Remarkable hiring stories

When it comes to hiring, these small business owners have remarkable stories about employees going the creative distance to nail the jobs.

Marketing ninja at your service
Marketing ninja at your service
Savannah Peterson responded to Andy Butler's ad for a 'marketing ninja' with this photo of her head superimposed on top of a ninja.
Owner: Andy Butler
Company: D2M

When Silicon Valley design and marketing agency D2M Inc. posted a job listing on Craigslist for a "marketing ninja," CEO Andy Butler was hoping for a few creative candidates.

"When we put out a posting for a 'marketing ninja,' we wanted to attract people who'd identify with that description, and we wanted to discourage people with a more traditional approach to marketing and PR," said Butler.

So when Butler opened a job application from Savannah Peterson, he knew he'd found his new marketing manager. "When I received a picture of a cropped head Photoshopped on top of a black-pajama-ed ninja, the first thing I said was, 'I have to meet this person face-to-face,' " recalled Butler.

After interviewing four of the position's 90 applicants, Butler hired Peterson based on a combination of her marketing background, design skills and ability to "jump out" from a sea of cookie-cutter candidates. But while a quirky resume replete with a ninja mock-up and a laundry list of superpowers landed Peterson the job, she said her lighthearted approach was a serious act of self-promotion in today's tough economy.

"Having been a university graduate in December of 2008 when everything fell apart, I knew it was important to stand out and have a sense of humor," she said. "I also believe that it's a lot harder to say no to a face and not just a resume."

By Cindy Waxer, contributing writer @CNNMoney - Last updated February 23 2012: 6:15 PM ET
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