no, you should not call your recruiter at home (and other jaw-droppingly bad advice from salary.com)

Lots of people have been sending me a link to an awful article that ran recently on salary.com. I’d been hoping to ignore it in disgust, but enough of you have sent it to me that my attempt at just repressing it from my brain clearly won’t work.

So let’s take a look. It includes gems like these:

“Try turning the tables on recruiters. Recruiters don’t think twice about calling someone at home so why should you? With a little bit of sleuthing on sites like ZabaSearch you can find out a recruiter’s home phone number and address. Be prepared to deliver a flawless introduction or voicemail and, if need be, follow up with that Starbucks card sent to their home. If the thought of this gives you hives…toughen up!”

Right, because that’s not incredibly annoying or creepy.

“Forget the resume and just send a cover letter that has highlights of the resume quoted. Choose excerpts that are particularly relevant to the job you’re applying for and in the letter say something like: ‘Knowing how busy you are, I imagine it is impossible to do justice to every resume you receive. If you’d like to look at mine, drop me a line and I’ll have it delivered to you.'”

Seriously? In a crowded job market with plenty of well-qualified candidates, expecting a hiring manager to write back to you just to ask for a copy of your resume isn’t going to happen. They’re going to wonder why you didn’t just send it the first time, be annoyed that you’re inconveniencing them in your attempt to serve yourself with a warped idea about how to “stand out,” and probably just delete you and move on to the next candidate, who probably did follow the application instructions. Unless you’re in an incredibly in-demand field, this is terrible advice — and if you are in an in-demand field, you wouldn’t need to do something like this.

“Don’t fall into the ‘send resume and salary expectations’ trap and forgo engaging on your terms. Instead, send a (one-dollar) Starbucks gift card and suggest meeting for coffee at a nearby location. At that time bring your resume taped to a pound of fresh-ground coffee. Remember, one way or another, getting an interview can be a grind. Why not enjoy it?”

This is not a good idea — you will look gimmicky and overly salesy. It will be off-putting to any good manager. You will look like you don’t understand how hiring works, like you have no confidence in your skills and experience speaking for themselves, and like you will be the person who expects to get by on flash rather than merit once on the job. Do not do this.

“You want your resume to be short, concise and eye-popping. Add the logos of employers or big-name clients in the left margin of a single piece of paper. Edit the resume down to less than 250 words. At the bottom put ‘Detailed work and achievements available for serious recruiters only.’ If you can’t get the doc to look slick find someone who can.”

Yes, because that’s what hiring managers want — slick documents with very few details about what you’ve actually accomplished. And the note at the bottom? It might as well say, “I’m a giant d-bag with an inflated sense of self-importance and little sense of how hiring works.”

“Get your references to give you a single word or short sentence that best describes you. Compile a single-page document listing each reference and referrer with contact info in the margin. In the body write: ‘A recent study finds the best candidates often fail background checking. Call any one of us for a personal introduction to (your name) and cut to the chase.’ Follow up, explaining one of your referrers suggested you call.”

There is no such study. This will make you look like an ass.

At this point, I just want to cry.

I swear, this is like the job search version of the advice on getting women that runs in magazines like Maxim — it’s for entertainment only. There really should be penalties for malpractice for this type of thing, or it should at least come with a warning label.

{ 245 comments… read them below }

  1. Recent Diabetic

    Aside from the ridiculous advice, it sounds like shameless promotion for Starbucks. I wonder if they kicked in a few dollars for the author.

    1. Sascha

      I was wondering about the Starbucks obsession myself. Not everyone likes Starbucks. Not everyone likes coffee. Not everyone likes receiving $1 gift cards and resumes taped to things.

      (I can’t say “no one” because obviously someone thinks this is a good idea, and it’s probably the marketing director of Starbucks. “They should be HONORED to get a $1 gift card!!!”)

      1. Nicola Hill

        Also, it is impossible to load just $1 on a Starbucks card–the minimum first time purchase is $5. So you would have to buy a card and then spend $4.

        1. AP

          And nothing costs exactly $4. So the amazing thing would be, if you tried this, you would end up with a gift card for like $1.31 or something!

          1. A Bug!

            Now I’m picturing someone showing up for an interview, and slipping some random loose change to the interviewer in the handshake.

            1. Marigold

              I’m picturing Tony Wonder giving Buster and GOB a Subway stamp card, just a couple of stamps short of a free drink!

              1. Another Ellie

                The whole thing makes me think of Tobias forcing Maeby to fill envelopes with headshots, glitter, and creepy/threatening notes. You know, to impress agents and casting directors by making him stand out.

          2. Kara

            A Venti Berry Refresher costs $4.06. I suppose you could give them six pennies and then put the rest on the card for a balance of $1.

            Its sad that I know this.

            1. Laufey

              That would depend on sales tax, though, so maybe if they move over a state, they can get it to be $4 exactly.

        2. Vicki

          Thus pretty much proving this isn’t a Starbucks-sponsored idea. (They would recommend the $5 gift card or better :-)

        3. Hannah

          So if $1 Starbucks cards don’t exist then not only has the author of the article never done this, no one ever has. They just pulled the idea out of thin air and said “sure that sounds like it could be a thing.”

        4. Kelly O

          Okay, I read this to my husband last night, mainly for the laugh, and he pointed out that you could, theoretically, buy a $5 gift card, register it, transfer $4 to your own primary card, and then de-register it.

          Which is an awful lot of work to go through for bad advice…

      2. A Bug!

        I would be unhappy with receiving a $1 gift card to anywhere. What a complete and utter waste of plastic!

        1. Chinook

          The $1 gift certificate has to be the equivalent of a penny tip for the waiter. There is no way that it would come off positively. Frankly, I would prefer the framed photo of the candidate – atleast I can reuse the frame.

        2. Another Emily

          Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Nothing says “I’m incredibly cheap and don’t understand how to interact with people in a pleasant way” like giving someone a $1 gift card. Terrible article all around.

        3. Sunshine DC

          Not to mention, whoever gives a $1 card is expecting the recruiter to then pay MORE $ for the privilege to have coffee with them—because Starbucks doesn’t sell ANYTHING for only a dollar! Not coffee, not tea—and even a small cookie costs more than that.

          1. Jennifer

            No, because then you are apparently supposed to show up at Starbucks with a gift of ground coffee for the recruiter. Really? What if they don’t like “breakfast blend?” What if they don’t even like coffee at all? Why are you bringing them beans when you are AT STARBUCKS, a place that serves already ground and brewed coffee in a variety of manners and at which you can buy coffee beans of your choosing, ground or not?

    2. Elizabeth

      I don’t want to work for someone who can be bribed by a dollar towards a cup of coffee. They would make other terrible business decisions as well.

    3. Katie the Fed

      I like coffee. Good coffee. Starbucks over-roasts their coffee, killing the unique flavors in different beans. Bad!

      1. nyxalinth

        I am so used to Starbucks and similar places that other coffee doesn’t taste right to me. I once went to a local indie place up the street. Their coffee tasted like what I think of as ‘bad office coffee’ and I haven’t been back since.

        Seriously, 1 dollar? How cheap can you be? If you’re going to be so tasteless and gimmicky, at least go for 10.00.

        1. Waerloga

          When I finally signed a contract for work (after being laid off for 9 months) I gave everyone in my local employment office a $10 Tim Horton card (most of whom I did’t interact with), with the two advisors who I did interact a lot with a orchid plant each (as well as cards)

          Granted, it was an acknowledgment for all their hard work and not for a placement, but I don’t think they thought it was tasteless and gimmicky …. I rarely get gifts, and I’m sure they did’t either…

          Take care

          W

          1. Anne 3

            That sounds like a really nice thing to do. I’m sure they felt grateful to have their work acknowledged.

            1. Kimberlee, Esq.

              Yeah, and acknowledging help already given is totally different than bribing, which happens before the fact. Like, if you got hired, it would still probably be weird to send a plate of cookies to the hiring manager, but it would be significantly LESS weird than giving them a plate of cookies AT your interview. :)

      2. Caffeine addict

        Agreed. Starbucks = char-bucks. And now they’ve got people conditioned to think coffee should taste like that. I roast my own beans and the darkest I’d ever take them is still slightly lighter than Starbucks “light” roast.

    4. Rich

      Being a former Starbucks employee, I would cast my vote as “No.” Someone mentioned that the minimum to prepay a Starbucks card is $5, so the $1 deal would be an impossibility. Also, think of the brand associated with Starbucks; it sounds more upscale than, say, McDonald’s.

      That said, the suggestions aren’t entirely advertising. A lot of small businesses, even recruiters, will buy Starbucks cars to give out as gifts or incentives.

  2. PEBCAK

    The third one is amazing: “send them a gift card that won’t even buy a full cup of coffee and then demand they meet you for the other half”.

    One time a woman approached my bf and gave him half her number, then said she’d be near the bar if he wanted the other half.

  3. PJ

    I’m wondering if this was posted on Salary.com as a joke? Please tell me it was a joke…

    As the person in my company who serves as the recruiter, I would roundfile every candidate that did what you mentioned in your post. If I’m receiving hundreds of resumes for each opening, why, oh why, would I stop for the one applicant in the bunch that made my job harder?

    1. Neeta

      I’m tempted to read this as a sort of revenge against recruiters. Or perhaps a rant aimed at recruiters. I am picturing a disgruntled interviewee saying stuff like “how would you [recruiters] like it if we behaved the same way, you did?”.

      1. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

        Maybe the author is trying to get even with the recruiter business for perceived slights?

        Makes me laugh–that’s right, you should stalk people in their homes to make that upbeat First Impression!

  4. Jeff

    I was half expecting to get rick-rolled when I clicked on that link since this seems so beyond rationality. Maybe this is the best trolling article ever, and Amitai Givertz is laughing while rolling around in piles of horribly written resumes and Starbucks cards.

    1. Kimberlee, Esq.

      I seem to recall that, on the whole, it wasn’t bad.

      Not like this one anyway, where literally every piece of advice is bad.

      I was going to except the last one, Networking, then I remembered that it recommended you call recruiters to get them to get you in touch with other recruiters. In what world does that even make sense?!

    2. Meg

      At least Cracked is an intentional comedy site! This article is just terrible without realizing it.

  5. EnnVeeEl

    So…after putting in hours writing my resume and custom cover letters, navigating the online application process, updating my own records and checking spam folders, I’m supposed to do all of this? Buy Starbucks cards? Bags of coffee? Research people’s personal phone numbers and address?

    That’s too much work and effort. :-)

    1. Rich

      “Does the employer have an Employee Referral Program? Dial the switchboard and ask for sales or customer service. Say, “I’m considering applying for a job” and ask, “Do you have an employee referral program?” Either way, then ask: “Would you consider referring me?” Whatever the answer — “Yes” or “No” — no harm, no foul. You might even get some insider tips to help you on the way.”

      This is, by far, the most absurd idea ever conceived. First, there’s too much reliance on not being asked to state your business before a transfer, as well as actually getting in touch with someone who won’t just tell you to contact HR–which they will likely do.

      Second, it’s ridiculously poor form to ask a total stranger to associate themselves with you (and let’ be honest, the kindness of their heart doesn’t guarantee them any benefits, especially if the candidate is terrible). Alison also touched on something that overlaps in her last US News article.

      1. EnnVeeEl

        All of the “advice” was bad, and just thrown out there, without any thought as to how it really could be executed. Someone even posted that you can’t just put $1 on a Starbucks gift card.

  6. clobbered

    You know, if you’re going to write such entertaining posts on bad articles, you’re only encouraging people to send you more bad articles :-)

    Excuse me while I go find some logos for my resume….

    1. Alicia

      Better yet, just “print screen” your LinkedIn account – the logos are already there on the right :)

    2. Sascha

      Maybe you can get corporate sponsorship for the resume? That would help with job searching expenses, like all those $1 gift cards.

    3. So Very Anonymous

      Make sure one is a Starbucks logo! To match the card/bag and coffee, of course.

      1. Anonymous

        To make it even worse, the article actually says “can” of coffee, not “bag”. So the author is suggesting you bring an outside brand of coffee (with your resume attached to it) to your meeting at Starbucks. The recruiter will be so impressed!

        (Alison, I’m one of the ones that forwarded you the link – thank you for addressing the article. Sorry it made you want to cry….)

        1. Anonymous

          Well, now I feel stupid. It didn’t say can or bag – just 1 pound. *sigh* Still a really bad idea.

      1. Jamie

        Are you kidding? I am drinking a Mountain Dew right now! Your resume is totally working!

        1. Rob (Bacon) Bird

          And…I have bacon. You know you’re hungry and would like some bacon. Am I hired now?

          1. Jamie

            Seriously today that would work with me. :) Because yes and yes to the hungry and bacon.

            We need to start hiring more people around here…

            1. Rob (Bacon) Bird

              Look for a 3 ton chocolate elephant with my resume attached at your desk in the next few days.

              Lol

  7. FSP

    I was about to post a response to this when someone walked into our offices because they saw our job posting and thought they would just drop by instead of following the instructions in the posting. He seemed miffed when I told him the VP in charge of hiring wasn’t available and asked him for his resume so I could provide it to her when she was. I mean really, was he expecting an interview on the spot?!

            1. Lisa

              I think mine would have to include images of fires on a desk and me putting them out. Hey, its a metaphor, right?

              1. Jamie

                Now there’s a gimmick. Send them something actually on fire…they have to call you for an interview before the part with your phone number burns to ashes.

        1. Kelly O

          Or a half-empty cup of Starbucks.

          (Should I be more optimistic and call it a half-full cup of Starbucks?)

    1. Rob (Bacon) Bird

      That is so Kanye West and I was picturing them saying this as they walked in the door: “I’m really happy for you, and imma gonna let you finish…but I have the best resume EVER!”

    2. Seattle Writer Girl

      Haha. We had a gal who did this once–dropped by uninvited and demanded to be interviewed on the spot. My friend did actually sit down with her and tried to politely explain that she didn’t qualify for any of our open positions (“Are you a web developer? Do you have an MBA? If no, then sorry, we have nothing for you.”)

  8. College Career Counselor

    Where was the part about blowing up your resume on a sandwich board and walking around the lobby of the place you want to work with a megaphone? Because if security has to be called, they’ll KNOW you’re passionate about working there..

    I feel like AAM could use blood pressure meds after that post..

    1. PJ

      “Where was the part about blowing up your resume on a sandwich board …”

      Yeah, this would totally work for me. “You’re hired!”

  9. Anonymous Accountant

    Those are some gems! Thanks for a great early afternoon laugh. And I feel bad for any person that tried to stand out using the advice in the article.

  10. A Bug!

    I think I know what’s happening here. The author of that article is looking for a job and is trying to thin the herd.

  11. Sascha

    Oh dear, I just read the whole article. Other gems are calling the switchboard and asking if the organization has an employee referral program, then asking a TOTAL STRANGER to give you a referral; calling the CEO’s assistant and pitching yourself, so that when the assistant refers you to HR, it will look like a referral from the CEO. However in both cases, I imagine the switchboard operator and the assistant referring the person to HR, and telling HR, “Watch out for this crazy person” before the transfer is made.

      1. Sascha

        Indeed. :) I have been the receptionist who was called by job seekers and had a pitch thrown at me. It’s incredibly uncomfortable. Some of them have even gotten upset with me after I told them to talk to HR, because they didn’t feel like going through their pitch again. It’s such a terrible idea to try to get an “in” with employees you don’t know.

  12. Amy

    The one that left me speechless was this:

    “Does the employer have an Employee Referral Program? Dial the switchboard and ask for sales or customer service. Say, “I’m considering applying for a job” and ask, “Do you have an employee referral program?” Either way, then ask: “Would you consider referring me?” Whatever the answer — “Yes” or “No” — no harm, no foul. You might even get some insider tips to help you on the way.”

    … WTF? They’re suggesting you harass random call center employees and try to swindle your way into the company based on a false referral?

    1. RB

      lol at no harm no foul.

      I could imagine my staff making a point to tell me not to hire a nincompoop that pulled that nonsense.

      1. some1

        I would.

        I also love how the article assumes the CEO’s assistant is easy to get on the phone.

        1. Kelly O

          A thousand times this.

          Because it’s not like the CEO’s assistant probably acts like his right hand and is busy handling umpteen hundred things, and clearly has all this free time to take calls from random strangers about jobs that don’t exist in departments she isn’t really that involved in, and would LOVE to take five minutes of her time if she’s lucky listening to a salesy elevator speech while looking forward to receiving a gift card later for $1 at Starbucks… yup, that’s the ticket.

          1. urban adventurer

            Love this. Starbucks better start selling $1 mini cups of coffee to meet all this demand!

    2. Claire

      This actually happened to my roommate, except she works at Half Price Books. A guy called and asked for information about applying/etc., normal stuff, then went “What’s your name? Can I put you down as an employee reference?” She was like “…I don’t know you.” and he actually had the gall to push on it and tell her that if he could put her name down, he was pretty much sure to get an interview. Crazy.

      1. Kacie

        When I worked at the public library, people would put down staff names as referrals. The only contact they had with them was that they checked out their books. And probably smiled. Not exactly a reference, buddy.

    3. Rob (Bacon) Bird

      Yes….yes they are. No harm no foul. Just remember to send the a $1 Starbuck gift card for their trouble.

  13. danr

    I looked for a dateline on the article, it must have been for April 1 and they forgot to add it.

  14. fposte

    I don’t work in a recruiter industry; do recruiters call you at home because they’ve hunted you down, or because you’ve made your phone number available? I would have thought it was the latter, which makes a considerable difference.

    1. Anonymous Accountant

      I took it as the job seeker made their home number available and the recruiter called it.

    2. AnotherAlison

      Never had a home phone call. Mostly, they use LI messaging now. In the past, they used to call me at work, which means they hunted down my office main number and asked the receptionist to be put through to me. I’d rather be called at home than work.

    3. Mike

      All the recruiter contacts I’ve had have come via email (either through linkedin or direct). Never had a call.

    4. Emma

      I wonder if “at home” is a stand-in for after work when I’m sitting down to dinner or less likely in this already hypothetical situation, at 5:00AM on a Monday? Because otherwise I can’t see a reasonable person becoming upset that a recruiter called them at the number they provided.

    5. Lora

      They mostly call me at work. They look me up on LinkedIn, call the main desk and ask for my name so they can get transferred. Or I get one of those InMails. Did have a couple who called my cell phone–they found it on an old resume in their files from several years ago.

    6. Kristina

      I work in tech and I haven’t had my phone number listed anywhere in years and somehow recruiters still find it and call me. They then generally attempt to talk over me telling them I’m not interested. I really wish there was a way to give people electric shocks through the phone lines.

    7. HR lady

      I’m dating myself by saying this, but in the days before cell phones and before most people had personal email addresses, recruiters (or hiring managers) called people at home a lot. And you might have only put your home phone on your resume, because you didn’t want people calling you at work about changing jobs (depended on how private your work phone and office were). I used to race home to see if there were any messages on my answering machine from recruiters or hiring managers ;)

    1. LisaLyn

      It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been fooled by the Onion! Actually, I’m just going to go ahead and believe that to be the case. Less scary that way.

  15. Daniel

    Has this become a “Desperate times call for desperate mesures” job market? It seems that if advice of this sort is given out, then things are worse than they say.

  16. Tina Career Counselor

    I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or have a seizure while reading those excerpts. Call a recruiter at home? Can we say stalker? I’d block your number and make sure every hiring manager at my company knew what you did and didn’t hire you.

    And yes, recruiters call you at home. But think about it – would you rather they call you at work?!

    1. some1

      “And yes, recruiters call you at home. But think about it – would you rather they call you at work?!”

      That’s what I thought. A recruiter is not going to call you about a job you applied for at a number you didn’t provide. If you don’t want recruiters calling you at home, don’t provide that contact #.

      1. Kelly O

        But that is clearly common sense. We’ve tossed that out the window for the purposes of this article, apparently.

    2. College Career Counselor

      Half the advice from the writer seemed to be applicable to getting recruiters to take a TRO out on the applicant.

    3. Annoyed PT

      I had a recruiter call me at work once many years ago. They got my name and number from the state licensing board and got past the receptionist by telling her she was a friend with an emergency. She got mad when I told her I wouldn’t talk to her at work and was unwilling to talk to her after work due to the way she had contacted me. I was not searching for a job at the time- this was a cold call

      1. Tina Career Counselor

        Wow, that took some nerve! Yes, unfortunately some recruiters are also inappropriate.

  17. Jane Doe

    I’d also like to know whether they’re using landlines or cell phones.

    Anyway, would these people rather be called at work to discuss potential jobs?

  18. Katie the Fed

    Are we completely sure this wasn’t satirical? It reads like an Onion article.

  19. Niki

    I love articles like the one on salary.com – it keeps the egotistical and the ridiculous looking true to form, which I maintain is good for both reasonable job seekers and hiring managers.

    1. Anonymous

      I think that should be the title of Alison’s next book. Or maybe “Ack! Don’t do that! (And yes, it’s legal.)”

  20. Emma

    This advice sounds like it comes from the Homer Simpson/Dr. Nick school of employment. Thanks for the laugh!

  21. some1

    I (sarcastically) love the suggestion about social media creeping on recruiters. It’s odd enough to have random acquaintances who like or comment on every.single.thing. you post. If the recruiter is a woman, and the job candidate is a man, this will straight up freak her out.

    1. Amy

      Agreed. My first thought upon reading this suggestion? “Creepy.” I would be so freaked out to find some random stranger suddenly commenting on all my family photos or something.

      Just waiting for the next logical progression here, “After you’ve located your recruiter’s or potential employer’s home address, go there and dig through their garbage. They’ll be impressed how much they have in common with you when you casually mention how you use the same brand of q-tips they do.”

      1. Amy

        Or maybe even, “Kidnap one of the recruiters loved ones, make sure they CAN’T say no!”

    2. RJ

      I just added my friend’s brother to my restricted list because of him commenting on pictures that I commented on. He doesn’t know these people AT ALL, and it creeped me out, even though I know he’s harmless. Ack.

    1. RB

      I almost posted that yesterday, too! Hilarious! Especially the guy that lists his skills of cat like reflexes and possible ESP.

  22. some1

    “Get your references to give you a single word or short sentence that best describes you. Compile a single-page document listing each reference and referrer with contact info in the margin. In the body write: ‘A recent study finds the best candidates often fail background checking. Call any one of us for a personal introduction to (your name) and cut to the chase.’ Follow up, explaining one of your referrers suggested you call.”

    This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Of course no one is going to provide references who will say something bad, recruiters, hiring managers, and pretty much everyone else knows that.

    As for “failing the background check”, unless you are provided your parole officer as a reference, your references can’t necessarily vouch for the things an actual background check would uncover, like criminal records.

    1. Elise

      This is an old telephone prank call trick. You call every 5 minutes over an hour asking to speak to Bill or Jenny or whomever. Then, you call and say you are Bill and ask if you have any messages.

  23. Lar

    I wonder if the article writer is the guy who advised a jobseeker to call me at home on Christmas morning to show how serious he was about the job.
    Off the subject, but I would love to read a cheesiest gimmick post.

  24. Oxford Comma

    This is my favorite: “Send a polite note explaining you understand it’s not their intention to ignore you any more than it is your intention to accept it. ”

    Stalkerish much?

    What kills me is that there are eager and desperate job seekers who are going to grab this “advice” as if it had been carved onto stone tablets and handed to Moses.

    1. Jamie

      Seriously this would go in a special file of emails I may need to turn over to the police at some point.

      That would honestly scare me.

      1. Tina Career Counselor

        I’m with you on that one. I’d be worried about cars following me at night and hang-up phone calls.

        It would certainly be my intention to ignore them after that email.

    1. Jamie

      It totally reads that way – but there is no disclaimer that I could see.

      It has to be, right? Because no one would take this seriously…right?

      I half expected it to advise to show off your IT skills by hacking into their network and telling them you’d love to talk about their security weaknesses you can help them with…in your interview.

      Seriously – there should have been a big old disclaimer on this since it’s not a humor site or they need better QC on editorial content.

      1. Kelly O

        Sadly I concur. I think this is 100% supposed to be good job advice.

        Y’all should seriously read some of the stuff floating around out there. I read an article yesterday outlining how to craft the perfect resume objective, including your five and ten year goals (both personal AND professional, to show you are a well-rounded person.)

        1. Jamie

          That would be lucky for me because my personal and professional goals are exactly the same:

          5 year plan – do not die at my desk.
          10 year plan – try not to die at my desk.

          Easy – now I just need to update my resume.

        2. Sascha

          I saw some pretty awful stuff on a LinkedIn article recently. Such gems as call to schedule an interview; mail your resume with a box of candy; hard sell yourself at the end of the interview (“Are you going to give me the job or not?”). These were from an article I read a few weeks ago.

          1. Kimberlee, Esq.

            I want to encourage more people to send candy with their applications. Not because it will help them – obviously it will hurt them – but because I like candy, and I feel I don’t get nearly enough of it in my normal workday.

            1. AgilePhalanges

              I work for a candy manufacturer, and this actually might be a good screening tool in our case:
              * Sends competitor candy – round file
              * Sends our own product – suck up and didn’t think it through that we’d have plenty of our own candy around, maybe pile
              * Sends chocolate (we make non-chocolate candy) – interview pile
              * Send fancy delicious chocolates in a variety to meet all tastes – YES

      2. Oxford Comma

        The author has a site (I googled) and has written other pieces for salary.com. Wonder how he would feel if we tracked him down to his home and called him there (not that I’m advocating that).

            1. Kimberlee, Esq.

              + 2 AAMonymous. Can we set this up as some kind of ruthless, no-holds barred resume review service? REAL guerrilla job searching.

        1. A Bug!

          Oh, my gosh. That’s an excellent idea for an article for job writers.

          Dig up all the worst career advice currently published, use it on the authors, and write about the results. Hopefully with follow-ups with the authors to find out if maybe they’ve reconsidered the wisdom of the advice they’ve given.

        2. ThursdaysGeek

          I was just going to suggest that he be invited to read this article on this site.

  25. Kou

    I have to admit, a resume with a wee logo from each company next to the listing would be kind of cool. Can we start doing that in the states the way some countries have headshots with their resume?

    It’s like the Denny’s menu of CVs. You don’t even have to read any words, just point and make some kind of affirmative sound.

    1. Anonny

      I find that resumes with visuals are well received in the graphic design field, for obvious reasons :)

    2. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

      Oh please no! Some of the trainers where I work have resumes on the wall for customers to call for individual training. One of them has this and it looks silly. It catches the eye–not in a good way.

  26. Rob (Bacon) Bird

    If all it took to get hired was to bribe people with Starbucks (interesting plug for Starbucks BTW), then everybody would have jobs….except you may have one position open and 100-5$ Starbucks cards on your desk along with 2500 pounds of coffee with resumes attached.

    Seems legit…..

    1. Kelly O

      I am officially changing my career path to recruiter, if that’s the case.

      Note: I can also be bought in Pappadeaux’s gift cards too. If you’re interested.

      1. Rob (Bacon) Bird

        What if I sent a Pappadeaux’s gift card (disclaimer…I have NO idea what store this is…lol) with my cover letter attached to a 1 ton box of chocolates, and a framed 8×10 glossy of me with a link to my website, where you see my entire resume?

        Then can I get an interview…after which I will send muffins made by a Grandmother with a thank you note written by scholars on 100 year old parchment. Just be aware, at no time will I discuss my ability to do the job.

        1. Felicia

          Generally jobs I’m applying for, I get told get between 100-200 applicants – so if every single person who applies sent you a 1$ Starbucks giftcard , you’d be doing pretty good:)

        2. Kelly O

          Pappadeaux is a cajun seafood restaurant, and they make my favorite blackened catfish ever. I would also accept Pappas Seafood House, because of the Shrimp Brioche.

          And at that point, does your ability to do the job really matter? I mean, so long as you have that degree in underwater basketweaving with twelve years’ experience, are tri-lingual (English, High Valerian, and Gallifreyan) can work 50 hours a week for $8/ hour and no benefits… you’re gold man.

          1. Annie The Mouse

            I’ve been studying Gallifreyan for 50 years this November, but my High Valerian is a bit rusty; will you accept Quenya instead? Otherwise I meet all your other requirements perfectly….

          2. Anonymous

            No! No! No! BB’s!!!!!!!!!!!! I will gladly interview anyone who sends me their GC. After a few abitaritas I may even hire them.

    1. Rana

      Yup. With the same degree of contempt for gaining consent, and the same lack of interest in maintaining a relationship once the “deal” has been struck.

      You just know any job searcher who followed this advice would be a total pill to work with!

  27. tangoecho5

    Oh this is horrific. I know sometimes a person has to push themself out of their comfort level to find a job but I’m a firm believer in being yourself. And if doing something to secure a job requires a complete change of personality or ethics to the point it feels extremely wrong, it’s just not the right advice for YOU. As an introvert, all these suggestions are so wrong on so many levels that I could never push myself to do them. Even if it was the in vogue and correct thing to do.
    So that’s leaves me wondering two things: 1) Are job seekers nowadays so clueless they don’t realize how bad and wrong this advice is or 2) are they so desperate they force themselves to do these gimmicky things no matter how wrong it feels to them?

    1. Chaucer

      I think it’s a mix of both. With how accessible articles are on the Internet, regardless of the qualifications and experience of the author, job seekers see them posted on a “job advice” site or a career “site,” and automatically think of them as good advice because of where they are posted.
      Plus, I think with there being far more job candidates than openings, candidates, even those with impressive credentials and work experience, feel like they have to do “more” in order to get a job, up to and including engaging in bad gimmicks. Honestly, I have had that mentality at times where I believed that I got rejected because I didn’t try hard enough. It’s hard not to have after fighting for a job for awhile.

    2. Not so NewReader

      It’s no wonder people get discouraged and give up. I have read so much of this stuff over the years. I can’t do the stuff that requires a personality transplant.

    3. Kelly O

      It also seems that anyone can brand themselves a “career expert” and start posting articles. While discerning individuals can tell good advice from bad, it perpetuates outdated and seriously off the wall advice like we see here.

      There are just lots of people looking for work, and the bigger downside is that many of them have been looking for a long time. They’re more willing to try something that doesn’t feel right, just in case.

    4. Tinker

      Yes and yes. I think that many people are accustomed to the working world being a place that doesn’t quite make sense, where you do things that have no practical use in order to “send a message” about yourself. In that context, what’s one more inauthentic and nonsensical act. Plus, I do think many people are desperate — from an earlier post here, “if you’re mediocre, I can’t help you”, and yet there are still quite a lot of mediocre workers out there who yet need to eat. “If you don’t have the facts, bang the table.”

      I don’t exactly blame employers for not hiring, but I also have quite a lot of sympathy for people who are stuck between a rock and a hard place and don’t have a lot of good options available for getting out.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Just to clarify, if someone is mediocre, I can help them in lots of ways — just not with the subject of that particular post, which was putting accomplishments on your resume! But there are lots of things middling candidates can do to increase their chances — write a great cover letter, be thoughtful and enthusiastic, etc. Those sound like basics, but so few people do them that they stand out.

  28. Claire

    Why would anyone want a $1 Starbucks card? That’s stupid enough to not even be a decent bribe. If I was the sort to be swayed by bribes and theatrics, I’d be peeved that they were trying to woo me with something I can’t even use.

    1. some1

      “Why would anyone want a $1 Starbucks card?”

      Thank you! Even if you like Starbuck’s, as other’s pointed out, nothing there costs a dollar or less. How rude is it to give someone a “gift” card they have to spend money to even use?

      1. Kimberlee, Esq.

        It feels like you, as an applicant, are saying “I’m guessing a half hour of your time is worth about a buck. Wanna interview me?”

    2. Just me

      My first thought exactly. I would be so annoyed with receiving a $1 gift card, anywhere.

      But if I get a Starbucks card, I’m going there right away thinking I got me a free iced coffee (because I forgot my ATM card at home again and I don’t have cash on me) and then I hand over my gift card, and get charged another $1. What?

      But, then after more thought, I would probably add that gift card to my balance on my Starbucks app. and still be annoyed that it was only $1.

      At no point would I even consider calling the candidate. I was totally distracted by the Starbucks gift card.

      1. nyxalinth

        Oops! There’s a version with a spider, but I know people usually don’t like them, plus, it’s rolling down a hill.

  29. UK HR Bod

    Frankly, some people shouldn’t be allowed to speak to themselves in the mirror in the morning. And they are given a platform to ruin other people’s lives! On the plus side, if anyone follows this advice the hiring manager could view it as a Darwinian selection method.

  30. Tracy

    Truly, I’m tempted to contact the author of the piece to find out if he’s being satirical or not. I can’t wrap my mind around the thought that anyone would think those tips are going to be fruitful.

      1. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

        Send him a 50 cent gift card and suggest meeting to talk about it:.)

  31. J

    Three words my references would use to describe me: hard working, alpha male, jackhammer… merciless, insatiable.

  32. Ms Enthusiasm

    You know people want to seem edgy nowadays. Like they are the most innovative, outside the box thinkers that they will write the most ridiculous things just for the shock value. Thats what this article makes me think of. Look at me… I can come up with the newest job hunting craze that everyone will soon be doing (hopefully not)!!

  33. Mike C.

    Why is the business/marketing world so full of bullshit like this!? I never saw this crap in academia or the lab sciences or aerospace. The sheer lack of ethics to write up something like this and tell people, “Yes, this is how you’re going to be successful!” is simply incredible!

    Careers are serious business and being able to succeed has a huge effect on your life and the life of your friends and family. Folks like these are no different than the snake oil salespeople who peddle magic cures “your doctor doesn’t want you to know about” to the terminally ill.

  34. Chaucer

    Alison, have you ever thought about emailing this person a link to this article? I feel really tempted to do so just so he can see what a bunch of other, reasonable people with backgrounds in recruiting and hiring think about his “advice.”

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I actually always feel mildly uneasy about criticizing other writers; it feels like a violation of professional courtesy or something. I do it anyway, because I care more about rebutting really bad information than I do about that, but it’s not without some discomfort.

      So I don’t think I’d ever send the link and be all “check out what I said about your crappy article,” although the thought has crossed my mind.

      1. Anonymous

        Is that like writer code or something? Cause I have a hard time picturing you biting your tongue.

      2. Chaucer

        Judging by the comments that the author received for that article, it’s good that the majority of people think that it’s full of crap. I think there is a difference between somebody who is not that strong of a writer, but gives solid and practical advice, and somebody who is giving advice that can be very damaging to the person that attempts to implement it.

    2. Not so NewReader

      Hey, the writer got paid. So no worries, right? (sarcasm)

      Every time we speak we have a choice. We can chose to help people ….or NOT.

      How’s that saying go? If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem…. I have thought about that many times over the years.

  35. Elizabeth West

    Instead, send a (one-dollar) Starbucks gift card and suggest meeting for coffee at a nearby location. At that time bring your resume taped to a pound of fresh-ground coffee.

    WHAT. THE. HELL. I’m just–I can’t even–

    >_<

  36. Ramona

    The icing on the cake is definitely slide 11 about following recruiters on social media. Of course the recruiter is going to ask: “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” after all the s-t you pulled in the previous slides.

  37. HR

    I had someone email me today about a job position that he had previously applied for (he had failed the MS Office test required to move forward in the hiring process)
    We have filled this position but the job postings on some websites are yet to expire, so he thought we were still open to receiving applications (fair enough)
    He emailed me today saying “I sent you another round of the test after I sent you the first one, to show you that I can do more” (the test had a time limit and he had passed it)
    When I replied saying that we were in the final stages of the recruit, his next email was “If it doesn’t violate your policy, would you be able to move me to the next stage”
    I don’t know this person, but even if I did, I wouldnt be too happy about them asking me to break the rules! I mean, come on!

    1. HR

      *the test had a time limit and he had passed it, meaning he went beyond the time limit on his first try, and the second try was a day later or something, so there was no way I could move him to the next round even at that time, and definitely not two months later.

      1. Elizabeth West

        So if he did better in the test, then he should practice so he’s ready for the next go-round, instead of bothering you about this one. Sheesh!

  38. Ell

    I work as an HR intern, and part of my job is to sort through resumes (I don’t screen them, don’t worry) and reply to them with an auto-response.

    My name is not included in the auto response email (It’s signed X Company HR), but it is sent from an email mylastname@company.com. Unfortunately I have an unusual last name and people find me on Linkedin, which I mostly just find annoying since my name isn’t in the email at all. But I have also had two candidates try to friend me on facebook.

    Please don’t do that, it’s super creepy and I have no power to help you anyways.

    These are all for professional manager positions, which is even weirder.

  39. Anonymous

    Okay, I admit this is persnickety of me – but am I the only one who thinks using company logos on your resume might present a trademark issue? When I’ve worked for big companies who have invested in their brands, using the corporate logo requires permission if you don’t want to receive a cease-and-desist letter.

    I know that not everyone realizes this (which is why we have to have a lot of conversations about this with suppliers and would-be suppliers), but the golden arches are not available for use by anyone who ever worked at a McDonald’s. In my field, a logo-splattered resume would go straight to the circular file – we expect serious candidates to know better than to use another company’s brand to advertise anything other than that company’s products.

    1. Cat

      Yes, I could see using a trademark on your resume as a potential issue. Though, I doubt many companies would notice or take the time to actually prosecute people.

      1. Jazzy Red

        I once temped for Jockey International (the underwear people) and they had a print ad with a model in the foreground and a Harley in the background. Even though the bike was a little out of focus, you could tell what it was. You can bet that Harley’s law department sent a letter to Jockey, very fast. Jockey cropped the picture to remove most of the bike, and all of the obvious trademarked stuff.

        But yes, I don’t think individuals would be prosecuted for using a logo on a resume.

        1. Elizabeth West

          But would that be professional, to put pictures on your resume? Just the company name should be enough.

          If you were doing web design and you had material in your portfolio (with permission), that’s the place for logos.

    2. S

      You’re not the only one!

      I hate hate HATE receiving strangers’ CVs with our mangled logo (pixelated, wrong size, wrong position, wrong colour…) on them!

      It does not convey how much they already identify with the company.
      It does not convince me of their mad IT skills.
      It’s not cute or funny.

      They are not representing our company in any way and are therefore not entitled to use our damn logo on their personal documents!

      So, people, please — stop it!

      /latenightrant

  40. MiaRose

    This article had to have been a joke. I can’t think of anything more cringe-worthy when it comes to doing a job search. The only thing I can keep thinking about is that the author of the “article” was paid by Starbucks to do the shameless plugging.

  41. Cat

    This article is hilarious. Though if I was a hiring manager and people sent me enough Starbucks cards, maybe I could buy coffee for my office. xD

  42. Bea W

    Some of it reads like a satire of bad advice. It is satire right? (Please say yes? My brain will explode!)

  43. Works in HR

    In other recruiting news, we received our first resume in the form of an infographic. (Something Alison has said NOT to do!) The person was hoping to be a graphic designer, which is PERHAPS the only acceptable usage of the infographic resume (but still, not acceptable). Plus, they weren’t applying for a graphic designer job (we don’t have those). Sigh.

  44. Anonymous

    Articles like this remind me of similar articles in craft blogs/magazines that often end up as total craft fails for those who try to replicate at home. It feels like a bored editor with a deadline was getting desperate.

  45. TK

    This totally reminds me of all those horrible articles published by Cosmo on “Sex tips: Wow him with these moves!”

  46. skiboatdriver@gmail.com

    So as a follow up, I went out and looked at this article again yesterday. They made some updates to the article and all the comments have been removed.

    Guess some people can’t take criticism……

  47. Maria

    Sounds more like an article one would find in The Onion than at salary.com. It makes me wonder if they got hacked by a disgruntled job seeker.

  48. Bevina del Ray

    This is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of. I seriously can’t believe this was written. What kind of dipshitery is this?? This will get you blacklisted when people talk shop about trying to recruit and the idiotic things you’ve done from this list. I can’t believe it, truly.

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