Trade Talk: Some job seekers resort to silly stunts to find jobs

One job seeker sent a hiring manager a bunch of daisies with a note that read, “Pick me! Pick me!” Another had a cake delivered with his resume printed on it.

On the heels of Labor Day, there’s no shortage of antics that candidates are using to find a job, per the latest survey commissioned by Chicago- and Atlanta-based CareerBuilder.

Other attention-getters, according to the online research conducted by Harris Poll of 2,369 hiring and human resource managers and 3,462 employed adults, include candidates who gave a hiring manager a baseball that read, “This is my best pitch of why you should hire me” brought their mother to the interview as an in-person character reference, hugged versus shaking hands and presented a thick scrapbook of certificates, awards and letters.

With 6.2 million job openings and 7 million unemployed, it’s never been more important for job seekers to stay one step ahead of the competition, experts at CareerBuilder say. But 26 percent of employers say silly stunts make them less likely to interview candidates.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of U.S. workers report they’re likely to change jobs in the back half of 2017, CareerBuilder found. Fifty-five percent feel they have a job; not a career.

Twenty-eight percent tolerate or hate their jobs and stay to pay the bills (74 percent), because it’s close to home (41 percent), for the insurance (35 percent), because it pays well (30 percent), or the job market is too tough (27 percent).

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said job seekers can stand out and land jobs by arming themselves with what employers are seeking. She recommends the following tips:

Customize your application and resume for the job. Some one-third of employers spend fewer than 60 seconds reviewing individual resumes. Meanwhile, 49 percent spend more time with applications customized for openings.

Choose references who can speak to your strengths. Fifty-one percent of employers said candidates’ references haven’t given positive feedback.

Tell the truth. Fifty-five percent of employers have caught lies on resumes; 39 percent have caught persons providing fake references.

Provide your social network profiles. Seventy percent of employers use social media to screen candidates and 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview candidates they can’t find online.

Prepare for the interview. Fifty-nine percent of employers said asking good questions in the interview is important to them when considering a candidate for a job, and 48 percent said it’s important to come to an interview prepared with ideas.

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