November 2013
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TD Magazine

Outside the Box … or Out of Their Minds?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Job seekers are getting very creative in their efforts to land jobs, going way beyond the traditional thank-you note to get noticed by employers. A CareerBuilder survey of 2,076 hiring managers and HR professionals nationwide asked about the most memorable techniques used by candidates.


"Thinking outside the box is great," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR for CareerBuilder. "But the stunts that work best are the ones that showcase your relevant skills and abilities."

Here are some successful and not-so-successful techniques used by job-seekers.

Techniques that worked:

  • Candidate contracted a billboard outside the employer's office.
  • Candidate gave a résumé on a chocolate bar.
  • Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.
  • 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 that the interviewer's assistant was getting frazzled.
  • Candidate sent a message in a bottle.

Techniques that did not work:

  • Candidate dressed as a clown.
  • 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 sent the interviewer a lotto ticket.
  • Candidate sent in a shoe to "get their foot in the door."
About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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