With so many talented jobseekers in the world, it can be tough to get noticed, especially if you want to find work in a creative industry. People are constantly trying to think outside the box and show their creativity, and one of the ways they do this is by creating a 3D résumé.
While you could apply for a job with a classic résumé that shows your experience, achievements, skills and education, it won’t perfectly highlight your personality and creative nature, which makes it difficult for recruiters to properly judge your capabilities and skills.
A 3D résumé, on the other hand, is much more effective when it comes to getting noticed. You get the chance to demonstrate your creativity, personality, and professional skills quickly and in your own unique way. And by creating something physical that the recruiter can touch, you’re already sitting on the top of the résumé pile.
Ultimately, you want to make a great first impression and land the job, so here are 20 amazing 3D résumé examples for inspiration if you want to be a little different!
1. The milk carton
This graphic artist turned his résumé into a missing person milk carton. He replaced the “ingredients” with his skills; the “nutritional information” with his areas of expertise; and of a picture of a missing person with a headshot of himself. He even created his own branded logo. Even though it’s not as text-heavy as a traditional résumé, it’s such an original concept that any employer would sit up and take notice.
2. The Pixar package
Way more than just a 3D résumé, this is a complete presentation of Brian Moose’s creative personality and determination. It consists of an illustrated, annotated notebook inside a film reel — itself housed in a leather-bound album. It’s like a treasure chest!
3. The vinyl record
This example is perfect for if you’re wanting to grab the attention of music producers! It includes a vinyl record (although we’re unsure what’s on the record itself) and has side A and B with “tracks”, which are actually a list of Anamaria’s employment history, achievements and skills. How creative!
4. The portfolio mail package
Portfolios don't have to be dull. This gem was created by Canadian graphic designer Robynne Redgrave, and is a real attention-grabber. The portfolio mail package includes her résumé, as well as a letter of intent, an application form and a handbound portfolio book.
5. The Game of Design
A game that would definitely catch an employer’s eye because they would probably want to play it! This 3D résumé includes instructions and dice, as well as client research, visual communication, and composition cards.
6. The skateboard
There are several 3D résumés on weird objects, but a skateboard is definitely one of the most bizarre ones. It might not be the most cost-effective option, but it’s certainly a very creative example that will leave a lasting impression.
7. The stationery box
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love buying new stationery, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Alex Hines decided to personalize a pencil case tin and pencil, and has also included a USB stick, her business card and a paper copy of her résumé in her stationery kit. If I was hiring and this landed on my desk, I’d be intrigued enough to check out her application.
8. The fake medication
Probably the most cleverly worded item on this list is the “copywriting painkiller”. The leaflet inside explains that it can be used for the “short-term treatment of acute, moderate creative pain” with instructions on how to store it, side effects and known interactions.
The leaflet also states that “Drinking alcohol with Jon Ryder will not cause any adverse effects. Mixing Jon Ryder with moderate alcohol consumption after the end of the working day may improve effectiveness”. A lot of creative positions require a humorous personality. The fact that Ryder managed to include this in his 3D résumé shows how useful they can be compared to their traditional cousins.
9. The box of chocolates
If you send out hundreds of applications without getting a response, you have to find clever ways to redesign your résumé. Rob Jervis here turned his into a box of chocolates with real chocolates inside. You’ll always be remembered if you just made the hiring manager’s day by giving them some chocolates to eat while they look at your skills and experience.
10. The cereal box
Canadian web and graphic designer Victor Rodriguez’s 3D résumé was obviously a breakfast brainchild. He created a cereal box with a colorful eye-catching personal logo on the front, and put all the information about his skills and experience on the side of the box.
11. The Pantone color swatch
This color swatch résumé features individual achievements, skills and work experience details on Pantone-themed cards — all on a handy keyring loop. I’d find it amusing to flick through each of these cards to find out what’s on them, which is why this creative 3D design is bound to grab the attention of recruiters. It’s so unique!
12. The LEGO Minifigure
Leah here was desperate for an internship at an ad agency, so she came up with this amazing idea. She created a LEGO Minifigure of herself, and designed a LEGO-themed package design and a persuasive “advert” showing her advertising skills.
13. The sewn fabric résumé
New York-based graphic design student Melissa Washin decided to switch it up from the traditional chronological résumé, and instead chose to stitch it onto some fabric. She printed the finer details onto some material and then stitched her own letterhead to finish it off. And, unsurprisingly, it landed her the very first job she applied for.
14. The chocolate bar
Nicholas took it one step further and created a customized chocolate bar wrapper that included his personal details and skills. In one section, he rates his work ethic, leadership skills, creativity, motivation and communication skills (among others), and the ingredients include his previous work experience. We hope the recruiter read it in full while chomping down on some tasty chocolate goodness.
15. The fold-out
Graphic designer Sarah Odgers created this fold-out 3D résumé, and it definitely stands out from its 2D comrades. It compacts into a pocket-sized résumé, so the recruiter (if they wanted) could take it around with them. I doubt this one ended up in the trash!
16. The T-shirt
Why not wear your résumé? That’s what Sam Stacey did. He decided to showcase his talents (literally), and even created a removable tag that served as a business card with a slogan saying “I’ll be a great fit”. It’s pretty genius, if you ask us.
17. The résum-Ale
Most people like a little tipple every now and then, so why not add your résumé to the packaging? Brennan Gleason decided to showcase his talent by brewing and packaging his own ale, with the packaging including his own personal branding and his résumé. He even put his brand mark onto the bottle cap, showing great attention to detail and creativity.
18. The wine bottle
Art director Ben Egnal also decided alcohol was a great route to go down, and was definitely thinking outside the box when he came up with this idea. He created a custom-printed wine label and a handwritten note that he sent out to creative directors. The label includes a personal profile, his education and his work experience, as well as a lovely illustrated image of himself. Let’s hope he took another bottle along to a well-earned interview, as like he says: “It’s not polite to show up empty-handed”.
19. The exploding box
Graphic design student Hoa Nguyen created this brightly colored masterpiece to show her skills, experience and education across multiple levels. When opened, the many layers of her résumé “explode” open. The recruiters must have had a reading adventure when they received this in the mail — they might still be finding new snippets of information as we speak.
20. The pop-out
Recruiters get hundreds of applications per job opening, and searching through page after page must be a tedious job. However, if something like this crops up on a recruiter’s desk, they’re bound to pay attention. Marina Mayori Tios added a cut-out of herself, as well as her personal details, skills, education and a “More About Me” section. She also included software logos to attract attention to her skillset.
There are so many creative ways to show your skills and personality to recruiters, but it’s worth noting that while 3D résumés are great, they’re not for everyone. If you’re an aspiring doctor, for example, then it’s not a good idea to send in a résumé on a milk carton. If you’re a graphic designer (or someone in a creative field), though, then it’s a sure-fire way to capture the hiring manager’s attention.
It’s a competitive world out there, so having a creative résumé is bound to give you a better chance — just make sure it’s suitable for the industry and role you’re applying for. Then you’re good to go!
Would you ever create a 3D résumé? If so, which idea interests you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Originally written by Eleana Stylianou and published in July 2015.