Landing a job can be tough. There’s a lot of competition out there, so it’s important to do your best to stand out from the sea of applicants. It’s not enough to be average or even good. You need a unique personality, as well as qualifications that can’t be found anywhere else. You have to be special — the golden, sparkly unicorn no hiring manager can pass up.
This might be you, but how do you make that clear to your potential boss? You could send your old, boring resume and cover letter. Or you could rip a page out of the playbook of some bold job seekers who demand to be noticed.
Although it’s great to get noticed, you don’t want to get too wild when it comes to standing out. A survey conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll revealed some stunts are just way too out there. One hiring manager reported during the month of October a candidate came dressed in a Halloween costume. Another manager said a candidate sent a shoe with a flower in it and a note that said, “Trying to get my foot in the door.”
Fortunately, there are better ways to be remembered. Here are 16 crazy ways to get hired.
1. Turn yourself into a Lego person
If you really want to be seen, build a Lego version of yourself, and create an ad with your job qualifications. One ambitious Reddit user, who goes by username PastLightSpeed, created a Lego ad of herself and told people about it on Reddit. After news of her project went viral, she was called for an interview and landed a job with advertising agency BBDO.
Next: After applying for over 600 jobs, one man decided to auction himself.
2. Auction yourself on eBay
This takes the advice to “sell yourself” to a whole new level. Sure, a big part of a job interview is convincing the hiring manager you’re the best person for the job, so a bit of sales know-how is good to have. However, after applying to 600 jobs with no luck one job seeker went a step further and decided to hold an auction for his professional services.
Josh Butler took matters into his own hands and advertised on eBay. He pasted his resume in the product description, telling potential employers about his promise to work hard and learn as much as he can. His creative move resulted in several job interviews.
Next: Become one with Amazon
3. Market yourself as an Amazon item
Just about everyone loves shopping on Amazon. You can buy almost anything on the site. It’s quick, reliable, and fun. Because people love Amazon, job seeker Phillipe Dubost decided to take advantage of this and pattern his resume after the Amazon marketplace. He even included a search bar and “shopping cart” that employers could click on, so they could fill out a contact form and get in touch with him. His creative idea worked. After more than 1 million site visits, and more than 100 messages from employers, Dubost was finally hired.
4. Take out a Google ad
If selling yourself on eBay isn’t your cup of tea, you could try Google. One job applicant decided to advertise his services through a Google ad. This is what Alec Brownstein, the creative director for Dollar Shave Club, did when he was a young copywriter looking for a big break. Brownstein noticed when he was googling the names of prominent creative directors that none of them had sponsored links attached to their names.
Because people often Google themselves, Brownstein came up with a clever idea to buy Google ads with the names of the executives in the title. (He called it the Google Job Experiment.) This way, when they searched for themselves on Google, they would see his ad. When the executive clicked on the ad, he or she would be taken directly to Brownstein’s website. A few months later, he received a job offer from two executives at advertising agency Young & Rubicam.
5. Send your resume — with a pack of beer
One bold job seeker, Brennan Gleason, showed off his graphic design skills — and his ability to make craft beer — by designing a pack of alcohol. Instead of a company logo and information about the beer, the packaging had his resume and contact information. Maybe this job applicant was hoping the hiring team would get so drunk it would extend a job offer without really thinking it through. We don’t know whether the interviewers drank the beer, but we do know he got the job.
6. Post your qualifications on Pinterest
Pinterest is generally used to post projects or motivational quotes. It’s kind of like a vision board but for the internet. However, one individual found it can also be used to seek employment. Instead of posting ideas for cute crafts projects, she got right down to business and posted her need for a job. Jeanne Hwang Lam wanted to work for Pinterest, so she posted her resume on the site. Lam didn’t get the job, but she did grab interest from other employers.
7. Tell employers to compete for an interview with you
Usually when it comes to looking for a job, applicants are in a fight to compete with each other for an employer’s attention. They fill out a job application, cross their fingers, and pray they get picked out of the thousands of other people vying for the same job. Well, one very confident candidate turned the tables. Andrew Horner created a website with a reverse job application and told employers they were competing for a chance to interview him. His approach worked, and he found a job.
8. Turn your resume into a Google map
People use Google maps to plan a trip, view a location, and even for job hunting. If find yourself with some time on your hands, you could follow Ed Hamilton’s lead and design a resume to look like a Google map. The map even comes with zoom in and out features and an interactive map key. If you want a Google maps resume of your own, you might be able to get some tips from the man himself.
9. Advertise on Facebook
The introduction of Facebook advertisements was a game changer. It could also change the game for your job search. Job hopeful Sabrina Saccoccio put Facebook to good use by turning her Facebook page into an online resume. Although she didn’t take out a traditional ad on Facebook, it served a similar purpose. Saccoccio didn’t get the job she wanted, but one hiring manager put her creative resume on his blog.
10. Wear your resume
After a fruitless search, job hunter Joe Busby took his efforts to the next level. He decided he would try to grab attention by wearing his resume. He had a company design a custom T-shirt with his work history on the back. The front of the shirt read, “employ me.” Despite interest from employers, he decided to strike out on his own and start a business. Do you want your own resume T-Shirt? You can purchase one from online retailer Resume Shirts.
11. Send a handmade resume
This job seeker really knows what it means to work hard. Graphic designer Melissa Washin came up with the idea to send an employee a handmade resume. She used her art skills to command attention in the glutted field of graphic design. That’s right. She took on the task of creating her resume out of fabric. Talk about being crafty. The employer was quite impressed with her handiwork and offered her a job.
12. Buy a billboard
When it comes to over-the-top moves, this one ranks pretty high. One job candidate was down to his last couple of hundred dollars, but he was so desperate to get a job he spent it on a billboard. After graduating from college and sending out 250 resumes with zero responses, Adam Pacitti tried a tactic he was sure would get a potential employer’s attention. He purchased space on a billboard and requested a job. The billboard listed his website, employadam.com, so employers could get in touch with him. He received several offers and eventually landed a job with a production company.
13. Turn your resume into a game
Who doesn’t like to let down their hair and play a game? Job seeker Rob Leonardi decided to have a little fun with his hunt for a job. He did this by turning his resume into an interactive game hiring managers could play. Those who scroll through his resume can go to different game levels and see more of his work history. Those who get to the end of the game are taken to his contact information and social media pages.
14. Make a humorous video resume
Humor also plays a role in the job search. The search process can become a little too serious sometimes, so a bit of laughter can help build rapport with a hiring manager. Job candidate Matt Epstein used his acting skills to make a hilarious video for Google titled, “Google Please Hire Me.” He really wanted to work for them, so he shot a few scenes where he talked directly to the team and outlined his qualifications, as well as a few funny tidbits about himself. He didn’t get the job, but the video did get the attention of other employers.
15. Crash a reunion
One job hunter experienced a bit of career luck when he attended a class reunion. Logan Beam’s mother couldn’t attend her 25th high school reunion, so her son went in her place. He donned her name tag and proceeded to mix and mingle with her former classmates. Little did he know, one of the attendants was the relative of the founder of a major clothing company. Beam’s chat with his mother’s classmate resulted in an interview, an internship, and then a full-time gig.
16. Bake cupcakes — or not
Unlike some of the other cool job tricks we’ll mention, this move isn’t recommended. If you have amazing baking skills, you might want to just reserve them for friends and family. Some job seekers seem to think cooking up a batch of tasty brownies will charm their interviewers into writing a sweet offer letter. However, you might not want to go this route (and your interviewer could have food allergies, so you definitely don’t want to do this). Career expert Rebecca Thorman said this comes off as desperate, not career savvy.
Managers should remember you for the right reasons
Although stunts can be a good way to get a manager’s attention, it doesn’t always work out. If you don’t have the skills to back up your stunt, no matter how much you try, you’re not going to get hired. Make sure you can walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. Also, do your best to make sure you have the basics down. You should dress well for the interview, make sure your resume is error-free, and be prepared to both answer and ask questions.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.