Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

10 stunts that got candidates hired, and 10 that failed

Doing a cool cover letter worked, but dressing like a clown didn't

1 of 22

What would you do to get hired?

CareerBuilder asked hiring managers and human resource professionals in the United States what people had done creatively to get a job – and whether it worked or not.

Here are the top 10 stunts that worked:

Jupiterimages/Getty Images

2 of 22

A candidate contracted a billboard outside of the employer’s office.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

3 of 22

A candidate gave a résumé on a chocolate bar. Yum!

Valentin Flauraud/Reuters

4 of 22

A 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.”

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 22

A candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.

Juan Moyano/Getty Images/iStockphoto

6 of 22

A candidate crafted her cover letter like an invitation (similar to a wedding invitation) to hire her, rather than a request.

Jamie Grill/Getty Images

7 of 22

A candidate climbed onto the roof the employer was repairing and asked for a job.

Christina Richards/Getty Images/iStockphoto

8 of 22

A candidate performed a musical number on his guitar about why he was the best candidate.

Tim Fraser/The Globe and Mail

9 of 22

A candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw that the interviewer’s assistant was getting frazzled.

Dean Bertoncelj/Getty Images/iStockphoto

10 of 22

A candidate repaired a piece of the company’s equipment during the first interview.

Sergiy Tryapitsyn/Getty Images/iStockphoto

11 of 22

A candidate sent a message in a bottle.

“Employers typically aren’t looking for the most outrageous candidate, they’re looking for the best fit,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.

“Thinking outside the box is great, but the stunts that work best are the ones that showcase your relevant skills and abilities.”

Photodisc

12 of 22

But stunts don’t always work.

Here are 10 that backfired:

A candidate back-flipped into the room.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

13 of 22

A candidate brought items from interviewer’s online shopping wish list.

iStockphoto

14 of 22

A candidate sent a fruit basket to interviewer’s home address, which the interviewer had not given her.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

15 of 22

A candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer.

Gene Blythe/The Associated Press

16 of 22

A candidate dressed as a clown.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

17 of 22

A candidate sent the interviewer some beef stew with a note saying “Eat hearty and hire me.”

The Canadian Press

18 of 22

A candidate placed a timer on interviewer’s desk, started it, and told the interviewer he would explain in three minutes why he was the perfect candidate.

Esben Emborg/iStockphoto

19 of 22

A candidate sent the interviewer a lottery ticket.

Yvonne Berg/The Globe and Mail

20 of 22

A candidate wore a fluorescent suit.

iStock

21 of 22

A candidate sent in a shoe to “get their foot in the door.”

(Note: This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals in May and June.)

Comstock Images/Getty Images

22 of 22

Are you a hiring manager?

What are some of the best and worst stunts you've seen?

Did you ever use a stunt to get a job?

E-mail us at careerquestion@globeandmail.com. We’ll compile the best submissions and post them.

Alex Skopje/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Report an error