From Billboards to Decorated Cookies, Job Candidates Try to Get Noticed

October 2, 2008 ( - As the economic turmoil continues around the country, hiring managers report that some candidates are trying new ways to stand out from the crowd.

A news release about an online survey conducted within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of said one-in-ten hiring managers (12%) report the change in candidate behavior.

Some of the most memorable tactics identified by these hiring managers include candidates who:

  • advertised on a billboard.
  • carried around a sign that said, “Will work for paying bills.”
  • brought a broom to the interview to “clean up the waste and corruption in the office.”
  • wore a shirt to the interview that said, “Please hire me.”
  • showed up with breakfast for the employer every day until hired.
  • approached the hiring manager in a restroom.
  • sent a giant cookie with “Hire Skip” written in frosting on it.
  • parked outside of the office building with a sign that said, “Seeking employment.”
  • wrote a poem about why she wanted the job in her cover letter.
  • promised to give the employer a foot massage if hired.
  • noticed the employer wrote a blog about a particular restaurant, then persuaded the restaurant to put her name on the menu so the employer would see it the next time he ate there.
  • created an electronic resume with flash animation and musical score.

“Candidates have a short window to make a lasting impression on potential employers,” said Jason Ferrara, Senior Career Advisor at, in the announcement. “Those who apply resourcefulness and an inventive approach to their job search may have a better chance of standing out in the minds of hiring managers. The key is making sure you are maintaining an appropriate balance of creativity and professionalism so you are remembered for the right reasons.”

The survey was conducted among 3,388 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over between August 21 and September 9, 2008.