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Talent Acquisition

Latest Job Seeker Trend: Accessorizing

wristbandsSorry, Lance Armstrong, but your “Livestrong” bracelets are yesterday’s news.

Earlier this week, my colleagues over at TheWorkBuzz drew my attention to this Chicago Tribune article about the latest job seeker trend: sporting “I need a job” bracelets.

These yellow and pink silicone bands – much like the bright yellow ones Lance Armstrong made fashionable wore to raise awareness for cancer (and which inspired countless other variations) – were created by Barbara Bourn and Stephanie Aucoin, the folks behind LaidOffNeedaJob.com, which also gives job-seeking tips and economic news updates on Twitter and Facebook. (I like to think of them as resumes – that you can wear!)

So far, they’ve sold or given away nearly 6,000 bracelets and claim to be getting a lot of good feedback from job seekers who find the bracelets serve as good networking vehicles.

I could see the benefit of the “I need a job” wrist band for job seekers: It’s a creative way for job seekers to network and spread the word that they’re looking for jobs.  And based on the testimonials, they sure seem to be enthused.

But I wonder what you recruiters and hiring managers have to say about these bracelets…Certainly, it’s kind of cool to think that you could potentially spot your next employee while waiting in line to see “Star Trek,” right?…But how likely is it that these bracelets would compel you to approach job seekers you see wearing them and inquire about their situation? (Maybe even offer an interview?)…Better yet: Has it happened already? Any success stories of your own to share?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
42 comments
Barry
Barry

Clever idea...I made a billboard posted to back of my T-shirt before running a race(in middle of thousands of runners--Everyone can't help but notice that-right?..unfortunately, not one comment from nobody at end while mingling around the finishline. I still thought it was a clever way to get noticed, certainly took some fortitude to advertise one's unfortunate circumstance...still looking.
Good luck to all out there!!

Kiley
Kiley

Has anyone thought that with all of the "real people" that are out of work, that maybe, Just maybe this lousy bracelet gives some people Hope! And an understanding that they are not the only ones suffering right now! Go visit a food pantry and see former managers there asking for a handout/help! These unemployment numbers are more than statistics, they are people who want to work! Don't be so judgemental! We all could be next!

Hilary Kantor
Hilary Kantor

I think that the bracelet is a great idea. Networking is one of the best ways to find a new position. The more people that you inform of your job search, the more job leads can occur. As a recruiter, I would definately approach someone wearing this bracelet.

Hilary Kantor
Hilary Kantor

I think that the bracelet is a great idea. Networking is one of the best ways to find a new position. The more people that you inform of your job search, the more job leads can occur. As a recruiter, I would definately approach someone wearing this bracelet.

Alene Albright
Alene Albright

I think the usefulness and success of this approach totally depends on the kind of job the person is seeking. It may not be the best approach for someone in a management or upper level professional type position, but I think it's great for other types of candidates. I'd love to hear some success stories.

Alene Albright
Alene Albright

I think the usefulness and success of this approach totally depends on the kind of job the person is seeking. It may not be the best approach for someone in a management or upper level professional type position, but I think it's great for other types of candidates. I'd love to hear some success stories.

Don
Don

This is a great idea. Additionally, one has to be brave to tell everyone (advertised on a bracelet) he or she is without a job and is looking. I do not see it at all as desperate. This is creative and that is what I am recruiting.

Kimmy
Kimmy

Hi, my name is ... and I don't have a job...

Next thing you know we will have... "I am a soccer mom, let me work 9-2"

Stella
Stella

It all depends of a person you run into. If a "potential employer" is a kind of person who finds this way of communication proper or innovative, than he/she can arrange a meeting (like for my friend who did something similar when ordered customized wristbands.) But it also can be lame way of communication because another "potential employer" might think: "Oh, you are so desperate that you had to put yourself that low to use a bracelet with a text on it! That says a lot about your skills!" Well, it's a two sided coin so think wisely :-) I I think I would wear a bracelet with such text on it. I find it innovative.

Jessica Zaragoza
Jessica Zaragoza

I think it's a great idea. Specially for a company like mine where we are focused on hiring talent in the retail environment. If I was out and about and spotted someone wearing this bracelet I would defenitely ask the person what type of job they are looking for and take it from there.

Jessica Zaragoza
Jessica Zaragoza

I think it's a great idea. Specially for a company like mine where we are focused on hiring talent in the retail environment. If I was out and about and spotted someone wearing this bracelet I would defenitely ask the person what type of job they are looking for and take it from there.

Cheryl
Cheryl

I agree with Scott Eldridge (comment #13). Some of my best hires were discovered through a casual conversation at a grocery store or while at a social event. You can't always judge a book by it's cover - look at Susan Boyle. I believe "Diversity Rocks!" and it's what differentiates the "Solid and Great" companies from the "OK and Boring" companies.

Cheryl
Cheryl

I agree with Scott Eldridge (comment #13). Some of my best hires were discovered through a casual conversation at a grocery store or while at a social event. You can't always judge a book by it's cover - look at Susan Boyle. I believe "Diversity Rocks!" and it's what differentiates the "Solid and Great" companies from the "OK and Boring" companies.

Dani
Dani

I think everyone is making good points. My first thought was someone is making $ off others suffering. Not sure, I would talk to someone because of the bracelet, because they are just a trend. I would like to think they will work, but at first look, we all we wee LiveStrong, not Laid Off Need A Job. I for one would feel strange staring at someone's arm, just to make sure they were the Laid Off Need A Job bracelet. I hope this works for someone, but I would not stare at someone's arm, just to see what the bracelet is.

Dani
Dani

I think everyone is making good points. My first thought was someone is making $ off others suffering. Not sure, I would talk to someone because of the bracelet, because they are just a trend. I would like to think they will work, but at first look, we all we wee LiveStrong, not Laid Off Need A Job. I for one would feel strange staring at someone's arm, just to make sure they were the Laid Off Need A Job bracelet. I hope this works for someone, but I would not stare at someone's arm, just to see what the bracelet is.

Alex
Alex

Next thing we know the same people will be offering a choker with the same job appeal? Let's just try to get through this economic nightmare without allowing others to line up their pockets on people's misery.

Alex
Alex

Next thing we know the same people will be offering a choker with the same job appeal? Let's just try to get through this economic nightmare without allowing others to line up their pockets on people's misery.

Yanny
Yanny

Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with wearing one of this, anything goes now days. I got laid off last October 2008 and I'm still looking for a job. I have sent my resume to many places and nothing. No calls back at all. Call it desperation or however you want but if it can help you get a job, I don't see why not.

Yanny
Yanny

Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with wearing one of this, anything goes now days. I got laid off last October 2008 and I'm still looking for a job. I have sent my resume to many places and nothing. No calls back at all. Call it desperation or however you want but if it can help you get a job, I don't see why not.

Sue
Sue

Scott said it all (see post #13). And it's too bad a lot of recruiters think someone is less valuable because they are not currently working. I know that's the norm but it's not right; many highly qualified people are out of work right now through no fault of their own. I think a lot of us would get pretty desperate if we were out of work for a year, and about to lose our home. What is the saying? But for the grace of God go I? It could be anyone of us. That said, I think the bracelets are a great idea, I just wish they were not the same color as Lance Armstrong's.

Sue
Sue

Scott said it all (see post #13). And it's too bad a lot of recruiters think someone is less valuable because they are not currently working. I know that's the norm but it's not right; many highly qualified people are out of work right now through no fault of their own. I think a lot of us would get pretty desperate if we were out of work for a year, and about to lose our home. What is the saying? But for the grace of God go I? It could be anyone of us. That said, I think the bracelets are a great idea, I just wish they were not the same color as Lance Armstrong's.

Tom
Tom

Should have used a different color, these bracelets will be confused with The Live Strong ones. No one will really notice.

Art Mulwitz
Art Mulwitz

If someone told me they were wearing a bracelet I would fall out of my chair and drop the phone. I do have a great deal of empathy for all of the current "victims" (not counting the UAW members). If one bracelet wearer finds a job because of the decoration I would be surprised.

It is very troubling to me to think of how many well qualified and hard working people will likely never find a job at a similar level to their past experiences.

Art Mulwitz
Art Mulwitz

If someone told me they were wearing a bracelet I would fall out of my chair and drop the phone. I do have a great deal of empathy for all of the current "victims" (not counting the UAW members). If one bracelet wearer finds a job because of the decoration I would be surprised.

It is very troubling to me to think of how many well qualified and hard working people will likely never find a job at a similar level to their past experiences.

Scott Eldredge
Scott Eldredge

Immature and desperate? All of you recruiters out there that said that should get a clue. People who have been out of work for a year ARE desperate. In some places in this country, unemployment rates are at depression-era levels. Telling people that have sent out thousands of resumes, attended job fairs, hired recruiters, networked their asses off, and spent frustrating hours trying to get feedback from recruiters that don't bother to follow up after interviews that they are immature for wearing a yellow wristband is a bunch of snobbish elitism. You all need to start thinking differently. You obviously aren't worth anything to your companies as recruiters if you would disregard someone for wearing a yellow wristband rather than find out what unique skills sets they have to offer. No wonder corporate America is in trouble. You have no creativity.

Ed Fuccello
Ed Fuccello

Sorry....It's not working for me. As some have said, seems a bit desperate and we all know desperate doesn't sell when looking for work. If I'm looking for someone "professional", they're probably not wearing a yellow band. I empathize with job seekers today, but don't see the value in this approach. As another reviewer has asked.....where's the money going. If not to cover mfg. costs and a charitable cause, seems like an unseemly way to make money off of people who can least afford it, but will try anything. Just my two cents!

Dave
Dave

I agree with Monika Robinson-"immature and a bit desperate" is not the first impression anyone wants to make when they are seeking a job! How is the knowledge that you are unemployed supposed to help an employer with their problem of having to figure out how to make, save, or spend money? When it comes down to it, those issues are the fundamental problem of every employer. When a potential (or your current) boss sees you, s/he needs to feel like the company has just struck oil, instead of wondering whether or not you are going to run their well dry!

J Hinton
J Hinton

This would catch my attention - depending on where I spotted one at; I might inquire. So is the life of a human resources manager!

J Hinton
J Hinton

This would catch my attention - depending on where I spotted one at; I might inquire. So is the life of a human resources manager!

Sheila harrington
Sheila harrington

I am an insurance recruiter and look for those entrepreneurial types that will go the extra mile to make things happen for themselves. Some of the best agents for our company have been sourced through happenstance. If I see someone whose sporting one of these wristbands at a local coffee shop or fastfoods restaurant, I would buy this person a cup of coffee or sandwich in a heartbeak just to be able to speak with them. You never know if this person might be the best big producer. These wristband wearers are really just entrepeneurs waiting for the right opportunity.

Sheila harrington
Sheila harrington

I am an insurance recruiter and look for those entrepreneurial types that will go the extra mile to make things happen for themselves. Some of the best agents for our company have been sourced through happenstance. If I see someone whose sporting one of these wristbands at a local coffee shop or fastfoods restaurant, I would buy this person a cup of coffee or sandwich in a heartbeak just to be able to speak with them. You never know if this person might be the best big producer. These wristband wearers are really just entrepeneurs waiting for the right opportunity.

David
David

These bracelets reek of plastic and desperation--a little like Pamela Anderson these days.

Marc
Marc

Great way to find a Job? NO!

Great way to get notice, publicity, and free advertisement for laidoffneedajob.com? YES!

Becky Pulley
Becky Pulley

I think this is a wonderful idea. It allows a pre-screen of the candidate when they least expect it. This truly is another opportunity to network.

Becky Pulley
Becky Pulley

I think this is a wonderful idea. It allows a pre-screen of the candidate when they least expect it. This truly is another opportunity to network.

ME in PA
ME in PA

1) If I saw someone wearing one of these, I’d give the person a once over: What is he/she wearing? How is he/she acting? If the person is dressed nicely (even if dressed casually) & behaving maturely, he/she would gain points; anything otherwise, the entire purpose of the bracelet is wasted.
2) Does the profit on these bracelets go to a good cause? If so, I’d read a little more into someone wearing one than “Look at me! – I’m unemployed & this is the (little) effort I’m making to find a job”. The LiveStrong bracelets are an icon of the first decade in this millennium; making these bracelets a similar color takes away from the LiveStrong cause.

ME in PA
ME in PA

1) If I saw someone wearing one of these, I’d give the person a once over: What is he/she wearing? How is he/she acting? If the person is dressed nicely (even if dressed casually) & behaving maturely, he/she would gain points; anything otherwise, the entire purpose of the bracelet is wasted.
2) Does the profit on these bracelets go to a good cause? If so, I’d read a little more into someone wearing one than “Look at me! – I’m unemployed & this is the (little) effort I’m making to find a job”. The LiveStrong bracelets are an icon of the first decade in this millennium; making these bracelets a similar color takes away from the LiveStrong cause.

Craig
Craig

Great idea, great eye catcher and I think it's just another way to network and say I'm available. I've been a "headhunter" for 18 years and I would definitely reach out to that person and discuss their background to see if I could help them. Great idea and I'm sure pretty soon people will be wearing their resume on their t-shsirt. Maybe the next big thing.

Craig
Craig

Great idea, great eye catcher and I think it's just another way to network and say I'm available. I've been a "headhunter" for 18 years and I would definitely reach out to that person and discuss their background to see if I could help them. Great idea and I'm sure pretty soon people will be wearing their resume on their t-shsirt. Maybe the next big thing.

Cynthia Wright
Cynthia Wright

A bracelet? You're kidding, right?

Old fashion networking is the way to go. I see the success rate of these bracelets as being pretty low, considering unemployment has reached 10% in some parts of the US.

Monika Robinson
Monika Robinson

Although this article is well-written, I don't think wearing a bracelet is going to help a job seeker land a legitimate job. In fact, as an employer I think it seems immature and a bit desperate. A professional job seeker shouldn't resort to this type of trend just because the economy is down. There are many better options for networking and attracting potential employers.

Crystal Davis
Crystal Davis

I think this is a great way to find work, actually anything works these days! If I were to see someone wearing one, I would stop and give them an on-site interview!! :-)

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