Many job seekers have figured out just how vital the first impression they make through their CVs is and have started to test new and creative resume designs and concepts in order to showcase their attributes and draw more attention to themselves.
Whether an employer responds well to atypical resume ideas or not differs in each case but there are some amazing examples of unique CVs that have actually secured job interviews and ultimately even jobs for candidates willing to think outside the box when it came to their job applications.
If you’re considering new ways in which to enhance your chances of visibility when applying for a position and you are willing to take a risk in doing so you should definitely look into how other innovative job seekers have managed to make themselves noticed in the past by using creative and compelling designs for their cool resumes.
1. The Milk Carton
One designer decided to show his potential employers just how talented he was before they would have a chance to throw his file in the “maybe” pile so he made sure that his resume wouldn’t fit into the pile in the first place.
Miguel Rato created a personalized milk carton and placed his picture and name on the side of the carton under the missing person section. He went on to list all the specialty programs he knew how to work in under the ingredients list and ranked his skills at each program as being high, medium or low calorie content to let employers know that he was highly skilled in some, had average knowledge of others and knew how to use basic functions for the rest.
He added the domains he was able to work in by labelling them “Nutrition” and wrote a “biography” detailing his previous job experience and employers under the photograph.
It’s not surprising that his creative job application caught the attention of his potential employers since he not only provided them with the portfolio information but also proved what his abilities as a designer were when he created his resume, which involved the use of several of the skills he had listed on it.
2. The Box of Chocolates
It’s always a great idea to try to be extra nice to your potential employer and one graphic designer applying for advertising and design positions wanted to make sure that the recruiters reviewing his CV would be in a great mood before reading about his qualifications.
He came up with a brilliant idea.
He sent out resumes in the shape of chocolate boxes that he had designed. These boxes featured his name, Rob Jervis, instead of the chocolate brand. He also filled the boxes with some very appetizing hand-made truffles and used the inside of the box’s lid to write an About Me paragraph detailing his qualifications and relevant experience.
Did it pay off to show potential employers what his capabilities as a designer were and to send them chocolate all in the form of a job application?
It did for Rob Jervis. The designer received positive feedback for his cool resume and managed to secure a two week placement that later resulted in a full-time junior design position.
3. The Movie Poster
John Kelso created a movie poster theme resume and managed to catch the eye of several recruiters throughout the years due to the eye-catching colours and design that it featured.
Kelso explains that the creative CV helped him secure more interviews than the regular one and he had been using it for job interviews since 2007.
The resume is designed to resemble a poster for a horror movie and uses phrases that are typical for promoting motion pictures pertaining to this genre. The “title” on the poster is “Resume! The Reckoning” and it is preceded by the phrase “John Kelso presents”.
The clever CV also features his previous job experience and his set of skills as well as an image of Kelso tied up with ropes and screaming as if he were a character in a horror movie.
You can find the same mix of required information about the candidate and a demonstration of his skill in this graphic design resume and it seems to be a formula that works well for some job seekers, particularly if they are applying for creative positions.
4. The Film Case
When Brian Moose decided he was going to apply for a design management position at Pixar he wanted to make sure that he would show just how much he wanted to be considered for it. Putting extra attention and care into drafting your resume is always a good way to improve your chances of being considered for a position.
But Brian Moose took attention to detail to a completely new level.
He sent Pixar a vintage transport box that was covered in stickers. Inside the box there was an old film case which contained a sketchbook detailing his experience, skills and management technique.
The fact that he took the time to sketch everything himself and develop a presentation concept as opposed to simply filling out an application online showed his potential employers that he was passionate about his work and very interested in the position.
Although he did not get the position, Moose explained that his unique resume helped him set up communication channels that he wouldn’t have been able to access had he simply registered an application on a webpage.
5. The Pizza Box
Designers aren’t the only ones coming up with creative applications for jobs. Rachel Soleil-Lerch was trying to find a position in the concierge industry so she decided to make her resume fit right in with the domain she hoped to work in.
She enlisted the help of a resume designer and they came up with a pizza box resume that was delivered to potential employers. Inside the generic pizza box was a colourful listing of the applicant’s experience, studies and skills as well as a note glued to the inside of the lid.
The note contained a personal message detailing Rachel’s view on the key ingredients for a perfect pizza as well as an enticing request addressed to the recruiters, which asked them to let her “heat things up” for their company. The presentation was a great method to grab people’s attention and to increase the chances of the actual information inside to get reviewed.
6. The Creativity Can
Another unique approach to applying for a job came from a designer who decided to pack all of her best skills and attributes in a can meant to boost creativity.
Chew Lijuan created a kit meant to promote her resume as well as embody her knowledge and skill and packed everything in a colourful tin can that featured the title “Creative Boost” and two photographs, one representing her logical side and the other her creative impulses.
Inside the can she included several objects:
• her actual resume printed on a rolled-up piece of paper
• a blue pen
• an idea book
• a tea bag
• a wrapped piece of chocolate,
• a creative pouch and a “Talk to Stranger” card meant to encourage the recruiters to talk to her.
The unique promotion tool not only speaks volumes on her technical abilities as a designer but also compliments her creativity and originality.
7. Painkillers for Agencies
Jon Ryder, a copywriter seeking employment, decided he wanted to go the extra mile when promoting himself to potential employers. He collaborated with a design agency to create resume in the shape of a box of painkiller medication named after him.
The unique concept presented the freelance painkiller as being a great way for employers to relieve themselves of the earache caused by clients and to prevent high blood pressure and blurred creative vision. The box contained a humorous patient information leaflet which detailed the beneficial effects of the painkiller as well as the actual CV.
The active ingredients listed were copywriting analgesics, caffeine, creativity, typing and originality. It was a great and funny promotion tool and it encouraged companies to use the “painkiller” in order to combat stress during busy times and to prevent client loss.
8. The Billboard
Renting billboards is a common practice among companies which run advertising and marketing campaigns for their products and services. Nevertheless, some dedicated job seekers have also turned to this method of publicity in order to ensure that their resumes gain visibility.
Feilim Mac An Iomaire was unsuccessful in finding a job in Ireland and feared that he would have to emigrate in order to gain employment. He decided to try to find a workplace in Dublin by renting out a billboard and displaying a unique advertisement on it.
The message urged people to help “save” him from emigration by aiding him in finding a job. Mac An Iomaire called himself the “jobless paddy” and created social media accounts under that pseudonym in order to provide potential employers with more information about his skills and to popularize his story.
He collaborated with a design company in order to create the add which displayed a picture of him with his back turned to the camera staring across a sea at several foreign landmarks and monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and the Sydney Opera House.
The image and the message “Save me from emigration” were the summary of his fruitless ten month-long efforts to find a job in his native country and his fear of having to emigrate in order to secure a position. The banner managed to garner massive attention and aided in the success of the job seeker’s campaign as he managed to find employment in Dublin later the same year.
Another jobless graduate that used a billboard to seek employment was Adam Pacitti who set up a webpage called employadam.com and then directed people to it by displaying an image of him next to a message stating that he had spent his last £500 on renting the billboard and urging people to help him find a job. This form of advertising seemed to work in this case as well, as Adam reportedly received around 60 interviews as a result of the exposure that the banner offered him.
9. The Amazon Product
One tech project manager decided to create an Amazon product page displaying his resume as the product in order to find work. Turning himself into the product that was being sold, Philippe Dubost listed his education and skills under the ‘Product Description’ section.
His ingenious idea worked and his Amazon product page went viral. The popularity of the page eventually helped Dubost get in touch with employers and find a job.
10. The Handkerchief
Melissa Washin had just graduated college and was looking for a job as a graphic designer when she decided she would showcase her love of sowing and fabrics by using her resume.
The handkerchief-inspired CV managed to impress her future employers as she sent them several samples of different designs and patterns to show off her capabilities and creative potential. The fabric resumes eventually helped her get the first job she wanted.
11. The Google Inspired Resume
Eric Gandhi used the popular Google search page design to create his resume and managed to attract the attention of a Google employee who later referred him for a position within the company, which led to an interview.
Gandhi wrote several keywords into the search bar and listed his information as the Google search results below with his education, skills and experience designed as different websites provided by the search engine as relevant links for the topic that had been searched for.
He filled the actual search bar with traits that companies might find appealing in an employee and that also described him, such as creative, hard-working and excellent designer.
12. Actually running a Google ad.
Another job seeker to take advantage of the popularity of the Google search engine was Alec Brownstein.
While looking for a job in advertising he came up with the brilliant idea of buying an add from the web browser and using it to attract attention from several advertising executives by cleverly tailoring his add so that they would stumble upon it when searching their own names in the search engine.
As a result, whenever an advertising executive that Brownstein targeted would Google their own names the first thing that they would see was his add asking them for a job and redirecting them to his webpage in case they wanted to read his resume. Brownstein tried this method for several advertising executives and some of them responded.
Ian Reichenthal was one of the executives that came across Brownstein’s unique application and offered him an interview which eventually got him a job.
14. The Board Game
In trying to showcase her skills, creative potential and original approach to tasks, a graphic designer decided to send in resumes to potential employers in the shape of an actual board game.
The one-of-a-kind but undeniably cool resume template featured all of the classic elements that a board game would have: an instruction booklet, dice, a set of quiz cards with questions related to the design industry as well as pawns and a colourful board to navigate.
The resume was called ‘The Game of Design’ and was constructed so that interviewers could actually play with it while reviewing the designer’s skills.
Analysing CVs is usually tiresome and boring so turning the resume into a game and making it fun for the recruiters to browse through it may be a great way to improve your chances of them paying attention to it.
15. The Cereal Box
Another graphic designer named Victor Rodrigues decided to transform himself into the ultimate breakfast option by designing his resume as a breakfast cereal box. He used his own profile as the cereal’s mascot and called the brand Vick, adding the motto 100% source of creativity.
Besides the colourful and eye-catching design of the box, which informed recruiters of his main qualities such as being structured, consistent and organized, he also added his skills, studies and relevant work experience under the nutritional facts segment on the side of the cereal box.
How to improve your own chances of finding a job
The examples we’ve seen until now prove that taking a risk and being creative can sometimes pay off but not everybody can or wants to design such a unique resume. After all, if everybody did that, it wouldn’t be special.
As lovely as these resumes are, you can’t always rely on them since many job applications now happen online and since not every recruiter will find an original approach funny. In fact it would seem that these types of creative resumes work well when they are being reviewed by creative managers rather than HR recruiters so it really depends on the position you are applying for if your wacky CV will help you or not.
Keep your CV up to date
There are still some options that you can resort to in order to increase your chances of finding employment even if a crazy resume won’t work for you. Before applying for any position you need to make sure that your own CV is in the finest shape possible to represent you as best as it can.
Try to keep it as structured and as reader-friendly as you can and make sure that it is up to date. If you’re applying for different kinds of positions in several domains review your resume for each position and make alterations if needed, don’t just send it everywhere without thinking first.
Narrow down your search
People sometimes think that the best way to go about finding employment is to apply to anything that they are even remotely interested in doing and just hope and wait to see what interviews they land. But the process of applying for jobs is time consuming and can be stressful so going through the steps over and over again just to feel like you’ve got more options might not be the best move.
Try to narrow down your search to positions that you are actually interested in and qualified for and concentrate on making your application as strong as possible for those jobs. It will save you a lot of effort and stress and if you find that it’s not working in your particular situation you can always widen your search later on.
Get some professional help
If you’re disoriented or insecure when it comes to the motions that are involved into applying for the right jobs in the right domains, just send in your information to recruitment agencies.
They will do most of the work for you and let you know when a position that suits your criteria has opened up. This will allow you to prioritize interviews depending on the job you are hoping to find as well as increase the productivity of your search since you know that you are qualified for position that you are applying to.
It’s also a great alternative to turn to a recruitment agency if you don’t have the time to thoroughly apply for positions yourself since the agency will revise your CV and start looking for jobs that fit your criteria and your qualifications and alert you about the ones that you would be suited for.
Keep calm and keep applying
Many people fail to understand that it can take some time to find a good job and it’s easy to become frustrated with the search of disheartened by rejection.
Just keep your cool and deal with problems one at a time. We’ve seen some creative ways in which people have dealt with the frustration of being ignored. If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your job search and you don’t mind taking a risk, make your own one-of-a-kind resume and try it out.
However don’t let yourself get discouraged if it takes some time to find a new job just keep applying, get some professional help and work as hard as you can on your resume each time you send it out.