Recently we came across an article at Career Builder about the interesting things applicants do to get noticed. We’ve mentioned time and time again that most hiring managers receive as many as one thousand resumes, making it hard to get noticed no matter how great your qualifications.
Some applicants have decided to take matters into their own hands, by developing “out of the box” strategies to get noticed by employers. It’s an interesting idea, but is it one you should consider?
Employees that are able to effectively think out of the box are considered prized workers. Companies like Microsoft provide logic puzzles designed specifically to see if the applicant has that ability. Yet as impressive as it is to be able to think out of the box, you probably shouldn’t use it during your job search.
Most out of the box techniques for getting noticed are considered profoundly inappropriate and unprofessional. Sending someone a gift to get them to see your resume is a sign of desperation. Doing something extremely unusual will only serve to make the hiring manager uncomfortable. Trying to contact the interviewer directly will only make you seem creepy.
Realistically, there are not a lot of out of the box ideas that are going to be effective, and most – by all professional standards – are inappropriate. Sending a shoe to “get your foot in the door” is cute, but if the business has any rules about accepting gifts, you may be putting the employee at risk for getting fired all because you want to get the job, and now they are left with a shoe they cannot use.
When is it Acceptable?
The only time you should consider one of these out of the box tactics is when it is something related to the job. Like it says in the article:
“Whatever tactic you choose to use, make sure it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for,” Masiewich says. “If you choose a tactic that you think will grab a hiring manager’s attention but doesn’t tie into the job, the industry, or what you’re about, then it can come off as just seeming strange and weird instead of creative and clever.”
In general, there are very few unusual and out of the box tactics that are going to be relevant to most jobs. Only sales comes to mind, and possibly marketing (although that is questionable). Beyond those two, outside the box tactics only serve to make you seem like an unusual person, and that can be a dangerous label to have assigned to you. Except in rare circumstances, avoid these out of the box tactics.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Show you are an out of the box thinker with your words, not your actions.