So, you’ve just spotted your dream job and you just know you’d be perfect for it. The only catch? Thousands of other applicants feel the exact same way. While you can send in the standard resume and cover letter, you can also get a little crazy to get the hiring manager’s attention.
Check out what these five people did to stand out among all the traditional applicants. They’re so “crazy” and so darn creative that they didn’t just get the company to pay attention, but the internet, too.
1. Designed a Resume Made of Legos
It’s one thing to list graphic design experience and creative prowess on your resume, but it’s much more impactful to make the leap from mere words to visual illustrations.
Leah Bowman took this reasoning to heart. In lieu of submitting a traditional resume, Bowman sent in customized packets of Lego sets, prompting potential hiring managers to “build the perfect account service intern.”
It worked: The Northwestern grad secured a role as an intern—and then a full-time job—working in advertising in Chicago.
2. Made an Interactive Video
Maybe you’re not equipped to create a customized Lego set, but how about a video?
Resumes can often be difficult to get through and feel pretty impersonal. That’s why Graeme Anthony decided to make an interactive video resume instead.
Anthony’s video includes links to different sections, including “About Me,” “Portfolio,” as well as a “Timeline.”
He sent that video to multiple recruiters—and it looks like his effort to make their jobs a little more interesting paid off. Anthony received multiple interviews, a job offer, and 400,000 YouTube views. He’s worked in a number of different PR and social media roles since.
3. Bought a Google Ad
What if I told you that spending a whopping six dollars could land you a job?
Well, that’s what Alec Brownstein did. Brownstein bought a Google ad, targeting the names of several advertising executives—one of whom was Ian Reichenthal. When Reichenthal Googled his own name (as we all inevitably do), he found Brownstein’s tailored ad. Reichenthal offered Brownstein the chance to interview and eventually gave him a job offer at his advertising firm.
Since then, Brownstein has gone on to do some pretty awesome things. According to his LinkedIn profile (which showcases his unique, humorous approach to the job search), he’s now a creative director at Dollar Shave Club.
4. Imitated the Employer’s Website
How do you get a job at popular place like Pinterest? By showing you know the site inside and out!
Jeanne Hwang Lam built out an extensive CV for Pinterest—on Pinterest (meta, I know). She created a resume by pinning different images together, with different sections such as “fit,” “passion,” “experience,” and “rockstar skills.” By investing so much time in tailoring an application specifically for Pinterest, she showed that she was seriously passionate about being there.
While Hwang didn’t end up getting an offer from Pinterest, her creative efforts attracted the attention of a Pinterest analytics site called Pintics, which offered her a position. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Hwang has held impressive marketing roles at fast-growing startups, including 3D printing marketplace Shapeways.
5. Bought a Billboard
Photo of billboard courtesy of AdamPacitti.com.
If all else fails, just buy a billboard. No, really.
Adam Pacitti, a 2012 graduate, had applied to 250 different companies. Still unemployed, Adam decided to launch an “Employ Adam” campaign. He even bought the billboard pictured—and it actually worked. He got 60 interviews and a job from it.
Since then, his creative projects have been featured on BBC, CNN, CBS, and more.
So, if your resume—and your results—are feeling a little lackluster, consider getting creative! Just remember that the key isn’t to do anything, but to do something that shows off your skill set as well as your fit within the company.
TopicsResumes , Job Search , Syndication , Video Resumes , Resumes & Cover Letters , Visual Resumes , Creative Resumes
Adam Saven is an ex-Googler, UPenn 2012 alum, and now co-founder of a startup called CampusKudos. His startup helps college students meet alumni to jump-start their careers. When not working or writing, he loves meeting new people and helping them find career happiness. Follow him on Twitter at @asaven41690!More from this Author