Resumes come in all shapes and sizes. What’s the most effective one? The one that gets you the interview.
These resumes may not be the most traditional, but they certainly worked for getting their creators a foot in the door.
1. The ‘Relevant Resume’
Instead of listing his achievements, advertiser Jeff Scardino wrote a resume listing his failures and weaknesses. His philosophy, ‘the truth will set you apart’, forgoes lying or embellishing on a resume to impress an employer, and instead being completely honest with them. He applied to 10 companies with both resumes. The results? Zero interviews with the ‘standard’ resume, and five with the ‘relevant resume’.
Graphic designer Brennan Gleason, who’s a fan of home-brewing in his spare time, created this 4-pack of ‘Resum-Ale’and sent it to three companies, getting job offers straight away. The box details his work experience and education, while each bottle label has a piece from his design portfolio and a QR code linking to his website.
3. The Lego Intern
Leah Bowman, a big fan of LEGO, had her heart set on becoming an Account Services intern at two big advertising agencies. She designed a mini model of herself in interview attire, created packaging which incorporated each agency’s colour scheme, and designed a poster advertising the ‘Leah’ set. After her idea went viral on Reddit, she landed the internship and is presumably wowing her new bosses with her creativity.
4. The Resume Bar
A Reddit user posted this under the simple heading of ‘This is my friend’s resume. He got the job.’ A simple re-wrap of a chocolate bar with Nick Begley’s skills, qualities, and education landed him a job in sports marketing. While the sweet treat definitely got him noticed, he clarified that it wasn’t the only thing that got him the job: “Some were sent to land me the interview, while others were used as a ‘leave behind’ after an interview,” he said to CNBC. “I always used it as a supplement to a paper resume or online application since the candy bar was more of a gimmick and didn’t provide my work history or credentials.”
5. Did You Mean…?
Designer Eric Gandhi posted a Google Search-themed resume on Linkedin, where it was spotted by a Google employee who set him up with an interview. It includes all the elements of the search results everyone’s familiar with while presenting Gandhi’s skills and experience in a clear way. He’s since gone on to work with web giants Buzzfeed and eBay.
6. The Server’s Notepad
This one was created for a friend by Rick Mundon, who worked in advertising. It successfully captures the spirit of a server’s job, creating a connection between the applicant and the reader. After posting the resume online, Mundon received so many requests for the template that he was inspired to create his own creative resume business, Orange Resume.
7. The Branded Box of Chocolates
Graphic designer Rob Jervis not only created this chocolate box with his information on it, but also took time to learn how to make the chocolate inside (Oreo truffles, peanut butter cups, and amaretto ganaches, if you were wondering). His strategy paid off – within an hour of receiving the box, the company he sent it to offered him a paid internship which became a full-time job.
8. Recruitment Painkillers
This fake box of painkillers for ‘effective relief from creative pain’ was created for copywriter Jon Ryder. The packet included ‘instructions’ on 45gsm to replicate real medication instructions, and claimed “The active ingredients in Jon Ryder are creativity, originality and typing. Together, they form a powerful painkiller (analgesic) that works by eradicating stress that naturally occurs in agencies during busy times. It works by increasing the flow of ideas through the system.” Ryder, a freelancer, received an intake of fresh clients after sending out the promotional pills.
9. The Interactive Resume
Software designer Robby Leonardi made an ‘interactive resume’ in the style of a video game. As you scroll down the page, the Robby avatar moves through a landscape populated with platforms, baddies and, of course, Robby’s relevant experience and achievements. It would be hard for any recruiter to resist getting to the end – where they’d find a contact form. Clever.
10. The Fabric Resume
Melissa Washin, a graphic designer, wanted to express her creativity and her love of sewing at the same time. Her solution? A resume transferred onto fabric, complete with an embroidered monogram at the top. As she says, “I suppose it would be harder to throw away a resume like this.” And it worked – she got the first job she applied for out of college.