Pat Pujolas has received countless shoes in the mail from job seekers wanting to “get a foot in the door.” He’s been sent resumes attached to cookies, cakes and once even to a pizza delivered to his office.
But no inducement sticks out in his memory more than one he received from an art director that included a handwritten letter from the candidate’s girlfriend pleading for “a 4-carat, princess cut, diamond-crusted, platinumring.” Her boyfriend needed a job, like one at Brokaw, the Cleveland advertising firm where Pujolas is creative director, to afford it.
“I WANT IT!!!” the letter exclaimed in curly, feminine writing. “You can help him reach his full potential. And the sooner that happens, the sooner I get the ring of my dreams.”
The letter looked authentic, with a photo of the ring cut out of a magazine, liberal use of colored pencils and tiny drawings of hearts and stars. The letter and the “girlfriend,” however, were fakes, even though the job seeker was real. He attached his resume and work samples within the
Foot in the Door
A recent nationwide survey asked marketing and advertising professionals to describe the most unusual or creative tactics they have heard of job seekers using to land a position. Here are some of their responses:
“One candidate took a picture of himself with every one of the client’s products and sent three photos a week for an entire month.”
“The applicant sent six post cards, and each was a piece of a puzzle. When you put the puzzle together, it was his resume.”
“One applicant used an office building across the street to place a sign with his qualifications posted.”
“A candidate sent a piggy bank with his art samples inside. I called just to find out how he got his artwork into the bank.”
Source: The Creative Group
body of the letter.
“I thought it was brilliant,” says Pujolas, who didn’t have an open position at the time. “I tend to remember the ones that are more relevant and relatable to my industry.”
Off-the-wall job-hunting tactics can be effective, especially among creative professionals like Pujolas, but before you send your resume attached to a bowling pin saying “you’ll bowl them over,” consider the job you’re applying for, says Brian Fenderbosch, division director for The Creative Group —Cleveland, a staffing service that offers marketing, advertising, creative and Web professionals on a project basis.
“It’s more about substance in the end,” says Fenderbosch, whose firm released a survey showing 46 percent of advertising executives and 34 percent of marketing executives were open to “unusual or gimmicky resumes,” as long as the style didn’t detract from the information. More than half of marketing professionals (52 percent) believed a straightforward approach was more appropriate, but only 26 percent of advertising executives felt that way.
“These are techniques you can use to get a little bit more noticed than the people who are just mailing their resumes or applying online,” he says. “But when it comes down to it, you still have to have the technical and creative skills and the work ethic.”