21 Creative Ways Jobseekers Got Themselves Noticed - Pt II
We all know that finding a job can be difficult at the moment, and last month we shared the first seven of our 21 favourite ways in which jobseekers have gotten creative in the job hunt.
As promised, here is the next instalment of creative, amusing, or downright strange ways people have attempted to land themselves a new job.
The Mad Hatter Delivery
Earlier this year, the MadeBrave office in Glasgow came to something of a standstill for a few minutes when the Mad Hatter came waltzing in to deliver a CV for his wife, Mrs MacHatter.
Once he had their attention, the Hatter announced that he was “here to deliver a CV on behalf of Mrs MacHatter”, and produced a message in a bottle, which read “There is no great genius, without a touch of madness.” He then presented a CV and disappeared from the offices.
Recruitment Grapevine reported that Made Brave were somewhat unfazed by this unusual application, quoting Andrew Dobbie, Founder and Managing Director:
“We get quite a lot of that. We get people sending us jigsaws and we get a piece every day and that becomes their CV. We get a lot of cakes and videos sent in. One guy sent us in a video of him as the Lion King – I think he’d torn a stuffed bear apart.”
Recruitment Grapevine reports that Made Brave actively encourage their applicants to be as creative as possible in their applications.
Asked whether Mrs MacHatter had secured the Account Manager position she’d applied for, Dobbie said that they had received 150 CVs for the role, and so could not know if she’d gotten the job at that point. They did, however, say that she would definitely get an interview and that they encourage a creative application: “It’s almost like your first brief”, they say.
Read what Made Brave had to say about the experience here.
The Lego Application
Leah Bowman, a student at Illinois’ Northwestern University, decided to incorporate a childhood passion into her job application: she built it out of Lego!
According to Digiday, Leah created her CV “using LEGO’s free LEGO Digital Designer software and used a few other programs to design the product packaging and descriptions.”
“I wanted a fun way to stand out to agencies and get my resume out of the trash can – I’ve always loved LEGO and I created this set to highlight my creativity, skills and initiative! It’s something I hope to be able to send out along with a job application,” Bowman shared in a blog post.
Leah told Digiday that her family’s Danish heritage also influenced her choice of medium: “It’s a big part of our heritage,” she said of the Danish toy brand. “I was just home for spring break and applying to all of these agency summer internships. Agencies ask you to do all of these fun things for applications, but I also wanted to something fun that I came up with myself and leave behind after a good interview, or send out to a few select places.”
Speaking to ABC News, Leah said that she'd so far "had a few great talks with a couple agencies and have more to hear back from that [she] applied to in the last month.[sic]"
"Someday I'd love to work at Lego, but for now I just want to find a job that gives me unique challenges every week and gain some great experience," she said.
"The attention has been overwhelming in the best way. 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."
The Craft Beer CV
Canadian Brennan Gleason isn’t just a graphic designer; he’s also an avid home-brewer, and when he decided he needed to get more work in, he cashed in on both skills to make his application really stand out.
Brennan wanted to work for a creative marketing agency, but knew he’d have to step up his game to stand out from the crowd. He brewed up four packs of his special ‘Résum-Ale’ and created some rather unique bottles with a portion of his CV printed on the labels and a QR code leading to the full document. The labels also describe the 6.9% blonde ale as ‘visually pleasing, smooth and elegant, with a bit of a wild side’, a description which apparently Gleason also considers to apply to himself.
He sent these bottles to marketing agencies in Vancouver, and it seems that his unusual approach hit the mark, as he received three job offers, and ended up landing the role of Creative Director at Techtone, a digital marketing agency.
The Interactive Video CV
Graeme Anthony moved from Manchester to London to be with his wife, and needed a new opportunity in PR post-haste. He decided that the best way he could make himself stand out would be to make a Curriculum Vitae Interactive Video (CVIV), and send it out to a few select companies.
The video quickly went viral: according to Graeme’s blog, he went out for two hours after posting the video (to an interview, as it turns out!), and returned to find his inbox in meltdown. He called the friend who had helped him produce the video, Dan Burdett, and learned that he had gone viral: his video had already garnered absurd numbers of views. One of the companies he sent it to, We Are Social, blogged about it, calling it ‘the best job application ever’, though they said they ‘didn’t have an opening at his level’ at the time.
The notes on the videos on YouTube note that Graeme is now permanently employed (which means, presumably, that his video worked!) and that he has published the video publically in hopes of inspiring or educating other creative jobhunters.
The Resumé Chocolate Bar
In 2009, at the height of the economic crash in the States, Nick Begley, an MBA student, was just another jobseeker: but one who knew that he needed to do something a little unusual in order to differentiate himself from the crowds.
More recently, in 2013, Nick’s friend Eli shared a photo of the innovative job application on Reddit, where it promptly exploded across the Internet, gaining 1.9m views, 97K upvotes and 3,200 comments in a matter of hours.
Nick created a very unique CV in hopes of standing out – he made a dozen chocolate bars, with some very unusual ingredients listed on the wrapper, such as ‘100% daily value in Leadership, Creativity, and Business Acumen’, and ‘110% Work Ethic’.
Eli posted a blog about the whole ploy, with a few words from Nick:
“This version of the candy bar resume was used for a 2009 job search when the economy was crashing, so I knew I had to differentiate myself from other applicants,” he said. “It was a way to (hopefully) showcase my creativity, create a bit of a buzz in the department that was hiring and –most importantly – help me stand out in a competitive job market. Some were sent to land me the interview, while others were used as a ‘leave behind’ after an interview. I always used it as a supplement to a paper resumé or online application since the candy bar was more of a gimmick and didn’t provide my work history or credentials.”
The scheme cost him just $30, and landed him a job with NYC-based company Sportsvite, an online community for adult recreation athletes.
The Pinterest CV
Jeanne Hwang Lam wasn’t just your average jobseeker: she knew not only which job she wanted, but exactly which company she wanted to work for.
Jeanne wanted to work for Pinterest, and she figured that there’d be no better way to catch the eye of the visually-focused people at Pinterest than by creating a CV within their own site. She created a board called ‘Jeanne for Pinterest’ and began pinning.
The intro to the board reads “Hey Pinterest! Where else to showcase my background and love for Pinterest than right here? Click through the pins for more details, and check out my Pinterest for Jeanne board too. This ain’t your mama’s resume!”
Each pin on the board covers one aspect of Jeanne, from her skills and education to her experience and achievements. Jeanne used other social media tools to expand her Pinterest resumé, such as her Tumblr blog, where she expands on anything which needs a little more explanation.
It is a little unclear whether Jeanne’s creativity landed her the job with Pinterest she so craved, but an article on the application from thenextweb.com reports that Francisco Guerrero, founder of Pinterest analytics site, Pintics, was happy to offer Jeanne the position of Vice President of Marketing at his firm.
The T-shirt CV
Joe Busby, a 27-year-old from Gateshead, had been looking for a job for 9 months. He had experience in management and had just graduated from Teesside University with a business management degree, but found himself without a job and eventually, down the Job Centre. In an interview with the BBC, he said, “I got quite frustrated after a visit to the job centre, it was quite depressing and I figured I have to do something different to stand out.”
Joe’s answer to his problem was to print his CV onto a plain white shirt and spend most days advertising himself around Newcastle and Gateshead, in the hopes that someone with a job to fill would spot him.
“When I wear it through the city centre,” he said, “about 90% will take a good glance at it and a second look. So it only takes one executive or HR guy to look and take note of it.”
Joe didn’t foresee his troubles getting a job: with managerial experience and a newly-attained degree, he didn’t expect to struggle so much in gaining employment.
“Seeing not many new jobs coming up, together with the lack of response for jobs you know you’re qualified and experienced for, it’s quite a depressing atmosphere. I’m not in a position to be choosy but I will work for my money.”
An article from Chronicle Live in April 2012 reports that Joe was inundated with CV requests, but six months on, decided to launch his own business – an online-based sandwich delivery service called ‘Artous’, which means ‘daily bread’ in Greek. The website is no longer live, but we hope that means that Joe is doing something else he loves, and wish him all the best.
Missed the first part of this series? Check it out here!
UPDATE: Find the third and final installment here.
If you’re struggling to find a job, but don't fancy getting a little creative, let us do the hard work for you! Check out our available vacancies, send your CV to email@example.com or give us a call on 01737822000 and have a chat with one of our specialist recruitment consultants.