Have you ever really struggled to find a job? And by really, I mean sending hundreds of applications without hearing a peep.
It can be incredibly disheartening… facing rejection after rejection and it’s even worse when you hear nothing at all!
So how do other job-seekers manage to grab the Hiring Manager’s attention?
(If I’m 100% honest, a well written, formatted and comprehensive CV and cover letter is much more valuable and impressive, yet harder to find, than most of the weird and creative CVs we’ve come across…)
This week, we’ve explored, investigated and assembled the 25 weirdest job-hunt stunts, pulled by creative candidates, to impress potential employers.
Did these brave souls go too far or absolutely smash it? Here’s our verdict…
Stunt 1: The interviewee who turned up dressed as clown.
Verdict: Too far. Despite the fact that this is just a little bit weird – didn’t this clown consider people with coulrophobia? How NOT to get your foot through the door.
Stunt 2: The interviewee who, mid-interview, sang (and played guitar to) a song, selling himself.
Verdict: Too far. I know, I know, perhaps I’m just a little bit cynical but I’d find a stunt of this kind more awkward and cringe-worthy than impressive.
Stunt 3: The jobseeker who sent a video CV of himself dressed up as “the Lion King.”
Verdict: Too far. I really want to get my hands on this video! But not for recruitment reasons.
Stunt 4: The interviewee who arrived, dressed as a “big brass tuba.”
Verdict: Too far. Am I missing something..? How, what, why, where, when?
Stunt 5: The interviewee who acted like a game show host.
Verdict: Too far. Not only is this just a bit strange… I’d imagine it would also get really irritating.
Stunt 6: The candidate who sent her husband, dressed up as the Mad Hatter, to deliver her CV.
Verdict: You’re hired! I’ve got to admit, I quite like this stunt. It’s not uncomfortable, offensive or dangerous and it would make certainly make an impression. I just hope the CV lived up to the delivery efforts.
Stunt 7: The interviewee who entered the room hobbling, then performed a perfect gambol.
Verdict: You’re hired! What a phizz-whizzing, whoopsy wiffling stunt. Willy Wonka fans delight!
Stunt 8: The applicant who sent over a shoe with his CV to get his ‘foot through the door.’
Verdict: You’re hired. Funny, attention-grabbing, fabulous!
Stunt 9: The applicant who sent over their CV via postcard while they were on holiday in Venice.
Verdict: You’re hired! This simple, yet lovely little stunt shows courage, commitment and personality! You’re thinking of us while you’re away? How sweet.
Stunt 10: The candidate who sent the interviewer a heart-shaped balloon with a thank you note.
Verdict: You’re hired! The note said: “If you’re looking for a candidate that rises above the rest that you’ll love, remember me.”It’s hard to forget about a candidate when there’s a lovely reminder left floating by your desk for the foreseeable future!
Recruiter Pro Tip (for jobseekers).
Hiring managers love to receive a little a follow-up note, thanking them for their time.
It shows you’re appreciation and genuine interest in the role and of course, you don’t have to send a big gesture like a balloon or a box of chocolates, a short email will suffice.
Click here and check out our video, to find out more about following up your job application and getting yourself noticed.
Stunt 11: The jobseeker who took out a Google Ad with the heading ‘Hey, [Employer’s Name]’
Verdict: You’re hired. As somewhat of a marketer myself, I can’t help but think this idea is ingenious! Wouldn’t you find it creepy if you typed your name into Google and ‘Hi, [Your Name]’ cropped up! You’d have to click it, right?
Eager or Desperate?
Stunt 12: The jobseeker who spent his last £500 on a billboard, pleading for someone to hire him.
Verdict: Too far! If I’m 100% honest, the billboard does come across just a little bit too desperate. Check it out for yourself here.
Stunt 13: The applicant who applied for the same (ongoing) position 269 times in a variety of ways.
Verdict: Too far! OK – this stunt does, to a certain extent, show commitment, but it’s also guaranteed to piss people off. There’s clearly a reason why the applicant got turned down in the first place and absolutely stalking a company isn’t going to change that!
Stunt 14: The interviewee who wore a visible red t-shirt under his suit saying- ‘Hire me, I work hard.’
Verdict: Not far enough! I get the general gist of the idea, but surely he could’ve had something better printed on his t-shirt? ‘I work hard’ is such a cliche!
Stunt 15: The jobseeker who spent all day at Waterloo station handing out CVs to random people.
Verdict: You’re hired. I like this story because it has a nice happy ending! Alfred’s stunt shows resourcefulness, determination and confidence and did finally bagged him a job (after months of failing). This shows that creativity sometimes is the way to go!
Stunt 16: The interviewee who refused to leave after a very unsuccessful interview.
Verdict: Too far! You’ve got to feel a little bit bad for this jobseeker, after all, we’ve all had bad interviews. Refusing to leave probably didn’t help matters though (the police had to be called for goodness sake)!
Stunt 17: The applicant who sent a Chinese take-away with their details inside the fortune cookie.
Verdict: You’re hired! You should NEVER take bribes; bribes are bad. That said, this applicant would, at the very least, get a phone call (and it would be a shame to let good food go to waste).
Stunt 18: The interviewee who offered the hiring manager a foot massage – IF they got the job.
Verdict: Too far! I’m not really sure I like the idea of being offered a foot massage by a random person.
Stunt 19: The jobseeker who offered to work for the first month, free – to prove his worth.
Verdict: You’re hired! I applaud this jobseeker’s salesmanship and tenacity. I’d probably pay him for their first month anyway, but it’s a great way to get noticed and shows that he’s obviously very confident in his abilities.
Stunt 20: The interviewee who slipped his interviewer a twenty pound note on arrival.
Verdict: Too far! A bad hire costs roughly £30,614 to replace – can you imagine your boss found out that you lost all of that money for the sake of £20? No hiring manager in their right mind would take that risk (and it doesn’t exactly say a lot for the interviewee’s morals does it?)
Stunt 21: The applicant who sent his CV over printed on a case of his own home-brewed beer.
Verdict: You’re hired. I’ve heard of jigsaw CVs, cake CVs, chocolate CVs and even testicle CVs… but I’ve never before come across a home-brewed beer CV – cheers Brennan Gleason!
Stunt 22: The jobseeker who found out where his interviewer was having dinner and paid the bill.
Verdict: Too far! I suppose this was supposed to be a nice gesture, but it comes across a little desperate and creepy. Feel like you’re being watched?
Stunt 23: The applicant who sent a box of chocolate to the hiring manager’s home.
Verdict: Too far! What’s weird about this? It’s nice gesture, right? What if I told you that the hiring manager had never given out her home address? It’s like something from a horror film! Are they hiding in the bushes?! *Shudder*
Stunt 24: The jobseeker who ‘bumped into’ his interviewer at Tesco and pitched himself there & then.
Verdict: Too far! Getting railroaded into giving someone a spur of the moment interview, whilst trying to shop, now that’s just annoying and weird.
Stunt 25: The interviewee who set her CV on fire to demonstrate her ‘burning desire’ for the job.
Verdict: Too far! Naked flame in the office? Not sure that’s within safety regulations… on the other hand, I suppose it would most definitely have gotten my attention (not for good reasons).
As you can imagine, it is pretty amusing when you’re on the receiving end of some of these fantastic and creative job-hunt stunts!
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing.
Yes – job candidates should be memorable – but not for the wrong reasons! If you’d like to find out how to get your job application noticed, in the right way, then check out this blog: How to Write an Impressive CV and Get a Better Job: Our 11 Step Checklist.
Recruiter Pro Tip (for Hiring Managers)
Try not to be too harsh on job candidates who get a little over-excited, yet fail miserably to pull off a stunt like the ones we’ve ridiculed above!
They’re probably just feeling the pressure to become a more ‘creative’ candidate – it’s all some companies talk about – especially the highly successful tech companies like Google.
On the other hand, don’t assume that a candidate isn’t creative because they haven’t attempted to wow you with a weird and wonderful display.
Some people just don’t feel the need for bells and whistles! Click here to find out better ways to assess creativity.
Let’s be honest, everyone on this list deserves a round of applause for bravery… no matter how spectacularly they may have failed in their cause. We wish them all good luck!
Happy Friday!- James Ball