Workplace Rights

Weekly (5/16/16)

Topic of the Week  Getting on Their Radar

  • Right company.
  • Right job.
  • Related creativity.
  • Industry insight.



 Getting On Their Radar: Do's and Don'ts for Getting Hired

We've all heard of people who've done outrageous stunts and gotten hired for great jobs. We hear less from people who've done dumb things and lost all chances of getting hired. We'll look at both and help you come up with a strategy for getting on an employer's radar. Which reminds me of a woman who sent her resume to a company with specific instructions, it was to be sung to the tune of the Brady Bunch TV show theme song. The show always had a happy ending, her job application, unfortunately, did not.

According to, 40% of recruiters spend less than one minute looking at a resume, while 20% spend less than 30 seconds. So you've got to get noticed for the right reasons. But first I'll start with some don'ts. One applicant referred to himself as a genius and asked to be interviewed in his own apartment. He wasn't hired. Then there was a woman who boasted in her resume about her mob ties. Might have worked in my old stomping grounds of New Jersey, but she didn't get hired. But my favorite, was a guy who applied for a job in Antarctica and claimed that he spoke "Antartican." Even though none of these people got hired, it doesn't mean that creative ways to get noticed don't work for a lot of people. Here are some guidelines for getting noticed, along with a real example of someone who did get hired.

Right company. Stunts to get noticed probably won't tend to work with the IRS or most banks. They're just to straight laced and rule bound. But one guy did apply for a job with a marketing company. Instead of a normal resume, he created a marketing brochure for himself. It got him hired.

Right job. A stay-at-home mom applied for a job saying that her experience included: teacher, bio-hazard cleanup, referee and therapist. They loved her and hired her immediately. Again, there are jobs that this approach will be a big turn off, so you need to be sure that your approach is a fit for the type of person they're looking to hire.

Related creativity. Creativity is great, but the key is to be sure that it is related to the job you're going after. One guy applied to a company with a resume that was an oversized Rubik's Cube. You actually had to rotate the squares to see his resume. The employer loved it.

Industry insight. One applicant proved that he knew exactly what to do to be hired as a restaurant manager. He provided his resume in the form of a fine dining menu. You've got to understand your industry and the people who work in it.

So if you're keeping score at home, the Brady Bunch theme gets a resounding no. While Mom as a bio-hazard cleanup expert generated a job offer. Use your creativity in your job hunt, just be sure it's targeted at the specific employer you want to work for.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"Innovation is creativity with a job to do. "

–John Emmerling

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from The Ladders

    Impulse Application: Applicants Spend Less Than a Minute Reviewing Jobs

    • Applicants spend less than 60 seconds reviewing a job posting
    • Applicants report they spend up to ten minutes reviewing the posting
    • Eye tracking software showed the spent 10% of the time they reported


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