Job Seekers’ Strange Stunts

Jul 31 2015 - Hiring - Gail Cecchettini Whaley

Some people will try anything to stand out.

In its latest survey, CareerBuilder asked more than 2,000 hiring managers to name the most unusual methods job seekers used to get their attention, although maybe not the job.

“Job seekers know they’re competing with a lot of other candidates, so they’re trying more unusual tactics to stand out from the crowd,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “For example, one candidate made a “Top Ten” list of reasons to hire him. But while these tactics may succeed in impressing hiring managers, what ultimately determines if they get the job is having the necessary skills and experience hiring managers are looking for.”

Unusual Approaches

Hiring managers who participated in the survey listed the following unusual strategies that job seekers came up with:

  1. Candidate found out where the hiring manager was having dinner and picked up the tab.
  2. Candidate lit a corner of their resume on fire to show a “burning desire” for the job.
  3. Candidate asked his daughter to call the hiring manager in advance of the interview to thank the hiring manager “for giving her dad a job.”
  4. Candidate had a cake delivered to the hiring manager with the words “Congratulations! [candidate’s name] got the job!”
  5. Candidate answered a call during the interview stating that another company was calling to discuss a job offer.
  6. Candidate sat on the floor during the interview and asked the hiring manager to take a picture of him with the company mascot.
  7. Candidate tried to impress the hiring manager with the history of the business, which was incorrect.
  8. Candidate had her resume gift-wrapped.
  9. Candidate showed pictures of relatives who worked at the company many years prior.
  10. Candidate acted like a game show host.
  11. Candidate brought a bag of props into the interview and pulled them out as they were relevant in the questions/answers.
  12. Candidate sent the hiring manager a coupon for a free meal.

Harris Poll conducted the national online survey on behalf of CareerBuilder between May 14 and June 3, 2015.

Shane Peterson, Senior Editor

CalChamber members can read more about good selection practices during the recruiting process in HRCalifornia’s HR Library. Not a member? See how HRCalifornia can help you.

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