Attention-Getting Gimmicks May Work — Or Not


Kemba Dunham noted in The Wall Street Journal that some job applicants are willing to try anything to find employment. Instead of mailing out resumes, one creative job-seeker in New York printed his resume on two poster boards. Sandwiched between the displays, he stood on a Manhattan corner and handed out 1,000 paper resumes. And his off-the-wall stunt paid off, landing 45 interviews and 20 job offers. A less successful resume gimmick involved a graphic designer who applied to a Web site for pet owners by wrapping her resume in a dog collar and inscribing her name on a bone-shaped ID tag. Also placing a coffee stain on her cover letter to Starbucks, she hoped her mailing would stand out from the rest. Both gimmicks generated responses, but no job. Employers advise job applicants to play it safe by sticking with traditional resumes. They emphasize that stretching the truth or falsifying information on a resume can lead to dead ends as well, reported Dwight Hamilton in CA Magazine. Infocheck, a reference-checking firm, conducted a survey indicating that false or erroneous information now appears on 33 percent of all resumes, a 9 percent rise over the previous year, according to Hamilton, who also noted Infocheck’s finding that more employers are checking references than in previous years. Employers, too, are discovering an alarming rise in the number of resumes containing false information.