Sticking out in a job application process - any unique stories?

Curious how people here have stood out from the crowd when applying out of school or to a second or third job.

I get the usual route of reaching out to alumni, calls, and coffee. Any of you have unique/interesting stories about say finding out what a CEO or executive likes (say running) sending them running shoes or maybe a common interest with a letter asking to meet/expressing interest in a position and working for the company?

If so, what was the circumstance and how did it go? Also if anyone in higher position could share their thoughts on receiving something like this.

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Feb 21, 2020