Imagine you are going for an interview and your wife has made a special homemade soap bar for your recruitment manager as a ‘thank you’ for taking time to interview you. Sounds impossible? Well, apparently not! According to a CareerBuilder Survey, this unusual ‘appreciation’ is one of the many ways job seekers tried to get noticed by the organizations.
While organizations are trying to rope in the best talent, it is often seen that employees go an extra mile to make sure they land a job they want. And goodness! They can go really far!
Creativity is good but is it ok to stretch it this long? According to Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer at CareerBuilder, “Candidates are realizing that an extraordinary cover letter and resume with strong references aren’t enough, that if you really want the gig, you have to stand out from the competition. Unfortunately, what many aren’t realizing is that the catch is making sure you do that in a professional, respectful way.”
The Human Capital Solutions company had roped in Harris Poll to do the survey on their behalf between May 11 and June 7, 2016. The Survey included more than 2,300 full-time US hiring and HR managers across industries and company sizes.
So which 13 unusual tactics stood out? The Survey although mentions that the following 13 were unusual, it also pointed out that not all were successful. So if you want to use the following tactics, do these at your own risk!
- Candidate had a priest contact the hiring manager and ask for candidate to be hired.
(Be sure to hire the right one, though! Chant the right mantra)
- Candidate bought a first class upgrade to sit next to hiring manager on a transatlantic flight.
(How much money does the candidate make in the current job? Interesting!)
- During the month of October, candidate came dressed in a costume for Halloween.
(Ghosts of the candidates past will surely turn in their graves!)
- Candidate’s wife made homemade lavender soap bars for the hiring manager as a thank you for taking the time to interview the candidate.
(Must know from where she got to know ‘lavender’ is the choicest fragrance of the Hiring manager)
- Candidate asked hiring manager to share an ice cream cone.
(It was an ice-cream date, Me thinks)
- Candidate sent a pair of embroidered socks with a note saying he would knock the company’s socks off if hired
(Make sure the socks don’t smell/or if it does, then good fragrance)
- Candidate showed up in his camp counselor attire with some of the children from the camp he worked for to show his leadership capabilities.
(He didn’t have any other leadership traits to show?)
- Candidate sent a shoe with a flower in it as a thank you after the interview. The note said: “Trying to get my foot in the door.”
(I am sure he was sent home without his shoes)
- Candidate mailed hiring manager money in an envelope.
(Well, this is not an earth-shattering idea!)
- Candidate arrived to interview in a white limousine, an hour early, dressed in a three-piece suit. The open position was middle-wage and had a required dress code of khakis, company button-down and black shoes.
(I am still stuck at ‘white limousine…’)
- Candidate kissed hiring manager.
(Professionalism? Who cares?)
- Candidate gave hiring manager a book on a subject he knew candidate manager enjoyed.
(Respecting personal choices, gifting too!)
- Candidate wore a tie that had the name of the company he was interviewing with on it.
(Completely tied-up in the interview process, the candidate it seems!)
If you find the 13 above intimidating, there are better ways to stand out the right way. In a press statement, Haefner lists the following 5 points which will help you get noticed by the recruiter.
- Don’t forget the past: Giving a few examples of how your past experience is transferrable shows that you’ve thought through how you would fit in to the organization.
- Use social media to your advantage: Tweeting, blogging and commenting about things you know builds up your credibility online. When an employer searches your name after an interview, you want them to find a knowledgeable individual who can fit well into their company.
- Ask questions: Be sure to prepare a few good questions of your own. Want to know what the corporate culture is like? Are you curious about opportunities to advance? Your questions communicate to your interviewer what’s most important to you. They can also position you as a solid candidate for the role and set you apart from the competition.
- Showcase your numbers: Use as many facts and figures as you can when promoting yourself. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals?
- Send a note: If you feel the interview has gone well and you want to continue pursuing the opportunity, let the interviewer know. Tell him or her that you’ve enjoyed the interview; you believe you can thrive in the role, and you are interested in exploring the next step.
Although these unusual tactics listed by the CareerBuilder Survey are quite interesting, it however doesn’t take away the genuine interests of the candidates, skillsets required to get a particular job, managing abilities, and also curiosity to work from the actual ways to get noticed by the recruiters. Sharpening the skills, engaging in meaningful projects, teambuilding exercises are all necessary to bag the job that you want!
If you have done something unusual to get hired, we will be happy to know your story!
(the 'food for thought' comments in the italics within brackets are author's own and not the survey)