The ten most memorable job applicants

The ten most memorable job applicants (and how it turned out for them)

Colleen Clarke|

We all know how difficult it is to stand out in a crowd. Well, it is even more difficult sometimes to get noticed when a job posting attracts 400 plus resumes for a position.

We talked to our client recruiters and hiring managers to find out which candidates they remember the most – and if those stand-put applicants were successful in getting hired or merely memorable in their outlandish attempt. Here are their favourites.

The top ten most memorable applicants:

    10. There was the young man who had his mother sitting in the reception area. He didn’t think this was strange because mom was his drive there and home. (He did not get the job, but not because of his mother.)

    9. One applicant sent a cake to the HR department in the shape of the company logo. It was squashed in transit, and the HR manager had a nut allergy. (Not hired.)

    8. One candidate brought in bottle of wine with the company’s branding as the label and his primary info on the back. (He wasn’t hired immediately, but he was remembered as creative and resourceful. The company later reached out to him and hired him.)

    7. A woman struck up a conversation with a company decision-maker in a fitness club sauna and realizing they were in the same field. She asked if she could submit a resume. (She got the job.)

    6. Similarly, finding out which gym a CEO worked out at and going there during his workout time, striking up a conversation, and hitting on him for a job in the change room. (He was not hired.)

    5. A traveller ran into an old boss in the men’s room at an airport on a stop over from western Canada to Toronto and told him was back in town and looking for work. (He got an interview.)

    4. A young woman brought her baby with her to the interview. (She got the job.)

    3. A candidate forgot which company she was interviewing with and asking the interviewer which one it was. (She didn’t get the job.)

    2. Candidate tried to create a personal rapport by talking about the hiring manager’s hobbies and referring to her kids by their names. This was information the interviewer had not given the candidate. (Candidate was not hired, and the hiring manager immediately changed all of her social media privacy settings.)

    1. A creative director from Australia told the agency owner that he had come to Canada “following a pair of legs.” Which is an expression meaning he came here for a girl. After the interview he sent a pair of store mannequin legs to the agency, with a note that he wanted to keep following them professionally. (He was hired, and the legs are still on display at the agency – sometimes dressed in seasonally-themed undergarments.)

In a tight job market, you have to find ways to stand out from the crowd of other job seekers. The challenge is to make sure you’re memorable for the right reasons.

Best of luck!

Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist & Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking: How to Build Relationships That Count, How to Get a Job and Keep It

Co-author of The Power of Mentorship; The Mastermind Group

Category: Job interviews, Job Search Strategies, Uncategorised
  • Emily Brewes

    During my brief stint as a department manager who was in charge of hiring within that department, I got quite a few applications that were memorable for all the wrong reasons. Some of my favourites were:
    – emails with no subject line
    – emails with no body text
    – emails addressed, “Dear Sir” (even worse than “To Whom It Concerns”)
    – applications including photographs or headshots (for a data entry position)
    In terms of interviewing, my assistant manager and I were the quirky ones.

  • Kelly Bowers

    Any suggestions to stand out from the administrative assistant resumes filling that great big black hole called applying online?

    • Alliemc

      You need to network. You can do this easily using groups, linkedin groups, etc. I even network on the ski hill or at parties – it doesn’t have to be a formal thing.

  • Shilpa Tekchandani

    hello any suggestion to stand out from all those entry level marketing resumes

  • Linda Lea Sear

    WHY would a woman bringing her baby to an interview get hired, over someone like me who is childfree and I would never ask for time off because my kid is sick and I had to stay home to look after it??? Seems like discrimination to me.