Try job-hunting the Chenoweth way

Sarah Boesveld

Globe & Mail

“I’m unemployed.”

Few job seekers choose to shout it from the rooftops. But actress Kristin Chenoweth boldly announced her status Sunday as she accepted an Emmy for her role in the cancelled ABC series Pushing Daisies . The out-of-work siren took the self-promo a step further, listing all the shows on which she’d love to appear.

“I’m not employed now so I’d like to be on Mad Men . I also like The Officeand 24 ,” gushed Ms. Chenoweth, 41, as she clutched the trophy for best supporting actress in a comedy series.

She should also win a trophy in job hunting 101, says Alan Kearns, founder of CareerJoy, a career coaching firm. Few people find work unless they spread the word, he says, and Ms. Chenoweth’s message was clever, authentic and on point.

“She’s credible, she’s good at what she does and she didn’t come across in a desperate way. It was just, ‘Hey, this is where I’m at and these are my needs.’”

Her plug was also unexpected and opportunistic, he says.

She took a risk, Mr. Kearns notes, a crucial move for a job hunter in a tight market. “If you can have a creative message that ties together authenticity, boy, that’s going to catch the attention of hiring managers,” he says.

But there’s a fine line between pointed confidence and desperation, he cautions. Before spreading the word, ask “are you confident in your message, is it strategic, is the timing right, who’s the audience and how specifically can they help?”

So go ahead and pull a Chenoweth. Chances are we’ll see her on the next season of Mad Men