Should a picture of Ryan Gosling be a part of your job application?

In the US, you should not include your own picture on your resume or application. We like to pretend no one will discriminate based on race, gender, weight, or bad dye job, if we don’t have pictures on our resumes. Then we all put links to our LinkedIn accounts and include our pictures there but I digress.

But one company asked for applicants to upload a picture of Ryan Gosling as part of their application process.

It’s an utterly ridiculous request, but I don’t hate it. As I’m sure the job posting will eventually come down, here’s the Ryan Gosling part:


To apply to this job, please submit your application through this platform. Also, and more importantly, please send an email to jobs at with the following components:

1. A short (seriously, short) introduction, including at least one reason why you’d be a fun addition to our team

2. A picture of Ryan Gosling that you’ve downloaded from the internet, resized to
600×600 pixels, and given a funny filename to, which is attached to your email

3. A brief explanation of what your favorite Ryan Gosling movie is, and why, including an embedded link to an online article about Ryan Gosling

NOTE – please don’t worry if you’ve never seen a Ryan Gosling movie. You’re being judged solely on your ability to follow directions. Seriously, your response can be completely made up and it won’t matter.

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: $22.00 per hour

I don’t hate it because the job is for a marketing assistant who will have to do things like resize pictures and write short things. It’s asking for a writing sample without being boring.

They also are quite clear that this is just a check for attention to detail. This is better than asking, “do you pay attention to details?”

That said, I’m not generally a fan of gimmicks. I want to know if someone can do the job, but I can’t help thinking that this tells the hiring manager if you can do the job. Plus, bonus points for giving an actual salary. Because it’s an entry-level role that doesn’t require experience, listing an exact salary is smart. If I’m willing to do this job for $22 an hour, I can apply. If I’m not, I won’t.

So, if your gimmicks serve an actual purpose, then I’ll give them two thumbs up. I think this one qualifies.

Now, in the comments, give me a summary of your favorite Ryan Gosling movie. And, please do make things up. That’s even better.


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13 thoughts on “Should a picture of Ryan Gosling be a part of your job application?

  1. It’s not really a gimmick, it’s a work sample. It just happens to be a fun work sample.

  2. I actually love this assignment as part of the job application. It shouldn’t take too much time, shows you can follow simple directions, etc. I would definitely have to make something up though because it turns out I haven’t even seen one of his movies – maybe Remember the Titans because you can’t go wrong with Denzel Washington and lots of people love a feel-good sports movie.

  3. That was a great example of a job posting that detailed the skills required for the job. As for Ryan Gosling, you should check out his performance in the Barbie movie as Ken to enjoy a bit of eye candy.

  4. Absolute favorite – The Notebook. I could watch it 100 times.

    Agree on all the comments as it relates to the application approach; it’s a sample of work to show attention to detail, ability to follow directions and be creative.

    Love that they list the pay for this PT role. Makes sense to me.

  5. I don’t know who Ryan Gosling is, but my wife told me we went to see one of his earliest movies, in an actual theatre, titled Cheap Flicks All Day, no, wait, that was the name of the theatre, the name of the movie was Walking Backwards in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

    Now, about this job advertisement, a couple of thoughts:

    1) I think it’s a great idea, but

    2) I wonder how many applications they still got that did not follow some or any of the instructions, and

    3) It must work, because mine is the 6th comment on your post, and usually you get 2 and perhaps 3 comments … and I’m pretty sure there will be more comments after this one.

  6. I doubt most people applying for a part-time, entry-level marketing job would have a portfolio. This is an excellent way to get a sample. It’s simple, doesn’t take the applicant long to do, and it’s fun. I like that you can make something up if you haven’t seen any of Gosling’s films. I would heavily side-eye any other job that asked me to do this as part of the application, but I think it works fine for this particular role.

    My favorite Ryan Gosling film (that I’ve seen; I’m not a huge fan) is Lars and the Real Girl. A painfully shy man purchases a sex doll and pretends she is his actual girlfriend, and the entire town goes along with it to help him come out of his shell. It sounds raunchy but it’s actually very sweet!

    He’s got a thriller coming out for Netflix soon called The Gray Man; Chris Evans plays the mustachioed villain. That should be an entertaining watch.

  7. I like this idea for entry level positions – it gives candidates who likely don’t have a lot of on-the-job experience a fun way to show their skills. This really would be “gimmicky” for a higher-level position and I would run for the hills if a recruiter used this tactic for a management/executive level role. I love all Ryan Gosling movies because it makes me giggle inside at how jealous my husband gets. I also enjoy the “Hey Girl” memes featuring Ryan Gosling as well.

  8. My favourite Ryan Gosling flick is actually a proposal I’m working on pitching to pair up two of Canada’s best and brightest exports, Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds. They play themselves, bump into each other in their Hollywood circle, then delight in realizing all of the stereotypical Canadianisms they have in common. Silly Canadian antics ensue as they endeavor to create an exclusive club for Canandian celebrities now based on the States, just like them. Butter tarts are enjoyed by all.

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