what’s the worst “you need to show gumption to get a job?” advice you’ve heard?
Corporate staffing here, and I can’t remember all the ‘gumption’ advice I ignored. But I can remember candidates who should have known better. Not one of these people had skills/experience my company ever needed:
One recent grad sent me a teddy bear. In his paw was a resume, rolled into a scroll and tied with a ribbon – just like a diploma.
A more senior job seeker had his resume printed on the inside label of large candy bars. He wanted to leave a box of them at the front desk, but security wouldn’t let him.
One job seeker brought a floral arrangement to our office and got past the front desk by insisting his orders were to deliver them personally. Which he did, along with a copy of his resume and an expectant smile. He was sorely pissed that we didn’t drop everything to interview him.
One fellow FedExed a leatherette bound copy of his…well, it wasn’t a resume. More like a 64-page autobiography with work history and career goals were thrown in. Yeah, I read it and still have it, I couldn’t resist. He was a former drug addict who found Jesus, and he really did have a remarkable story of recovery and redemption. He also felt his mission was to spread The Word while looking for work. He quoted the Bible to support his candidacy for our finance roles: he was a family man, that got a quote. He was mature, faced adversity, was moral, humble, each with Scripture to prove his value. You get the idea. If only he’d had finance experience…
One woman planted herself in the reception area and swore she wouldn’t leave until someone interviewed her. She just knew we would create a role for her once we got to know her. Our very shrewd receptionist knew how to handle folks like thus. She asked, ‘What’s your name? What kind of work are you looking for? Do you have a resume?’ Candidate provided answers for all three questions. The receptionist then said, ‘We have your resume, thanks for interviewing with us.’ Yep, called her bluff!
One of my favorite stories wasn’t a contrived tactic. Just after Thanksgiving, our VP of Engineering asked us to schedule a former intern to interview for a perm role. He was in grad school for a relevant technology at the time, and living with his invalid grandmother as her caretaker. When I called him to set up the interview, he mentioned he was baking cookies with his grandma. I said something about that being a nice way to spend a cold day, idle small talk. He showed up for the interview with a HUGE platter of cookies for our department. He was already a shoo-in, but that gesture made us move mountains to get him hired.
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