We are (clearly) all for the classic resume, as are most employers! However, there are ways to add creativity to your job application on top of your resume. Including anything in your application that wasn’t asked for is always a risk – but sometimes, it can lead to reward like it did for these 10 people:
1. The Google Ad
In today’s job market, it is enviable that a hiring manager will eventually Google you. While most people are just trying to bury their MySpace profile pictures, Alex Brownstein turned the search around on his potential employers. While seeking a job in advertising, Alex bought Google Ads using the names of advertising execs. he wanted to work with, so that when they Googled themselves, his website would pop up first.
Liz Hickok was known in her neighbourhood for putting on an amazing Christmas light show at her home every year. While she always attracted local families to her holiday home, one year she attracted employers by displaying her wish for a new HR job along with directions to check out her LinkedIn profile in lights. Hickok said her creativity was rewarded with four interviews as a direct result.
Adam Pacitti constantly saw billboards from companies advertising to him and came up with the idea to, instead, advertise to the companies. After graduating college and being unable to land a job, Adam spent his last $500 on renting a billboard directing people to his website employadam.com. It turns out it was money well spent as he reportedly received 60 interview offers as a result of the billboard.
4. The Lego Lady
Leah Bowman grew up playing and building with Lego, so when it came time for her to start building her career, she went back to her childhood toy. Leah sent out her customized ‘Leah Lego Intern Set’ to a variety of ad agencies and posted it on Reddit where it went viral.
“The attention has been overwhelming in the best way,” she said. “A lot of people have expressed how creative or unique my project was. Many Redditors who have experience in the advertising field have also offered some great advice, especially about what positions in an agency might be a better fit for me. But it’d be silly if I expected to be offered jobs based solely on a Lego set. I have a full resume with my education and experience that is always included, and I have the confidence and experience to shine in interviews which is where you really win any job.”
Nina’s dream employer was Airbnb, but after multiple attempts of trying to get a call back, she decided to get creative. Nina created an application in the same format as Airbnb’s website. Beyond that, she not only showcased her skills and experience, but she directly offered advice on how she could help the company succeed. She then Tweeted the CEO & CMO who loved her creativity and scheduled an interview with her the next week.
There’s a fine line between bribery and creativity in this case, but for Brennan Gleason, his beer resume stood out. Brennan, a web and graphic designer created his ‘Resum-Ale’ filled with home-crafted beer with a QR code on the label that lead to his online portfolio. His self-designed beer packaging helped land him the job of Creative Director at a digital marketing agency.
Employers always love seeing how a potential employee can use their imagination to problem-solve, and these creative job applications show that a well thought-out risk could land you your dream job. Before thinking out-0f-the-box too much with your application, ensure that anything you send to the employer is appropriate, professional and on brand with not only who you are, but who they are as well. Try running your idea by a friend first and ask them to play devils advocate on your idea. No matter what, always have a professional resume prepared to submit along with your beer…or whatever it may be!