The Fine Line Between Standing Out and Stalking

August 13, 2013 ( – While it is good to stand out to a potential employer, some folks go overboard.

CareerBuilder asked 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide to share the most memorable methods candidates have used to stand out from the crowd. Some candidates crossed the line between standing out and stalking, with one bringing items from the interviewer’s online shopping wish list, and another sending a fruit basket to the interviewer’s home address, which the interviewer had not given her.

Other tactics that didn’t work included:

  • Candidate back-flipped into the room;
  • Candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer;
  • Candidate dressed as a clown;
  • Candidate sent interviewer some beef stew with a note saying “Eat hearty and hire me”;
  • Candidate placed a timer on interviewer’s desk, started it, and told interviewer he would explain in three minutes why he was the perfect candidate;
  • Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket;
  • Candidate wore a florescent suit; and
  • Candidate sent in a shoe to “get their foot in the door.”
However, some candidates had the right ideas for how to stand out. 

Tactics shared by hiring managers that were memorable for them included:

  • Candidate contracted a billboard outside of employer’s office;
  • Candidate gave a resume on a chocolate bar;
  • Candidate showed up in a suit with a red T-shirt underneath a white shirt. The red T-shirt had a message: “Hire me, I work hard;”
  • Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills;
  • Candidate crafted the cover letter like an invitation to hire her rather than a request (similar to a wedding invitation);
  • Candidate climbed on a roof the employer was repairing and asked for a job;
  • Candidate performed a musical number on the guitar about why he was the best candidate;
  • Candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw interviewer’s assistant was getting frazzled;
  • Candidate repaired a piece of company’s equipment during the first interview; and
  • Candidate sent a message in a bottle.