NEW YORK (MainStreet) With the national unemployment rate bobbing at 7.4% and fast food workers clamoring for a hike in minimum wage pay, it's not surprising that some job-seekers are so desperate for work that they will sing for their supper.
A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide revealed that candidates had worn clown suits and printed their resume on a chocolate bar just to stand out from the crowd and snag a job.
"Thinking outside the box is great but the stunts that work best are the ones that showcase your relevant skills and abilities," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.
Techniques that worked to curry favor among employers included contracting a billboard outside of a potential employer's office, sending a message in a bottle, asking to conduct the job interview in Spanish to showcase language skills and performing a musical number on the guitar.
"The focus of the interview should be why you would be a great addition to the team and not what you're willing to do to get noticed," Haefner said.
Still, other candidates repaired equipment during the first interview, climbed a roof the employer was repairing to ask for a job and crafted a cover letter similar to a wedding invitation.
"It's understandable in this economy that a few job seekers would go to some extreme, creative and clever ways to get attention in order to secure a job opportunity, but I think they are better served upgrading their skills because the job market is constantly changing," said Professor Curt Grimm, economics professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business.
Attention-seeking methods that didn't work were doing back-flips into the interviewer's office, bringing gifts from the interviewer's online shopping wish list, fruit baskets to the interviewer's undisclosed home address, reading the interviewer's future with tarot cards and demanding three minutes with a timer before allowing the interview to begin.