Why is it important to have a CV that attracts attention, is it necessary in all cases, or just some?
Distinct CVs can help a candidate stand out from the crowd. We take a look at ten of the most imaginative CVs out there and whether or not they helped their owners get the job.
For recruiters, the first step in selecting a candidate involves a lot of reading and a bit of Facebook stalking; for candidates, it’s about marketing themselves and making an impression.
Limited by the usual template and the tough job market, some candidates think out of the box, going beyond words on paper.
1. Lego Piece
Mashable describes the unusual CV of Leah Bowman, a student who used Lego to build the ultimate resume. Inspired by her childhood memories playing with Lego, she used the Lego Digital Designer to create a Lego version of herself, after a potential employer asked for a persuasive advertisement.
The assembly instructions included in the box, illustrate her skills, creativity and strengths. Bowman says with today’s rough job market, she felt she needed to do something that would make her stand out.
"Looking for a job can be a bit frustrating at times, I've applied for dozens of jobs and had a handful of interviews, but sometimes there's just another candidate that edged you out. I know I'd be a great addition to any team, but I needed a better way to communicate that rather than just sending in a boring resume."
Shortlist reveals some interesting and creative CVs in 30 most inventive resumes.
2. Chocolate bar
This idea, shows everything a potential employer will need to know about Nicholas on chocolate bar, or resume bar as it were. Everyone loves chocolate right? This should go down a treat.
Graduate Nick Begley was fed up of sending his CV to recruiters, but not getting a response from any of them, so he took matters into his own hands and decided to wrap his CV around a Nestlé Crunch bar.
It caught the attention of execs at New York-based sport marketing company Sportsvite, saying: ‘People are either going to love it or hate it. My focus was to find an organization that would embrace it because if they weren’t open to that kind of out-of-the-box thinking, that wouldn’t be a company that I would fit in well with anyways.’
3. Board Game
Creating a board game CV is an eye-catching and immersive way to get a CV picked up - it’s quirky and well-designed. When applying for a job as a designer, as is the case with this graduate graphic designer’s CV, a creative CV is appropriate, and goes along way to show the candidate’s design skills.
The CV included instructions and dice for recruiters, showcasing the designer’s work and experience. It also demonstrates a creative mind – something essential for a graphic designer.
This infographic style timeline illustrates the candidate’s life timeline, from birth, which is probably a bit too much detail, to the present day. Compared to the usual list of skills, these graphics are a quick, easy to understand, way of displaying candidates’ degrees of strength and their variety of skills.
Aspiring journalist Jonathan Frost explained he decided to create an infographic-style CV to stand out from the crowd. He explained in an article on the The Guardian how recruiters don’t have time to read through pages of experience, but would rather get an impression of a candidate from one, attractive, easy to digest page.
The stunt worked, getting Jonathan two work placements – and he only sent it to three publications.
US graduate Chris Spurlock took the same route and the Huffington Post picked up his CV and it went viral. Shortly after, he was offered a job as infographics editor at the publication.
This is a fun idea, and definitely an icebreaker when meeting potential employers or at job fairs, however it may become impractical in certain situations and should probably be accompanied by a paper copy.
In 2001, jobless business management graduate Joe Busby produced a t-shirt with the words ‘employ me’ written on the front and his CV printed on the back. He walked around Gateshead and Newcastle, hoping a prospective employer would pick up the message and take a closer look at his experience.
He said: "When I wear it through the city centre, about 90% will take a good glance at it and a second look…So it only takes one executive or HR guy to look and take note of it."
6. Fold up box
Art director and photographer, Omondi Abudho, designed a CV which potential employers could cut out and fold it into a box.
This CV proved highly successful, Abudho got three job offers from top agencies in Kenya and is currently a creative partner at Scanad in Nairobi.
Eric Gandi, a tech graduate from Georhie, modeled his CV after Google’s search results page. The CV got him an interview at the search giant, a company known for being particularly selective with its recruitment.
However, the position was a marketing role, not a design one and he never got any further, but the CV did help him land interviews elsewhere, and Ghandi is now a product designer at Magneto in Los Angeles.
Rick Mundon designed this notepad resume for a friend, but after receiving so much positive feedback online, he launched The Whole Orange, a creative design company that does design work and creative resumes.
Mundon says that CVs need to be job-specific, even if they are designed, employees need to be able to find the candidates work experience immediately.
Philippe Dubost built an his own website in the style of an Amazon product page for his CV, which can be found at phildub.com. Along with all the usual information; the page includes web links to his LinkedIn profile and University webpages, and reviews from past employees.
The page went viral and received over 1.5 million view during the course of his job search.
The inventive and technically impressive CV got him 150 job offers and finally a job as a tech product manager at a start up company in New York called Birchbox.
10. Traditional CV reinvented
This CV, which gained a lot of attention online, was created by, Riccardo Sabatini. Although it remains more within the traditional format, that’s not to say it could be used for any job. Sabatini is a graphic designer who focuses on digital art and typography and he used this CV to demonstrate his skills.
Why You Should Consider Being Different With Your CV
Creative and imaginative CVs certainly do make candidates stand out from the crowd, they do however, have to be appropriate for the position. Roles that require design skills and creative ability certainly fit the bill. Visual CVs reflect a candidate’s personality, and are, simply a lot more fun to look at.
However, for roles outside of the design arena, an over-the-top CV can be inappropriate and may send the wrong message. It all depends on the company, the position and the type of role a candidate is looking for.