending small business owners. But he had moved to New York and this was a different kettle of fish. “In New York all the doors are locked” he told me. “There was no dropping by and making friends, and I had no word of mouth. New York kicked my ass. So I started looking for a proper corporate job in web design.”

He started with Craigslist. It had worked well for him in Florida and he was comfortable with it. But he only got back a couple of thank-you notes. He tried Monster and other job sites: from them he got back nothing but spam.

“So I created two fake job postings on Craigslist to see what the competition was like. I got 200-300 emails in the first 6 hours – they were all super-qualified.

So what did this guy do? He didn’t get discouraged. He looked at their resumes and letters, took the best of what he saw, and created a new cover letter based on the best of the best.

He then realized that being first on Craigslist was possibly even more important than being the best, so he set up a custom search that would deliver results via RSS into his e-mail and reply to a job seven seconds after it was posted.

Lest you think there’s no reason to race to apply to a Craigslist job, we point out that for this guy, the technique apparently worked, as he got four interview requests in one week and landed a job at

Getting your application in seven seconds after the job is posted is one way of doing it. We still recommend the slow, tailored approach, but there’s always a counter perspective, and this guy’s story is proof.

photo: Jamiecat *