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Survey Results > Talent Acquisition

The 20 Most Memorable Job Search Stunts

The best man for the jobFrom renting out a billboard and putting your resume for sale on eBay to showing up to the company naked, candidates are going beyond the usual tactics – pulling more job search stunts – to get the attention of hiring managers. Whether it’s the good kind of attention or the bad kind depends on whom you ask. (Any guesses as to how the employer with the naked job seeker would answer?) But just how far are some candidates willing to go to stand out from the crowd?

CareerBuilder recently surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide, asking them to share the most memorable methods job candidates have used to set themselves apart – for better or for worse. Here’s what they had to say:

10 Memorable Job Search Stunts that Worked

  1. Candidate contracted a billboard outside of employer’s office.
  2. Candidate gave a resume on a chocolate bar.
  3. 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.”
  4. Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.
  5. Candidate crafted the cover letter like an invitation to hire her rather than a request (similar to a wedding invitation).
  6. Candidate climbed on a roof the employer was repairing and asked for a job.
  7. Candidate performed a musical number on the guitar about why he was the best candidate.
  8. Candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw interviewer’s assistant was getting frazzled.
  9. Candidate repaired a piece of company’s equipment during the first interview.
  10. Candidate sent a message in a bottle.

10 Memorable Techniques that Did NOT Work

  1. Candidate back-flipped into the room.
  2. Candidate brought items from interviewer’s online shopping wish list.
  3. Candidate sent a fruit basket to interviewer’s home address, which the interviewer had not given her.
  4. Candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer.
  5. Candidate dressed as a clown.
  6. Candidate sent interviewer some beef stew with a note saying “Eat hearty and hire me J.”
  7. Candidate placed a timer on interviewer’s desk, started it, and told interviewer he would explain in 3 minutes why he was the perfect candidate.
  8. Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket.
  9. Candidate wore a florescent suit.
  10. Candidate sent in a shoe to “get their foot in the door.”

Before You Call Security Dismiss the Candidate Entirely…

Okay, so some of the latter tactics might seem less like thinking outside of the box and more like one step away from putting a severed head inside a box, but for the most part, even if a candidate exhibits some atypical behavior, try to save the judgment for after the interview. After all, you saw something that made you want to bring the candidate in for an interview – don’t you at least want to explore that? (And besides, some people can really pull off a clown costume.)

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


  1. […] 2,000+: Hiring managers and human resources professionals CareerBuilder recently surveyed to narrow down the 20 most unconventional ways job candidates have used to get a job – for better or for worse. (TheHiringSite) […]

  2. […] recently published survey results for ‘The 20 Most Memorable Job Search Stunts’ in which they asked 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide to share the […]

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