How to get noticed for the wrong reasons: crazy job-seeker stunts

by Janie Smith17 Apr 2014
Does sending a potential employer an envelope filled with broken glass and a note saying, ‘I would walk over this to work for you’ make you an innovative go-getter, or the likely subject of a restraining order?

In the tough, post-recession job market, people will try almost anything to stand out from the crowd.

Even in less competitive times, landing your dream job can be a challenge.

Neil Baker, the director of people and culture at Cooper Grace Ward, made the jump from a career in medical biology to HR, but found it tough to get employers to give him a chance.

“I found it difficult in the late 1980s to change careers. I have 500 to 600 rejection letters which I got over four to five years because I was applying for jobs while I was studying [HR]. I kept them as a reminder that it’s possible to change careers.”

According to a CareerBuilder survey, a lot of candidates go the extra mile to make themselves stand out and avoid rejection letters.

The problem is that not all of them get it right.  

Here’s a list of some of the strangest things job-seekers did in an effort to impress employers:
  1. Wore a tuxedo
  2. Used an official celebrity fan site as one of their portfolio accomplishments
  3. Brought a baby gift to an interviewer who was pregnant
  4. Sat next to the hiring manager in a church pew
  5. Left sports game tickets for the interviewer
  6. Sent a nude photo of himself to the hiring manager
  7. Tried to do a stand-up comedy routine
  8. Waited for the hiring manager at his car
  9. Came dressed as a cat
  10. Said they “smiled on command”
What’s the weirdest job-seeker stunt you’ve ever seen?


  • by Adam P 17/04/2014 11:25:38 AM

    A colleague at another firm told me that a candidate turned up for her interview with a small dog; because she knew that the boss was a champion show-dog breeder. Thank goodness he didn't breed racehorses!

Most Read