Workers who went viral applying for jobs

When done well, a unique application doesn’t just show that a candidate has talent, it displays their personality. “You build a profile of the person based on their creation,” says Nicoll. “It can suggest personality traits that are attractive for a vacancy: they are confident, outgoing or maybe even brave. It’s a conversation starter – and that’s what any job application should be: getting your foot in the door and getting an interview. »

“A resume that speaks for itself”?

A single candidacy is, however, a high-risk strategy: in addition to investing time and energy, a candidate may end up risking his reputation without return.

Such tactics also tend to only work for some job seekers. “For graduates who struggle to stand out when everyone has the same background and qualifications, doing something individual and different can work,” says Nicoll. But this is not the case for candidates who are more advanced in their careers. “A worker with 10 years of experience should have a resume that speaks for itself, with enough war stories to tell and get noticed.”

Context is also crucial, adds Nicoll. “Creative industries like social media or marketing are naturally attention-seeking: a viral application in these careers often displays desirable attributes. However, doing it for a law firm where hiring managers expect certain skills, experience, and level of caution will backfire.

Dee says a job seeker once arrived at his office in full Formula 1 racing gear, with a driver’s helmet in one hand and a CV in the other, for a sports-related production role. “It made me smile and they stood out: they were invited to an interview. But context is everything – it wouldn’t have worked if they had applied for a senior position at a major advertising agency. »

Candidates going the creative route also often have a more realistic chance of applying to smaller companies, Dee says, where a bold move or personalized message is more likely to land among individual managers with real hiring power. – as opposed to large companies with clumsy recruitment processes. . “In these cases, you usually apply directly to the business owner. Large corporations, however, may find it difficult to respond to leftist creativity or thinking.

But even if a job seeker sees their resume in the right person through ingenious means, they still have to deliver it in an interview: Dee adds that the fake racecar candidate didn’t get the job. “You can have an application with razzmatazz but then have an interview that doesn’t deliver,” says Nicoll. “You can get the recruiter’s attention, but you have to back it up.”

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