17 Outrageous Things People Have Actually Done To Get Jobs

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Finding a job can be difficult, no matter what state the economy is in. These people used unorthodox methods to secure their dream jobs. Some baked cheesecakes, some took out billboards, and one even got a tattoo. For the most part, these outrageous gambles paid off.

Some people will do just about anything to find a job. But to set themselves apart from other candidates, the folks on this list went the extra mile, finding bizarre, hilarious, and ingenious ways to get the attention of hiring managers.

They utilized advertising and the internet to maximize their exposure, and even used the press to get the word out. Almost everyone succeeded in finding a job.

Here are some of the more outrageous approaches people have taken to find work.

This man handed out his résumé by the side of the road

Sometimes, the best way to get people’s attention is by handing out your résumé to anyone who happens to pass by. For 30-year-old Patrick Hoagland, it worked.

According to CNN, the recently laid-off construction worker decided to hit the streets of Phoenix, Arizona, handing out his CB to drivers passing by. The 110-degree heat in the middle of July didn’t deter him.

“I at first laughed and thought that was silly, but I kept thinking about it,” Hoagland told CNN. “I figured, why not?! There are millions of people in Phoenix driving around, someone might hire me.”

Another Phoenix resident, Melissa DiGianfilippo, who was driving past, picked up a copy of Hoagland’s résumé and shared it on Twitter. The tweet brought Hoagland hundreds of job offers. As of this writing, it’s not known if Hoagland accepted any of the job offers.

One man put his name on a billboard to spark the ‘Employ Adam’ campaign

Adam Pacitti graduated from his university in 2012, but soon had trouble finding work.

After sending out around 250 résumés, he realized he needed a way to differentiate himself from other job candidates in the media industry. That’s when he bought a billboard. He’s said that the sign, along with a website, got him 60 interviews, eventually landing him a job.

Source: The Muse

One man wore an Axl Rose wig to impress at his job interview — and it worked

One man wore an Axl Rose wig to impress at his job interview — and it worked Getty

After interviewing with several companies, one man wasn’t having any luck. He reportedly decided to dress for the part: professional clothes paired with a long orange wig that made him look like Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose.

During the interview, he took the wig off halfway through, saying that he felt silly it in. The interviewer appreciated his sense of humor and immediately offered him the job.

Source: Quora

This student built her own LEGO résumé

Recent college grad Lisa Bowman took a unique approach to résumé building by constructing a virtual LEGO-themed CV.

By showcasing her skills, she was able to demonstrate that she could actually do everything listed on her résumé.

Source: Mashable

One woman was asked to convince her prospective employers why she should be hired, and she suggested a game of rock, paper, scissors

One woman was asked to convince her prospective employers why she should be hired, and she suggested a game of rock, paper, scissors Business Insider / Matt Johnston

After an interview for her very first job, one woman was asked to convince her prospective employers to hire her.

After thinking it over, the woman suggested a game of rock, paper, scissors to determine whether or not she should be hired. If she won, she’d get the job, and if the company execs won, they’d get to decide for themselves.

Naturally, the execs appreciated her sense of humor and decided to give her the job, regardless of who won the game.

Source: Quora

This man made an interactive video résumé to get hired

Graeme Anthony, a PR and social media consultant, was looking for a job, but was having no luck. To set himself apart, he decided to make an interactive video résumé showcasing his experience while proving he had the skills to back it up.

The video features an “about me” section, a timeline, and an intro where Anthony says: “I’ve produced this video because, let’s face it, communications have changed.”

Thanks to his unique thinking, he received so many job offers that he took them all — by becoming a freelancer.

Source: The Muse

One student walked two miles through a blizzard to hand-deliver a résumé

One student walked two miles through a blizzard to hand-deliver a résumé
A general view of the blizzard in Greeley
Reuters

Some people will go to great lengths to get a job, but this person went the extra mile — well, two extra miles.

The college student was aiming to escape a toxic work environment and horrible boss, so she trudged through two miles of lake-effect snow to apply for a hospital job instead. The grand gesture worked, but ever since then, she was reportedly on call during snowstorms when other employees called out.

Source: Quora

This man got a face tattoo to get a job at an ad agency

This man got a face tattoo to get a job at an ad agency Rudolph Troncone/Vimeo

Rudolph Troncone really wanted to get hired for a summer internship at R/GA, an innovation company with offices in 14 countries. So, he got a tattoo.

This bold stunt impressed R/GA so much that Troncone got the internship. After all, it would have been very hard to get hired anywhere else.

An Irishman bought a billboard to find a job and keep from leaving the country

An Irishman bought a billboard to find a job and keep from leaving the country

Much like Adam Pacitti, this Irishman took out an ad on a billboard in 2011 in the hopes that work would come his way.

The ad read, “Save me from emigration.” The man, Féilim Mac An Iomaire, was nicknamed “Jobless Paddy” thanks to his email address on the billboard. And, much like Adam, Mac An Iomaire was able to find work and stay in Dublin because of his advertisement.

Source: The Journal

Back in 1998, a man applied to a new startup called Google by handing out cheesecake and résumés

Back in 1998, a man applied to a new startup called Google by handing out cheesecake and résumés
Creamy cheesecake topped with blackberry sauce.
sabotrax/ Flickr

One man working in tech decided to find a job with a recently founded startup called Google in 1998.

He was known among his friends as an excellent cheesecake chef, so he reportedly snuck into Google break room and handed out slices of cheesecake with copies of his résumé. The ploy actually worked, and he got an interview. However, he had already decided that Google was too stuffy and declined. Stories say he later realized he’d made one of the biggest mistakes of his career.

Source: Quora

This man paid for a Google ad that would show up whenever top ad executives searched their own names

To get the attention of top ad executives, it might help to appeal to their vanity.

That’s what Alec Browstein did by taking out ads on Google, so that whenever one of the targeted execs searched their own name, they’d find Alec’s job application as the first search item. These ads were targeted to six execs, and after a couple rounds of interviews, Alec was hired.

Source: The Muse

One woman sent virtual Valentine’s Day packages to prospective employers that stated, ‘Kim could be the one’

One woman sent virtual Valentine’s Day packages to prospective employers that stated, ‘Kim could be the one’ Kim Huynh

Kim Huynh, who works in advertising, has several methods to set herself apart from other candidates. One of her favorites was a website she created for prospective employers.

The site was branded as a Valentine’s Day package that read, “Kim could be the one.” There was even an interactive Flash game employers could play. Thanks to her remarkable ability to sell herself, she got interviews with four out of seven ad agencies.

Here are some of the other clever ways she gets employers’ attention.

Source: Business Insider

A woman displayed her résumé in Christmas lights

A woman displayed her résumé in Christmas lights Shutterstock

A Georgia woman named Liz Hickok found her own creative way to tell the world that she needed a job in 2011 — with Christmas lights.

The lights spelled out, “My wish, HR job, Liz Hickok, LinkedIn.”

Local media reports say Hickok heard from employers as far flung as Italy, but she said her main wish was to remain in Atlanta with her family no matter what.

Source: WTVY.com

A Canadian man sent in his résumé with a 4-pack of his own craft beer

Brennan Gleason, a designer from British Columbia in Canada, got the attention of prospective employers by sending out 4-packs of his own craft beer, which he called “Resum-Ale.”

The CV itself was printed on the beer-bottle labels, which added a unique touch to an already special approach. And after drinking his ale, a digital marketing agency gave Gleason a much-needed job.

Source: ABC News

A British man decided to find work everywhere he went by wearing his résumé

When you don’t have money for beer or billboards, try making your own shirts.

A British man named Joe Busby spent a while applying to jobs and getting nowhere, so he decided to apply to jobs wherever he went by wearing his résumé.

Joe told the BBC that he was still looking for work, though he was much more optimistic than before he’d hatched up his memorable scheme.

Source: BBC

One British man decided to auction himself off on eBay

One British man decided to auction himself off on eBay AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

One man named Josh Butler reportedly took a more comical approach to job applications: He auctioned himself off on eBay for £16,000 ($21,000).

When you click on the item description, you get redirected to Butler’s résumé, which outlines his experience until 2011.

Source: Cheat Sheet

One man couldn’t find work, so he made his own website, which he called a ‘reverse job application’

One man couldn’t find work, so he made his own website, which he called a ‘reverse job application' Chris Ryan/Getty Images

Andrew Horner was sick of applying to jobs with fruitless results, so he turned the job application process on its head.

He created a website where prospective employers had to compete for his attention, as if they were the real candidates. The unorthodox approach landed him a job.

Source: Cheat Sheet

Meet the writer / author of...

17 Outrageous Things People Have Actually Done To Get Jobs

Ivan De Luce

Ivan De Luce

Ivan De Luce is a strategy fellow at Business Insider, where he covers changes in today's workplace, jobs, and work culture. He studied sociology at the City College of New York. Before joining Business Insider, Ivan wrote film reviews for the Knockturnal.

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