Posted by Heidi Schwartz
To commemorate the upcoming Labor Day holiday, CareerBuilder recently conducted a survey that documented the most memorable things job candidates did to make themselves stand out with potential employers. Some sang, dressed up as clowns, or even went so far as to print their resume on chocolate bars—but was this creativity rewarded? The survey indicated mixed results for these unconventional approaches.
“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.”
- Candidate contracted a billboard outside of employer’s office.
- Candidate gave a resume on a chocolate bar.
- Candidate showed up in a suit with a red T-shirt underneath a white shirt. The red T-shirt had a message—“Hire me, I work hard.”
- Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.
- Candidate crafted the cover letter like an invitation to hire her rather than a request (similar to a wedding invitation).
- Candidate climbed on a roof the employer was repairing and asked for a job.
- Candidate performed a musical number on the guitar about why he was the best candidate.
- Candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw interviewer’s assistant was getting frazzled.
- Candidate repaired a piece of company’s equipment during the first interview.
- Candidate sent a message in a bottle.
- Candidate back-flipped into the room.
- Candidate brought items from interviewer’s online shopping wish list.
- Candidate sent a fruit basket to interviewer’s home address, which the interviewer had not given her.
- Candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer.
- Candidate dressed as a clown.
- Candidate sent interviewer some beef stew with a note saying “Eat hearty and hire me J.”
- 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.
- Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket.
- Candidate wore a fluorescent suit.
- Candidate sent in a shoe to “get his foot in the door.”
This survey was prepared by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder. It gathered data from 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide who were asked to share the most memorable methods candidates have used to stand out from the crowd, and whether their creativity got them hired. The study was conducted online from May 14 to June 5, 2013.