Desperate job seeker made redundant days before his baby was born launches competition offering an ipad mini to anyone who can help him find work.
Graduate Dan Conway says he will personally escort winner to Apple store and purchase a new tablet for them if they can help him find a job in his field.
As well as offering prize to the public, Dan is behind a number of stunts designed to attract attention of potential employers and runs a site called The Extreme Job Hunter.
He says support from those following his barmy quest has restored his confidence after being unemployed for a year.
Attracting the attention of potential employers is not easy and increasing numbers of graduates are turning to headline grabbing stunts to get a foot in the door.
So when father of two Dan Conway, 27, was made redundant just days before his baby was born, he knew he’d have to go the extra mile to find new employment.
After sending hundreds of CVs and applications with no success, the creative advertising graduate launched a website promising his followers new outlandish stunts every week until he found work.
Calling himself the Extreme Job Hunter, Dan’s stunts to date include a videoed appeal by his kids, delivering CVs hidden in piñatas that need smashing open and sending out boxes of donuts with offers to work for free.
But it’s not just employers Dan is hoping to attract the attention of. He’s also appealing to the public to help him land a job by launching a competition to win an ipad mini.
Dan has promised to buy a brand new tablet with his first months wages for any member of the public who can help line him up with a job in his field.
Not only have the barmy attempts at attracting attention helped him secure several interviews and work placements, but he claims support from followers has helped restore his dented confidence after a year surviving on benefits.
‘Anyone who’s been unemployed will tell you how awful it is. I have a beautiful family that I just want to provide for.
‘I know publicity stunts won’t get me a job, but may get the attention of the right person so I can prove I have the skills.’
Dan, married to Natalie, 25, graduated with a degree from Leeds College of Art and Design.
He studied creative advertising but began working as a youth support worker four years ago. He was a senior project manager at a school for children with additional needs when he was made redundant in June last year.
Dan said: ‘My wife was just days away from giving birth to our second child Jack so it was a massive blow.
‘We were devastated but I was confident that I would find a job again quickly.’
Only after sending hundreds of CVs and responding to hundreds of adverts Dan barely received a single response.
‘It was soul destroying. I was desperate to find work but couldn’t even get a foot in the door. I knew I had to try and tackle it head on or lose my confidence all together.’
Inspired by others who’d shunned the traditional job seeking route for more outlandish stunts, Dan decided to set up a website showcasing his own innovative attempts at finding work.
First was a video appeal made with the help of daughter Lucy, two. In it the cute toddler helps her father chalk messages onto the floor explaining why he’d make a good employee.
Dan said: ‘ I know not everyone likes this approach, in fact I think you love it or hate it. But the field in which I’ve studied and trained is creative so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying to demonstrate how creative I can be.’
Next Dan posted himself for sale as an employee on ebay but that ad was removed due to the company’s policies.
But undeterred he decided a new approach was needed and instead turned to the public, offering a prize if they could help him find work.
‘People hear about jobs but I needed an incentive for them to take the time to tell me about them or tell their employers about me. Everyone wants an ipad mini so I started the competition to win one and had a brilliant response.’
In the terms he was clear to point out that he wouldn’t be able to buy the tablet until he received his first months wages.
‘I would love to take someone into the Apple store and buy him or her a tablet for helping me get a job,’ he says.
Next he turned back to winning the attention of employers by sending his CV inside a children’s piñata.
The toys are traditionally filled with sweets and smashed open at children at parties with sticks.
Dan said: ‘ I got the idea from my daughters birthday party. Everyone loved the piñata and I was looking for a way to make my CV stand out.
‘I was writing and sending so many covering letters that I was bored of reading them myself so I imaged how bored the employers must be.’
The stunt led to him being invited onto a radio to appeal for a job, but no offer.
So next he posted boxes of donuts with offers to work for free.
‘The idea was that having work experience might help me stand above the other candidates and if I was there working for free it would give the other staff chance to have a cuppa and a doughnut, who wouldn’t enjoy that.
Dan was offered a work placement and is hopeful it will help him land his dream job.
More recent stunts include a covering letter jokingly earning employers they need to employ more red heads by law and offering his services.
He said: ‘ This is one of my favourites because it jokingly suggests they will get fined if they don’t have the right number of ginger employees and urging them to take me on quickly to avoid prosecution.’
Most recently he’s sent covering letters with Monopoly money urging employers to think of him when they play the game.
‘Everyone loves Monopoly and it remains one of the most popular games in the UK so I figured a bit of extra cash that might help them win the game would go down well.’
He’s currently dreaming up more stunts and plans to continue posting stunts until he gains employment.
‘ I have to stay confident that I will eventually get noticed by the right person. In the meantime the support from all my followers helps keep me positive and give me fresh ideas.’