Even as the job market improves, with unemployment still up there, job seekers have turned to unconventional methods to stand out from the competition.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, nearly one-quarter of hiring managers (22 per cent) reported that they are seeing more job seekers try unusual tactics to capture their attention in 2010 compared to last year. This is up from 18 per cent of hiring managers who said the same in 2009 and 12 per cent in 2008.

“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. “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.”


Some hiring managers report that unusual job-seeking tactics can be effective. Nearly one-in-ten (nine per cent) said they have hired someone who used an unconventional tactic to get their attention. When asked what unusual job search methods made them hire a job seeker, hiring managers reported the following:

• 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 resumé submission.

• Candidate created a full graphics portfolio on our brand.

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,778 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

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