Finding a way to break through the clutter of cover letters, resumes, and LinkedIn profiles and stand out is key when you’re gunning for a new job. But, standing out for all the wrong reasons is detrimental to any shot you might have at success.
As head of recruiting at HubSpot, a fast-growing inbound marketing and sales software company, I read a lot of resumes and interview a lot of people on a daily basis. Applicants often attempt to tap into their creative side and do something a little different that lets their personality shine through. Some are successful—and HubSpot has been able to build a fantastic employee base and culture by identifying them. Others, as you might imagine, stand out for all the wrong reasons.
At this point in my career, that list of ridiculous things I’ve seen come through my inbox has gotten pretty long and too good not to share. So, here’s a taste of some of the worst (and most perplexing) mistakes I’ve seen applicants make and some tips on how to be different enough to land your dream job without scaring anyone off: