Article from CNNMoney/FortuneBy Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporter

It’s brutal out there. But the people getting hired aren’t necessarily the most connected – they’re the most creative. From food diarists to Twitter stalkers to candidates tapping the “hidden” job market, here’s what’s working now.

(Fortune Magazine) — Rob Sparno recently did something that 12.5 million Americans would kill to do. He did something that has never been attempted by this many people at once in the 60 years the government has been keeping records. He did something that’s getting only more difficult with every day.

He got a job. A really good job. A ‘pay the mortgage and still be able to pay your kid’s private college tuition’ kind of job.

When Sparno, 55, a longtime salesman, lost his position at Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500), he knew the search wasn’t going to be easy. He had friends who were out of work and struggling to find jobs. He knew that getting back in the game would require every skill he’d spent his career honing. Methodical by nature, Sparno made a trip to Staples, where he bought a black hardcover lined notebook. He vowed to record every day what he did, whom he talked to, how he felt, how many miles he ran. He even wrote down what he ate.

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