10 Brilliantly Creative Ways People Have Gotten Jobs

iStock
iStock

If you’re having little luck landing an interview (let alone a job offer) with your standard resume and cover letter, it might be time to up the ante. We asked people on both sides of the hiring process about their most memorable applicant stunts. Here are the stories of 10 creative people who went the extra mile with their applications—and scored the job.

1. SWEETEN THE DEAL.

“A prospective hire submitted an application but hadn’t received an interview. So he sent a cake to our human resources department. In bright red frosting was this sentence: ‘Just give me an interview.’ So we did.” —Josh Haber, a lead customer success manager at All Set

2. SHOW THEM THE GOODS.

“I applied to a digital agency without any agency experience, and I knew I was a stretch candidate. After the phone interview, the company asked me for a writing sample. I knew my past writing projects were very technical and dry; they didn’t give my writing skill set justice. Instead, I took a few hours and researched one of the agency’s clients, and wrote a blog for them. I gave them full rights to the blog, and said they could make it public whether or not they hired me. I got the job.” —Christina Oswald, digital marketing analyst at a digital agency

3. DROP IN.

“I was offered three different jobs on the spot. I identified a few companies that seemed like a good fit; I dropped in and asked to see the owner; I showed them samples of my work. Years later, I hired an intern on the spot who dropped in looking for a position.” —Paul Entin, president of epr Marketing

4. MAKE A CONNECTION.

“When I finished graduate school, I really wanted to work for Office Depot, but I couldn’t get an interview with the corporate office. I tried for months through the standard channels, but did not have any luck. Then, I was out to dinner and saw someone wearing an Office Depot shirt at the next table. I approached him, and shared that I loved the company and wanted to work for them. He said he didn’t work in HR, but would direct me to someone who did. He gave her my number the following morning, and I had an interview scheduled shortly after.” —Amy Cooper Hakim, executive consultant and founder of The Cooper Strategic Group

5. GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR.

“I was unhappy with my job, and quit. I was down to my last $200, when I went to a black-tie event. There was an internship auctioned off for the role of a production assistant with a minimum bid of $75. I couldn’t afford it, so my boyfriend at the time bid on it for me and won it. I started an internship in the event marketing and sponsorship department, having spoken to the internal team and asked to be moved to the department I always wanted. My new role reported to the vice president of event marketing in North America: I landed my dream internship. I stayed with the company for four years in various capacities.” —Leyla Arsan, strategy director at Lotus Marketing Services

6. MAKE AN IMPRESSION.

“I was working as an actress doing commercials, and I really wanted a job doing a car commercial. I found out that a company was hiring, so I sent them a picture of me with my car, along with a note about how much I loved my car. I also went to an awards ceremony where the company was being honored and sat at their table. While I didn’t get the job at first, they hired me after using another actor who didn’t work out because I stood out from the crowd.” – Julie Austin, CEO of Creative Innovation Group

7. SAY IT IN SONG.

"The company had already been considering a few candidates, and I knew I had to do something quickly to stand out. So the day I found out about the opening, I went home on my lunch break and wrote a song about the company and uploaded it to YouTube to submit with my application. I shared it with a friend who already worked there, and she played it at the weekly company-wide meeting. I submitted my resume and cover letter that night, interviewed over the next few days, and got the job. I played the song live at the office after I was hired." —Arielle LaGuette, singer-songwriter and account executive at Favor

8. UPGRADE YOUR MATERIALS.

“I had no experience in the role that I wanted, so I went for an over-the-top CV. It was clean and minimalist in format, but I used a top-grade business casual photo on the header. Then I bought a custom cover with a wonderful weighty feeling to it, like a cover on a Moleskine notebook, and I custom embossed my name on the bottom with a slight silvery sheen. There was a cut-out on it so my pro-photograph on the resume was visible. I delivered this by hand wearing a suit. Two days later, I was called for an interview, and I got the job. I was told that the owner barely looked at the other CVs because mine stood out, and the owner figured that I was a man who lavished attention on everything I did.” —Luís Magalhães, coach and consultant at DistantJob Remote Recruitment Agency

9. STAMP OUT THE COMPETITION.

“An applicant for a writing position at our trucking website sent over her resume and cover letter while also sending over a very unusual yet interesting gift: postcards from local truck stops and diners. Over the course of the few weeks that I was making hiring decisions, her postcards arrived at my address from trucker stops with short messages such as, ‘Looking forward to hearing from you about a writing journey down the road.’ She made her present indelible and unique, and she immediately demonstrated interest and creativeness, making her an easy candidate for me to choose for the job.” —Jake Tully, head of the creative team at TruckDrivingJobs.com

10. START A PASSION PROJECT.

“When I was unemployed for 41 months, I helped launch a nonprofit that hired me as a volunteer, which allowed me to attract my current employer. The mission of the nonprofit was to help put downsized, college-educated professionals back into the workforce. It also allowed me to do the three things professionals must do to get back to work: build new relationships, protect current skills by using them, and learn new skills. I was the executive director and the chief content officer, managing media relations and social media, which is what I do today for clients.” —Kenneth Hitchner, public relations and social media director at Creative Marketing Alliance

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Warby Parker Created a Spray to Prevent Your Glasses From Fogging Up When You Wear a Face Mask

They're smiling under the masks (because their glasses aren't foggy).
They're smiling under the masks (because their glasses aren't foggy).
Julian Wan, Unsplash

A face mask won’t keep you from getting enough oxygen, but it might keep you from seeing clearly through your glasses. When you exhale, your warm breath usually dissipates into the air in front of you. When you’re wearing a face mask, on the other hand, it gets funneled through the gaps around your nose and turns into tiny water droplets after colliding with your much colder lenses. In other words, it fogs up your glasses.

To prevent this from happening, Warby Parker has created an anti-fog spray that absorbs those droplets as soon as they form on your lenses, before they can cloud your view. It’s not the only product like it on the market—Amazon alone has dozens—but Warby Parker’s version has the added benefit of cleaning your lenses, too.

The perfect solution.Warby Parker

As Prevention.com reports, the spray is part of the company’s “Clean My Lenses Kit,” which comes with a bottle of anti-fog spray, a microfiber cloth, and a pouch for your glasses (or for storing the other two products in the kit). All you do is spritz both sides of your lenses, wipe them down with the cloth, and venture out for your fog-free day.

The spray works with any type of lens, which makes it a useful innovation even for people who just wear regular sunglasses. It can also come in handy during plenty of other fog-inducing situations, like sipping a hot beverage or cooking over a hot stove.

You can order a kit online for $15, or look for one in your local Warby Parker store. In the meantime, here are a few DIY ways to keep your glasses from getting foggy.

[h/t Prevention.com]

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