What Jobseekers Can Learn from The Hunger Games

Do you have what it takes to be a victor in your job search?

Like 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who fought her way to victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, unemployed job seekers are widely regarded by hiring managers as underdogs in today’s job search. With unemployment at 8.3 percent, the lucky few who are called to participate in a job interview find that they have a lot to prove in the fight for one coveted position.

Let’s face it, in our current economic climate, if you’ve got gaps in your resume, went to a lower-tier school, or are too old/young, you are not as likely as other job seekers to be called in for an interview. Job seekers must make sure that the odds of obtaining that interview are “ever in your favor” by using all of the tools at their disposal to stand out to potential employers.

Keep reading for job search survival tips:

1) Volunteer:

Katniss volunteers to participate in the Hunger Games in place of her sister, Prim. She is the first-ever volunteer from District 12, and her selflessness endears her to the Capitol.

There is some debate among employers regarding whether or not it pays to work for free, but many experts believe that volunteering at a company provides important connections, experience, and encouragement to discouraged job seekers.

2) Become the “Girl on Fire”:

Katniss becomes “The Girl on Fire” after making a powerful first impression with potential sponsors at the opening ceremony of the Hunger Games. An interview is your first opportunity to present yourself to a potential employer dynamically. Make sure that you remain confident and you dress appropriately. You want people to remember you.

3) Shoot a squirrel in the eye:

Peeta can throw a heavy bag of flour over his head as a result of working at a bakery for his whole life. Katniss is an expert with a bow and arrow – shooting her prey in the eye to make a clean kill. Make sure that you, too, are emphasizing your unique skills in the job search.

What can you bring to a potential employer that no one else can?

4) Remember they already love you; just be yourself:

Katniss’ mentor, Haymitch, cannot decide how to present her to the public. In response, her stylist tells her just to be herself. As your job search progresses, you may find yourself frustrated by the specific demands of potential employers – and you may feel obligated to start applying for jobs that are not an exact fit for your skillset. Keep in mind that the best job for you is one that is challenging, that makes use of your skillset, and that allows you to learn and excel. Wait for that job – or create it for yourself and pitch the benefit to your favorite companies.

You’ve probably already heard that The Hunger Games grossed $152.5 million during its opening weekend – making it Hollywood’s third-biggest opener of all time. And if you saw the movie, you probably cheered for Katniss as she worked to perfect her image, navigate a seemingly impossible situation, and survive.

As a job seeker, that is the trick to an effective job search – to perfect your image, to cheerfully navigate a seemingly impossible situation, and to survive. May the odds be ever in your favor.

RELATED: 7 Key Tips to Boost Your Chances of Getting a Job.

Author: Suki Shah is the CEO and co-founder of, the leading video-based social recruiting platform and job board that is improving the way employers and job seekers connect in today’s digital world. Connect with him on’s blog at or via Twitter @GetHiredInc.

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