HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Hiring Managers Give 10 Epic Job Pitches, and 10 Huge Failures

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By Eric B. Meyer

When applying for a new job, you need more than just a resume to stand out from the crowd.

But, go too far, and you crash, burn, and become that person whom hiring managers discuss when sharing their worst interview stories.

Speaking of which, this week CareerBuilder published the results of a study in which it asked 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide to share the most memorable methods candidates have used to stand out from the crowd, and whether their creativity got them hired.

10 candidate techniques that worked …

Here are 10 standout techniques that hiring manager and HR professionals say worked the best:

  • 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.

… and 10 candidate techniques that didn’t

And these 10 moves didn’t work so much:

  • 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 (3) minutes why he was the perfect candidate.
  • Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket.
  • Candidate wore a florescent suit.
  • Candidate sent in a shoe to “get their foot in the door.”

Me? I’m easy like Sunday morning. I would hire anyone on the spot who did this.

What about you? What is the single best, original way a job candidate won you over?

Let me know in the comments below. Also, let me know the one that had you calling security.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP . He dedicates his practice to litigating and assisting employers on labor and employment issues affecting the workplace, including collective bargaining, discrimination, employee handbook policies, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and trade secret protection. Eric also serves as a volunteer mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact him at emeyer@dilworthlaw.com .
  • Colette Sexton

    Personally I think sending in a shoe to get a ‘foot in the door’ is kind of brilliant. Clearly the employer didn’t though!

    Colette Sexton
    PR Representative at SkillPages
    http://blog.skillpages.com/

  • Jodelle DJ

    I would love to read a more elaborate account of each. For instance, I don’t understand the brilliance of the red shirt stating “Hire me”. I’m currently on the lookout for full-time work, and would love to get some ideas….v

    • FNNuTz

      the red shirt (I’m guessing the message was written in red) would subtly show under the white show.. providing a sort of “subliminal message”….

  • rock_badger14

    If the lists were to be combined and mixed up, I don’t know that I could separate them all out into their proper categories… This leads me to believe this is as much dependent upon the employer’s mentality and perhaps the kind of job you are applying for as it is about not going ‘overboard’