PhotoHow desperate are you to get that job?

There are good ways to be noticed by the hiring manager and then there are...

Obviously, you want to stand out but there are limits -- at least for most of us.

But a new survey by CareerBuilder found that some candidates are doing not just creative things but strange things to be noticed.

“Candidates are realizing that an extraordinary cover letter and resume with strong references aren’t enough, that if you really want the gig, you have to stand out from the competition,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “Unfortunately, what many aren’t realizing is that the catch is making sure you do that in a professional, respectful way.”

The good, the bad and the...

Hiring managers gave the following examples of unusual tactics job seekers used to stand out, not always for the right reasons:

  • Candidate had a priest contact the hiring manager to ask for the candidate to be hired.
  • Candidate bought a first class upgrade to sit next to the hiring manager on a transatlantic flight.
  • During October, the candidate came dressed in a Halloween costume.
  • The candidate’s wife made homemade lavender soap bars for the hiring manager as a thank you for taking the time to interview the candidate.
  • The candidate asked the hiring manager to share an ice cream cone.
  • The candidate sent a pair of embroidered socks with a note saying he would knock the company’s socks off if hired.
  • The candidate showed up in his camp counselor attire with some of the children from the camp he worked for to show his leadership capabilities.
  • The candidate sent a shoe with a flower in it as a thank you after the interview. The note said: “Trying to get my foot in the door.”
  • The candidate mailed the hiring manager money in an envelope.
  • The candidate arrived at the interview in a white limousine, an hour early, dressed in a three-piece suit. The open position was middle-wage and had a required dress code of khakis, company button-down, and black shoes.
  • The candidate kissed the hiring manager.
  • The candidate gave the hiring manager a book on a subject he knew the candidate manager enjoyed.
  • The candidate wore a tie bearing the name of the company with whom he was interviewing.

What to do

To increase your chances of getting hired, you need to provide evidence that you're the ideal fit. Here are some ways to stand out:

  • Don’t forget the past: Giving a few examples of how your experience is transferable shows that you’ve thought through how you would fit into the organization.
  • Use social media to your advantage: Tweeting, blogging, and commenting about things you know builds up your credibility online. When an employer searches your name after an interview, you want them to find a knowledgeable individual who can fit well into their company.
  • Ask questions: Be sure to prepare a few good questions of your own. What's the corporate culture like? Are there opportunities to advance? Your questions communicate to your interviewer what’s most important to you. They can also position you as a solid candidate for the role and set you apart from the competition.
  • Showcase your numbers: Use as many facts and figures as you can when promoting yourself. How many people were affected by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals?
  • Send a note: If you feel the interview has gone well and you want to continue pursuing the opportunity, let the interviewer know. Tell him or her that you’ve enjoyed the interview, believe you can thrive in the role, and are interested in exploring the next step.

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