What makes a CV excellent? The answer is simple. Creativity. Employers are looking for creative candidates, and the best way to make a good first impression is by making a CV that will catch the employers’ attention right away. It needs to be original, and different to what other candidates have made.
The following list of extraordinary CVs will give you some inspiration…
1. Hire me Google: The Google CV
Eric Gandhi’s excellent idea of creating a Google-themed CV landed him a job at no less than Google itself. The designer said that an employee from Google found his CV on LinkedIn and decided to recommend him for a position at the company. What Gandhi did here was to link his credentials and skills with Google using a design that was familiar to the company. Gandhi knew who he wanted to work for so he targeted Google in a unique way.
2. Give me Chocolate: The ‘resume bar’
Who can say no to chocolate? This is what Nicholas Begley was thinking when he created his chocolate CV otherwise known as the “resume bar”. Tired of getting rejections with his traditional CV, Begley took a Nestle Crunch Bar, wrapped his CV around it and got himself a marketing job at Sportvite in New York. It was a huge success as it showed his ability to think out-of-the-box and got him exactly the kind of job he was looking for.
3. Game Over ‘Super Mario’: The Game CV
Now, this is what I call creativity! Robby Leonardi’s interactive resume took CV writing to a whole new level. I mean, who can compete with a guy who created a playable video game CV inspired by Super Mario? While this 2-minute game must have taken Leonardi weeks to create, it was certainly worth the time judging from the impressive results. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself.
4. Find me on Facebook: The Facebook CV
Sabrina Saccoccio’s wanted to show employers her creativity and social media skills, so she created an amazingly powerful CV using the template of a Facebook profile. Since everyone is familiar with this popular networking platform, she managed to include all the necessary information every employer expects to see on a CV such as personal information, skills, interests and education history. She even included wall posts from her friends as recommendations!
Since all recruiters are online now, you can try this with other social media platforms, e.g. Instagram or Snapchat. Who knows you may get officially invited online to join their company like Samantha Bankey who got a job offer from ePrize, a tech marketing firm, through Instagram.
5. Mr. Candidate
Tom Skinner, who was struggling to find a job because he didn’t have much experience in digital marketing, thought of coming up with something rather unusual. Inspired by the Mr Men series, he created ‘Mr. Candidate’. In the story, Mr Candidate meets Mr Pigeonhole, who won’t give him a job because he doesn’t have enough experience in the role. After this, the story lists Tom’s skills and experience. Tom sent copies of the book to 10 creative agencies and secured a job with Friday Media Group. Success!
6. The Lego CV
One of the all-time ultimate favourites is the Lego CV. Leah Bowman created her own using a Lego model of herself, which she sent to advertising agencies. With the headline “Build the perfect Account Service Intern” she managed to impress employers and effectively showed her unique self-branding, creativity, skills and initiative.
7. The Newspaper Ad
You certainly can’t ignore this headline with the massive fonts and bold colours of red and black. This newspaper-like CV works great as an attention grabber and gets right to the subject. While someone would think it looks rather conservative or vintage, I would say it’s the perfect combination of a modern and traditional CV.
8. The Bookable 'Meet Me' CV
Mike Freeman’s Book a Meeting is an excellent idea for promoting yourself. His online CV is very unique, but it got him the job he was aiming for at Shopify’s marketing department. Freeman came up with the idea of allowing employers to choose the date and time to book an appointment with him for $0.00!
9. The CV Printed Cup
Art director, Sid Santos showed off his 3D modelling skills by creating this printed cup CV. He turned a simple cup into a resume highlighting his work experience and job-related skills. With this Santos doesn’t need anything else to get a job. OK, that’s a lie. Perhaps he can accompany it with a good cover letter just to be on the safe side.
10. The Sewn Fabric CV
Graphic designer Melissa Washin, created this impressive CV out of fabric to show off her love of sewing and helped her land her first job after college. It is not only visually beautiful but also includes all the information employers need.
11. The Leaflet
This is a stunning personalised creation by a graphic designer who knows how to promote himself the right way. It includes an eye-catching phrase ‘This is for you’ that encourages the reader to take a look inside. It has a nice short introduction and other sections that explain his current situation with bold black letters. On top of that he provides samples of his work. This leaflet CV follows a clear structure and a minimalistic approach that shows less is more.
12. The Video: Show what you got
If you want to go way beyond the awesome 3D CVs, you can create an interactive video introducing yourself, like Graeme Anthony did. Although, this guy is already employed he made his creative video CV public so that it inspires others into creating one of their own. I like the fact that he strategically positioned various objects in the video to show his interests and skills. Also, he made it easy for employers to navigate through it with links. Check it out!
13. The Ebay Auction
Have you ever thought about auctioning yourself? Well Josh Butler has, and with this action he took his job search to the next level. The 18-year-old auctioned himself on eBay for £16,000 in the hope of landing a job, and came up with this innovative idea after failing to receive a single interview offer. The advert which had the title “Josh Butler Wants a Job” got Josh interviews with John Lewis and two call centers.
14. The Amazon Profile
Being a big customer at Amazon, Philip Dubost came up with the idea of creating an Amazon-style CV that finally got him 150 job offers! The guy marketed himself as a product sold on Amazon on a site that features a cart that links you to a contact page. His site got over one million hits in eight days, 33,000 Facebook likes; and thousands of Tweets. Not to mention the 1,000 messages and about 150 job opportunities he received after his CV went viral.
15. The T-shirt
If there is anyone who doesn’t like you, wear this T-shirt and let them read your back. This way you will make sure they will change their mind. A T-shirt CV can be impressive, because it’s something unique that you wouldn’t really expect to see. Unlike the other ones on this list, it follows a rather humorous and edgy approach to making the most of opportunities you come across. If you want, you can add a twist by including the company logo for each job applied for, tailor the CV accordingly, and print it onto a t-shirt with an eye-catching design or an image to accompany it.
16. The Hand-Drawn
Oona, a graphic designer decided to go against the grain and came up with a paper-craft for a CV. Hey, it might not be glamourous or colourful enough and I am not sure whether it can stand alone in this competitive world, but you have to admit, it’s amazing and unique. Obviously, she has some excellent drawing skills and, you have to give her some points for creativity.
Don’t forget that as a jobseeker, your CV is your most important marketing tool. Looking at these examples, it’s not hard to figure out why they stood out. Creating a marketable CV is always your first priority!
What is the most creative thing you’ve done to get a job? Have you used any of these CVs? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article was originally published in May 2015.