Toledo Worker, Brandon Stuard, Buys Billboard, 'Please Hire My Wife'
Brandon Stuard decided to do something dramatic after watching his wife of eight years grow increasingly frustrated with her job search, reports Fox Toledo. Holly Stuard's position as MBA program manager at the University of Toledo was eliminated a year ago due to budget cuts, and since then she's been wiling away her days on LinkedIn and Indeed.com, monitoring job alerts at her favorite organizations, and crafting and recrafting her resume. Sometimes she scored a second and even a final round interview, but never a job offer.
So Stuard, a deputy sheriff, secretly turned his wife's resume into two billboards for a week. The venture cost around $700, but he says that he suspects the two companies that he worked with gave him a little bit of a discount. Holly Stuard's face now hangs above downtown Toledo and the West Toledo neighborhood, along with a summary of her credentials -- MBA, business experience, academic experience -- a contact email address, and the phrase, "a great fit."
Holly Stuard knew nothing about it until her husband drove her across town for dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant, a route that passed right by the billboard of her face.
"At first I was a little embarrassed. That's more attention than I normally draw to myself," Stuard told AOL Jobs. "But when it really sunk in, I thought it was creative and thoughtful, and he was trying to help me."
Stuard says that her husband loves to surprise her, but that this "is on a whole new level."
Stuard's dream is to lead the training and development for an organization, and help it maximize the potential of its employees. Most of the messages so far to the firstname.lastname@example.org email address have been well-wishing strangers, but a few have sent along tips of a company that's hiring. No concrete leads yet, though.
Job-seeker billboards have found success in the past, however. In May, 23-year-old Bennett Olson splashed his smile on a billboard in downtown Minneapolis with the entreaty, "Hire Me!" and was soon hired by a 3-D scanning company. And senior manager Mark Heuer blew up his face on a highway billboard near Milwaukee, Wis., in 2009, urging passers-by to visit his website Mark4Hire.com. The response from companies, he said, was "overwhelming."
The difference with Brandon Stuard's ploy is that it isn't for himself. It's a husband, tired of helplessly sitting by as his wife struggled. "It's been really frustrating for me, watching her be frustrated," he told AOL Jobs. And while a job offer might not come out of it, "if it puts a smile on her face, it's good enough for me."
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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