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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

CAREER FLASH

Forget the resume -- bring on the baked goods


In a competitive job market, some people will go to great lengths to attract an employer's attention. The Creative Group, a staffing service, surveyed 250 advertising and marketing executives on the most unique strategies people have used while looking for work.


Those surveyed were asked: "What is the most unusual or most creative tactic you have ever heard of a job hunter using to land an advertising or marketing job?"

Among their responses:
  • "A guy organized a chain letter that included a request for me to send his resume to 12 other agencies."
  • "One candidate handcuffed himself to the desk during the interview."
  • "An applicant sent me a pair of socks in the mail."
  • "Someone attached pineapple-scented scratch-and-sniff stickers to his resume."
  • "We had a job seeker send us a singing telegram."
  • "One candidate sent us his resume written on a softball."
  • "Someone being interviewed jumped on the manager's desk to make his point."
  • "One job seeker sent lottery tickets with her resume."
  • "An applicant rented a billboard that could be seen from our creative director's window and used it to list his qualifications."
  • "We had a candidate bring two bodyguards with him to the interview."
  • "A candidate sent us a T-shirt with the names of everyone in the company on it -- and her own."
  • "One person sent everyone in the company flowers. He didn't get the job, but the office smelled great!"
  • number of candidates sought to win potential employers' hearts via their stomachs:
  • "One applicant brought us doughnuts every day until he was hired."
  • "A candidate baked cookies for me and used icing to write several reasons why I should hire her."
  • "One person sent me a cat-shaped dish full of candy tied to his portfolio, saying he was the 'cat's meow.'"
  • "A candidate sent an ice cream cake thanking us for taking the time to read her resume."
  • "A job-seeker had pre-paid Chinese food delivered to me. Inside the fortune cookie was his name and phone number."

    "Off-the-wall yet tasteful job-hunting techniques can sometimes help candidates get their foot in the door, particularly within the creative industry, but they do carry an element of risk," said Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group.

    "It can be difficult to gauge whether an employer will be receptive to a non-traditional approach. Some may find such tactics clever, while others may find themselves questioning the applicant's professionalism."

    Turner added that job-hunting strategies don't have to be zany to be memorable, as these next responses show:
  • "A candidate sent us a slick electronic portfolio. It was quick and to the point."
  • "A person offered to work for free on a trial basis. I hired her."
  • "When I was interviewing, a candidate turned the tables on me and asked, 'If you were a bicycle, which part would you be?' I answered, 'The handle bars, so I would be in control and steering.' I was impressed that he asked me that question, and I hired him."
  • "One person I met with e-mailed me a thank-you letter just 10 minutes after the interview."

    "A simple yet effective way for candidates to set themselves apart is by thoroughly researching potential employers," Wendy Gillis, Toronto division director for The Creative Group, said. "This information can help applicants craft more compelling cover letters and demonstrate their knowledge during interviews."

    -- www.creativegroup.com


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