Slideshow Creative "dos" and desperate "don'ts" job seekers tried to stand out

  • September 25 2013, 6:10pm EDT
15 Images Total

6 Techniques that worked:

1. Candidate contracted a billboard outside of employer’s office.

2. Candidate gave a resume on a chocolate bar.

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3. Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.

4. Candidate crafted the cover letter like an invitation to hire her rather than a request (similar to a wedding invitation).

5. Candidate performed a musical number on the guitar about why he was the best candidate.

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6. Candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw interviewer’s assistant was getting frazzled.

“Employers typically aren't looking for the most outrageous candidate, they’re looking for the best fit,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "Thinking outside the box is great, but the stunts that work best are the ones that showcase your relevant skills and abilities. The focus of the interview should be why you would be a great addition to the team, and not what you’re willing to do to get noticed."

Here are eight techniques that didn't work.

1. Candidate back-flipped into the room.

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2. Candidate sent a fruit basket to interviewer’s home address, which the interviewer had not given her.

3. Candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer.

4. Candidate dressed as a clown.

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5. Candidate placed a timer on interviewer’s desk, started it, and told interviewer he would explain in three minutes why he was the perfect candidate.

6. Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket.

7. Candidate sent in a shoe to “get their foot in the door.

An EBN reader received the same package to an HR department of a major Ad Agency in the 1980s. In the package was a shoe and rolled up inside was a resume and the cover letter started with "Now that I have my foot in the door.” This reader says he would have gotten an interview had he taken the time to clean and polish the shoe!

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8. Share your own hiring story

Commenting on a recent blog article, one reader shared a personal favorite: “The best I ever saw was a man who had his resume on what essentially amounted to a baseball card. His picture was on the front - resume on the back where the stats would be. It was clever - it gave us all a laugh, but we did not even call him for the interview.” What’s your favorite—creative or desperate—tactic a potential hire tried to stand out? Share in the blog comments or on our LinkedIn discussion.