It only takes six seconds – sometimes less – for the headhunter to decide if your resume deserves a closer look or not. If you submit a standard application using something similar to the ten other CVs before you, chances are, you’ll be dismissed. Job hunting is an extremely competitive field. If you want to get hired, think about how you can stand out from the crowd.
This is the time for you to get creative. In this cutthroat arena, creativity will go a long way. Over the past decade, millennials have explored and benefitted from using creativity to land their dream job. If you’re about to jump into the job search pool, it pays to put your creative hat on. Technology plays a big role in this with the number of apps and software available to design a rocking resume. As long as you stay creative and focus on the prize, the possibilities are endless.
Designing and making a creative resume is often time-consuming. But, if you do it right, it’ll be worth it. With a single creative CV, you can get numerous callbacks for interviews. If it’s totally awesome and out there, you may even get the job WITHOUT the interview. That’s how powerful a creative resume can be.
Creative resumes are not exclusive to the artistic industry. Even in other trades and niches, submitting an ingenious resume is appropriate. You just have to match your design with the industry and job position you want.
To help you visualize how to create an awesome, creative resume, here are ten brilliant examples.
1. The Facebook Feed
Take a leaf from Sabrina Saccoccio’s book and create your own Facebook Feed. Instead of going the normal route, use Facebook to create your resume. Facebook is so popular that it’s not impossible for potential employers to see your profile. So why not use its popularity to your advantage?
Everyone is familiar with Facebook, so that creates an instant connection. The format is also easy to read. Its sections provide the space where you can highlight your personal information and list your skills. Ex. Facebook’s “About Me” can be your CV’s Personal Information space. The profile photo can be your resume picture. And you can ask your character references to post something on your wall.
2. The Magazine Style
Sumukh Mehta’s resume has gone viral because it ticked all four important boxes in designing a unique CV: creativity, ingenuity, informative, and fun. Mehta wanted a job in a publishing house. To go after his dream, he created a 20-page version of a personal GQ Magazine. His mag-style resume featured professional photo shoots, eye-catching graphic designs, and informative content formatted similarly to a GQ issue. The output was so great, and GQ offered him a job prior to an interview.
You can do your own magazine-style resume to highlight your skills. This style will go well if you’re after a job in publication, fashion editorial, and the like. It doesn’t have to be a full magazine. Just have at least ten pages – with graphics, photos, and content – to make it work.
3. The Google Search CV
Eric Gandhi wanted so bad to work at Google – like so many of us. He knew he had to stand out from the stiff competition, so he created a Google Search CV. The format is a mirror to Google’s SERP. But rather than search engine results, his Google Search CV listed his personal details, work experience, and skills. His creativity paid off as one Google employee saw his CV, recommended Gandhi for a position, which then led to an interview.
You can use this formula and design even if you don’t want to work at Google. Go to the website of the company you wish to be a part of. Tailor your CV format to its website (structure, font, colors, etc.).
4. The Infographic
When he was still in college, Chris Spurlock created an infographic resume. It literally and figuratively illustrated his design experience and skills. The infographic resume was so good, it was posted on HuffPost College, and then went viral. Several employers from different industries were captivated by the uniqueness and creativity of the resume. Spurlock received interview offers even before graduating. After college, he became an infographic designer for The Huffington Post.
The infographic design is probably one of the best ways to simultaneously get the attention of people and showcase your design skills. It seems easy to create, but designing a standout infographic requires superior skills and clever decision-making. There should be consistency or a single theme that relates to your dream job.
5. The Movie Poster
In 2007, Joe Kelso found the answer on how to receive a 100% turnout when submitting his resume to several companies. He created his own movie poster CV. The cleverness of the design was so brilliant he got interview invites from companies that don’t exactly match his experience and skills.
This is a fun way to stand out from your competition. You can even do a little photo shoot if you want an image-driven poster. You can play with fonts and color combinations. And you have millions of choices where you can pattern your movie poster from. If you want to work in the food industry, you can use Jon Favreau’s Chef movie poster. If you want to be part of the event planning industry, you can pattern your CV from the 27 Dresses poster.
6. The Video CV
Matt Epstein made a video CV to land his dream job at Google (see, everyone wants to work at Google!). He invited the Google Team to view his video where – complete with an interior set-up – he talked about why Google should hire him. It was quirky, fun, and entertaining. Alas, Epstein didn’t get the job, but his video went viral, leading to 80 interview invites and (by present time) over a million views on YouTube.
Video resumes are fast becoming the go-to creative resume of millennials. For many, this medium is better because they can easily express themselves verbally. If you’re more comfortable engaging your audience out loud, a video CV could be the medium for you. Make sure that it’s informative, fun, and engaging.
7. The Gameboy
Robby Leonardi is a multi-hyphenated designer who got interviews for his many awesome jobs (Fox, FX Networks, Speed TV, etc.) by creating an interactive game resume. His creation was so delightful that even after the interviews, the recruiters would play his game for hours. It was a clever idea because it underscores his skill level. He can’t just think creatively, he can also deliver the output.
The interactive idea is perfect if you wish to work on graphic design and animation industries. It’s more than your CV, it’s a manifestation of what you can actually do.
8. The Billboard
Feilim Mac An Iomaire thought of a way where he can catch the attention of employers in a massive approach. And he came up with something huge – literally. He spent his savings to buy billboard spaces around South Dublin. He ordered several billboards with a clever tagline where he basically asked potential employers to hire him.
This is a route you can take if you have the financial freedom to do so. Billboards aren’t cheap, especially huge ones. But they are truly eye-catching. So, just make informed decisions if you choose to order your own billboard CVs.
9. The QR Code
While searching for internships, Victor Petit realized that the most challenging part of the process is to secure an interview. He quickly – and accurately – assumed that having a unique CV can help him breach the hurdle. And he did with the help of his QR Code resume. One part of his resume featured the standard bit. The other side showed his face, in a close-up photo, with a QR code on his mouth. Recruiters were invited to scan the code to direct them to a YouTube video. The video CV was a unique one as well since it was designed like a talking resume.
Again, this is a great way of showcasing your skills while presenting a unique resume. It highlights a variety of abilities – from the cleverness of the QR Code to the creativeness of the animation. If you have these skills, you can use this design to score actual job interviews – and not just internships.
10. The Flowchart
Craig Baute believed that the way to land his dream job is to be creative and concise. To perfect this balance, he opted for a flowchart resume. It was creative because it wasn’t the usual, boring resume. It was concise because it was easy to decipher. And Baute perfected the balance because his flowchart resume was his passport to an interview with Apple.
If you want a clean, sharp, informative and still creative design, the flowchart is the way to go. It gives potential employers the information they need in a snap, but in a manner far from unexciting.
How to Design a Unique Resume
When developing an artistic, clever resume, do so with careful attention. Inventive resumes will help you stand out both in a good and bad way. Headhunters, especially for multinational companies, are incredibly picky about CVs. Even the littlest mistakes can cost you an interview. To create a unique resume, here are some reminders:
Know your audience.
This is the most important rule for constructing a creative resume. It's tempting to assume an outside-the-box CV can instantly get you an interview, but it could just as quickly put your resume in the trash.
When building your creative CV, think about the recruiter who'll read your application. You must also take into account the company’s image. Your artistic resume must represent the position you’re aiming for and why you are the best person for the job.
Keep in mind, the objective of your resume is to promote your skills, expertise, and experience to a potential employer. Don't let creativity hinder you from getting the job that you want.
Organize your CV.
According to studies, headhunters adhere to a consistent visual course when examining applications. This means a structured and visually-appealing format is vital. The objective is to submit a resume showing pertinent details to help the recruiter come up with a correct decision fast.
Even through the creative route, there are key components you can't overlook to incorporate in your resume. Headhunters spend about 80% of their time interested in these elements:
- Current Title/Position
- Current Company
- Previous Title/Position
- Previous Company
- Current Start and End Dates
- Previous Start and End Dates
If you skip any of these elements, you can expect to not hear from the recruiter again.
Make the effort.
If you’re doing a creative resume, do an excellent job. Invest your effort, time, skills, and resourcefulness. A creative CV can help you get noticed, but only if the resume is well-designed.
The goal of a creative resume is not just to be visually captivating, but more so to quantify your skills and accomplishments. Concentrate on what you wish to accomplish with your CV and how you can promote your message.
Have a traditional resume on standby.
Regardless of how awesome - and effective - your creative resume turned out to be, you still need a Plan B. When making a creative CV, you always risk issues with style and formatting. If you intend on submitting your resume to company websites, they’ll likely have a standard form you have to complete. Also, most companies who accept online applications have an applicant tracking system (ATS) that reads your CV for information. That is why you still need a traditional resume. Just post the link to your creative resume too. You may add the link to your traditional CV.
Your resume is just one aspect of demonstrating to your potential employers who you are and what you can offer. Your creative resume is a gateway to multiple interviews. But still, it’s your qualifications that will get you your dream job.
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