5 Amazing Job Applications That Blew Recruiters' Minds

By Will Haden

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When it comes to finding the ideal role, it can be really tough for candidates to stand out in a competitive job market. The same goes for recruiters – with so cover letters and CVs pouring in for every vacancy, how do you even begin to sort our discovering the ideal candidates?

The answer for applicants could be simple – get creative. Showing that you’ve got the ability to stand out from the crowd and really think outside the box is the perfect way to present yourself.

But there have been applicants in the past who have shot to fame for taking it to a completely different level. National UK recruiter Pertemps have put together this list of some of the strangest, most creative and most heart-warming approaches to job applications – and those which, ultimately, worked!

1. The Billboard Cover Letter

Adam Pacitti was your typical university graduate – brimming with qualifications and passion, but no success in the job market. Adam had fired off at least 250 applications before he knew he needed a totally different approach.

What he did:

Scraping together the final £500 in his bank account, Adam plastered his face on a London billboard simply looking suave in a suit and pointing towards the enormous URL for his online CV. Once on the site, viewers (who were made up of prospective employers, in part) were treated to a run-down of everything Adam had to offer, all in a creative an easy to digest

What happened next?

The billboard worked! Adam ended up receiving roughly 60 genuine job offers off the back of the campaign, and settled on working as a ‘Viral Producer’ for digital agency Seachange.

2. The Working for Change

The story of Ted Williams isn’t quite like any of the other job seekers we’ve featured in this post. Despite working in the broadcasting industry with a real talent for voice work, Ted fell on hard times and ended up homeless. He never gave up his passion for voice work, though, and used it to his advantage.

What he did:

Rather than letting his talent slip away, Ted continued to sell his abilities but instead of secure jobs he was using it to panhandle for a few dollars just to get by. The most important thing about Ted’s approach is that he never gave up on his passion or his talent – no matter how hard times were.

What happened next?

After getting spotted by a journalist for The Columbus Dispatch, a video of Ted went viral, getting picked up by news websites and broadcasters all over the world. Ted’s voice led to him getting job offers from the likes of MSNBC – transforming his life, getting him off the streets and back into work, all thanks to his golden voice and determination.

3. The Human eBay Auction

UK job hunter Josh Butler was sick and tired of sending out literally hundreds of job applications (600 to be exact), so decided to take a different approach to finding himself his ideal role.

What they did:

Simply put, Josh took the idea of ‘selling yourself’ incredibly literally – so ended up listing himself on eBay for a reasonable £16,000. His selling points included being “enthusiastic, motivated and organised”, and a list of his areas of experience.

What happened next?

Josh clocked up around 1,000 views on his auction and a respectable (for his auction price!) three bids. There’s no word as to whether his endeavour paid off, but it’s worked for others in the past; let’s hope Josh is enjoying a fruitful career!

4. The Social Media CV

It almost goes without saying that if you want to get a job in social media you really need to make your application stand out. Whether that’s through engaging cover letters, eye-catching CVs or confident interview techniques, you need to make your application shine the brightest.

So how do you do this with a massive platform like Pinterest, where job applications must stream in by the thousands?

What they did:

Jeanne went beyond sending a simple office doc CV, or even a creative rundown put together in Photoshop. In fact, she used the platform of the very employer she wanted to target; by creating individual pins, she was able to use the structure of a Pinterest profile to create one big ‘collage’.

What happened next?

It’s definitely garnered a lot of attention but did it work? It remains to be seen; even if Pinterest didn’t offer her a job, it’s not unreasonable to say that another creative company snapped up Jeanne and her out-of-the-box way of thinking.

5. The Facebook Hack

We’re jumping way back more than 10 years to the early days of Facebook, and a talented programmer by the name of Chris Putnam put his skills to the test and grabbed the attention of Facebook’s developers.

What they did:

Chris decided to take advantage of Facebook’s freshness on the social media marketplace and delve into its code to determine if any exploits existed. Lo and behold, they did; he used an XSS worm to spread from account to account, allowing users to style their whole page like a classic MySpace profile (remember MySpace?).

We should say right from the off that we never recommend that anyone takes this avenue for getting noticed by an employer!

What happened next?

Rather than getting into hot water, an exchange of emails between Chris and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz resulted in a visit to their offices – and an immediate job offer!

Got some inspiration from these, or even tried anything similarly incredible? Drop us a comment below or head over to our site – the Pertemps team would love to know!


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