Writing an impressive résumé is a key element of every job search.
But to stand out from a sea of candidates applying for the same roles as you, you need to make sure that your professional document will capture the attention of potential employers.
So, how do you achieve this? Through creativity and imagination.
These creative CV and résumé examples will definitely become a source of inspiration for you!
1. Doughnut delivery résumé
This ingenious résumé has captured a lot of attention on a global scale. Lukas Yla, a marketing specialist in San Francisco, knew that he had to get creative in order to grab hiring managers’ attention.
Posing as a food courier, he proceeded to deliver boxes of doughnuts (along with his résumé, an explanation of his antics and a link to his LinkedIn profile) to over 40 potential employers. And his creativity definitely paid off as his unique job search strategy landed him over 10 interviews.
2. Amazon product page résumé
Web product manager Philippe Dubost chose an unconventional way to demonstrate his skills and experience. Indeed, he markets himself as an Amazon item, complete with a product summary, product details and reviews (where details of his work experience appear).
While there are many comical elements that make this résumé a memorable one, such as the ‘Frequently Bought Together’ feature, this creative approach also emphasises Dubost’s inventiveness and character as a whole.
3. Chocolate bar CV
MashableThe way to a recruiter’s hiring decision is through the stomach… or so the saying goes.
Following a career change, Renata Chunderbalsingh had to get creative to land a role in market research. Fortunately, Chunderbalsingh not only received tons of positive reactions but also numerous offers.
The front of the chocolate bar features a catchy motto, the job reference number, as well as Chunderbalsingh’s full name. Meanwhile, the back may look like that of a regular chocolate bar, but when read closely, it is in fact a mixture of her top skills, personal details, achievements and contact information.
4. QR code talking résumé
This résumé might seem simple, but it’s in fact quite the opposite.
Victor Petit wanted to create a professional document that would speak to recruiters – quite literally. The résumé consists of a headshot image of Petit and a QR code. After scanning the code with their phones, recruiters are then encouraged to align their device with the mobile phone outline that surrounds the code – creating the illusion of a talking image. The aim here is to talk hiring managers through his résumé while also presenting his professional objectives in a conversation-style way.
On the other side of the résumé, Victor uses a more conventional format, presenting his experience in skills in the written form.
Sometimes, thinking outside the box means turning your résumé into one.
This résumé-in-a-box does not fail to catch if not demand then recruiters’ attention. Once opened, each side contains a different section with professional information and details. Meanwhile, the centre of the box is ideal for including a printed portfolio and examples of previous work.
6. Billboard résumé
After filling out countless application forms and sending out his résumé to hundreds of companies, Adam Pacitti decided to get creative. So, in a final bid to find a job, he spent his last $500 to put his résumé on a billboard.
His uniquely creative approach ultimately paid off, with Adam receiving plenty of job offers to choose from.
7. Google search page résumé
Job seekers are often advised to personalise their professional documents according to the company they’re applying to. In this case, however, Eric Gandhi took this advice one step further and turned his résumé into a Google search result page – which resulted in a job offer from the internet giant itself!
8. Milk carton résumé
Aerorato via DeviantArtThis creative résumé is quite perfect for a role that involves design and innovation.
While there may not be as much room for text as a conventional CV, the 3D shape, concept and design speak of Miguel Rato’s abilities more than a bulleted list of skills ever would.
9. Pocket-sized résumé
This résumé might be small in size but its unconventional structure and format certainly make it a worthy addition to this list.
As you unfold the résumé contained in the rectangular pocket, more sections and information are displayed. The style, fonts and illustrations make the text stand out even more, which would allow hiring managers to retain essential information about the candidate.
10. Hand-drawn résumé
As a visual storyteller, illustrator Anja Uhren decided to use her craft to create a hand-drawn résumé.
Like other résumé's included in our list, Uhren’s résumé highlights her abilities, creativity and inventiveness. It also captures the reader’s attention and directs it to the information encased within the illustrations.
11. Manga résumé
Here’s another brilliant résumé created by manga artist Mike Schmit.
While the document may not have the traditional sections you would expect to see on a CV or résumé, or long chunks of information, it acts as an example of Schmit’s skills and creativity.
12. The Pixar résumé
In order to get Pixar’s attention, Brian Moose took his résumé one step further.
There are several layers to this unique résumé. Inside the vintage-looking suitcase, Moose included his cover letter and a film roll case. Within the case sat a notebook containing handwritten information about Moose’s professional journey, objectives and skills, along with some hand-drawn illustrations.
13. Interactive video résumé
Video résumés have become quite popular today, and with good reason.
In this interactive video résumé, recruiters can click on sections they want to know more about regarding the candidate. For instance, once clicking on ‘Portfolio’, they’re then redirected to another short video where Graeme Anthony talks about previous work.
It should be noted that the interactive video version is not available, but by browsing through Anthony’s channel, you can get an idea of how each video fits to create an interactive experience.
14. Video game résumé
This multidisciplinary designer decided to create a unique experience for hiring managers.
Inspired by the beloved Super Mario video game, Robby Leonardi’s résumé allows you to play while walking you through his work history, skills, awards and more, presenting each of these sections as different levels.
At the end of this playable résumé, players (see: hiring managers) have the option to send an email to Leonardi – be it for a job offer or to just compliment him on his creativity.
15. LEGO Minifigure résumé
Andy Morris created his very own LEGO Minifigure to get hiring manager’s attention.
The Minifigure was modelled to Morris’ likeness and holds a laptop in one hand and a miniature custom printed résumé in the other. Meanwhile, the packaging that the figure is encased in conveys all the necessary information, including a personal objective and contact information.
16. Magazine cover résumé
Business management graduate Sumukh Mehta landed himself an internship at GQ by printing a résumé that looked exactly like the magazine. Beyond the cover, Mehta included sections about his hobbies, expertise and objective to work at GQ, and made sure that the design emulated that of the magazine’s.
Although it took Mehta three whole weeks to put this résumé together, the final product succeeded in catching the attention of the editor-in-chief at GQ.
17. Colour swatch résumé
A résumé resembling a colour swatch isn’t something you see every day, but it’s undoubtedly quite an imaginative way to promote yourself and present your qualifications. Each card in Rebecca Fisk’s swatch résumé contains different information about her background as well as quotes and illustrations. Overall, it’s a brilliant way to present bite-sized details about yourself and be memorable to hiring officers.
18. Console game character sheet résumé
Choose your fighter! Or, in this case, character artist.
This creative résumé is perfect for the game design field. By turning his professional journey into a character sheet, Pierre Rogers demonstrates both his passion and skills. By using video game terms like ‘Weapons’ instead of ‘Skills’ and ‘Completed Missions’ rather than ‘Work Experience’, he also manages to maintain the theme and highlight his attention to detail.
19. Google Maps résumé
As someone with diverse and global experience, copywriter Ed Hamilton decided to use Google Maps to create his résumé.
Each pin shows different information and descriptions. For example, one pin placed in Manchester, UK, is placed over Manchester Metropolitan University, where Hamilton studied, and another one is over Prada in the same city.
This is a brilliant way to map out your career trajectory and keep the recruiter interested.
20. Movie poster résumé
Nothing screams ‘creativity' quite like a horror movie-themed document. As a creative specialist, Joe Kelso definitely knows how to put his talents and expertise to good use. From the font to the layout to the catchy tag line, Kelso’s self-promotion is a memorable one.
In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to show potential employers that you can think outside the box and take risks.
These fun and creative résumés do exactly that. However, it’s important to note that before you go ahead and set up an entire web video game for your résumé, you must first understand your audience. In more creative fields, unconventional approaches to professional documents are much more common and positively received by hiring managers.
However, even if you’re in a field that tends towards a more conservative approach when it comes to job applications, you can still use the above examples for inspiration. Even a sleek template or bright colour scheme could do the trick!
Which of these examples were your favourites? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article is an update of an earlier version published in May 2015.