Creativity in Job Applications Rising

June 10, 2010 ( – More job applicants are going the extra mile in trying to get noticed these days, according to a new CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers.

A CareerBuilder news release said 22% of respondents reported they are seeing more job seekers try unusual tactics to capture their attention in 2010 compared to last year, up from 18% in 2009 and 12% in 2008. Nine percent said an applicant’s unusual job search methods convinced them to hire the job seeker.

The hiring managers cited the following experiences where a job offer was made:

  • Candidate brought in a DVD of his former boss giving him a recommendation.
  • Candidate applying for a casino table game position came into my office and started dealing on my desk while pretending to talk to players, which showed me her guest service skills.
  • Candidate sent in a letter that explained how to solve an issue our company was having with a certain type of technology.
  • Candidate who was a prospective teacher brought in a box of props to demonstrate her teaching style.
  • Candidate came prepared with unique business cards featuring our logo and a self-introduction brochure.
  • Candidate wrote a full business plan for one of our products with his resume submission.
  • Candidate created a full graphics portfolio on our brand.

“While we are seeing positive signs in the job market as employers gradually add headcount, competition is still high for open positions,” said Jason Ferrara, senior career adviser at CareerBuilder, in the news release. “As a result, more candidates are turning to unconventional tactics to attract the attention of hiring managers. While these tactics may work occasionally, they still need to be done with professionalism. That way, candidates are remembered for what they can offer an organization and not just for an unusual antic.”

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 2,778 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non government) ages 18 and over between February 10 and March 2, 2010.