Candidates want to stand out from the crowd and be memorable. However, sometimes their outside-the-box methods work, and sometimes they just bomb.
CareerBuilder had Harris Interactive Inc. ask 2,076 hiring managers and human resources professionals nationwide to share the most memorable methods candidates have used to stand out from the crowd and whether their creativity got them hired.
“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.”
10 most outrageous things that worked:
- Candidate contracted a billboard outside of the employer’s office.
- Candidate gave a résumé 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 (similar to a wedding invitation) to hire her.
- 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 the company’s equipment during the first interview.
- Candidate sent a message in a bottle.
10 Most outrageous things that didn’t work
- Candidate backflipped into the room.
- Candidate brought items from the 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 the interviewer some beef stew with a note saying, “Eat hearty and hire me—J.”
- Candidate placed a timer on the interviewer’s desk, started it, and told the interviewer he would explain in 3 minutes why he was the perfect candidate.
- Candidate sent the interviewer a lotto ticket.
- Candidate wore a fluorescent suit.
- Candidate sent in a shoe to “get his foot in the door.”