21 Creative Ways Jobseekers Got Themselves Noticed - Pt III
Over the last month, we’ve been sharing with you some of our favourite ways that jobseekers have gotten a little creative in their hunt for a job, from the Craft Beer CV to the LEGO application; from QR-code cupcakes to the Self-Auction on eBay.
Grab a cup of coffee, ignore your emails for ten minutes and enjoy our final seven outside-the-box examples of creativity in the jobhunt.
The Google Please Hire Me Ploy
Matt Epstein was three years out of college and searching high and low for a marketing job. He tried all the usual methods: sending out his CV, applying to job postings on LinkedIn, and spending hours on the phone, but after a couple of weeks, found himself becoming disheartened by the lack of response. Instead of allowing his struggles to get him down, Matt decided that he needed to do something different: he realised that “you can’t just sit and do standard stuff. You have to fight.”
So Matt, 24-years-old and a resident of Florida, built himself a website – and not just any website. He decided that the pinnacle of new-job-getting would be to land himself a position at Google, and so he gave his website the URL GooglePleaseHire.ME and started work on a rather unusual video. Armed with a faux-moustache, a snazzy suit jacket and no trousers… well, we’ll just let you watch it…
Matt’s unusual campaign did not land him a job with Google – in fact the Internet giant simply told him to apply through usual channels – but it did get him a multitude of offers and a place with a San Francisco start-up called SigFig, an offer he apparently turned down ‘two household-name tech companies’ to accept.
The Fabric CV
The Text Adventure CV
Melissa Washin loves to sew, and she decided she wanted to convey that through her resume. She printed her information onto iron-on paper, transferred it to white fabric, and sewed it to a variety of differently coloured and patterned fabrics.
The result, as Melissa says on her Flickr, was a “tactile item that said something about [her] without having to be read”. Her efforts landed her a job as a graphic designer right after graduation, and, if you’re interested in hiring her creative mind, her website melissamakesthings states that she is currently accepting freelance work.
Tim Schafer is now a prolific game designer with more than two decades in the business, but once upon a time he too was on the hunt for a job. In 2009, on the twentieth anniversary of his time in the games industry, he posted a blog detailing the beginnings of his incredible journey.
After receiving rejections from Atari and Hewlett Packard, among others, Tim walked into his campus career centre and saw this:
LucasFilm were looking for an ‘Assistant Designer/Programmer’, and Tim was up for it.
The scribblings adorning this advertisement are the notes Tim took during his initial phone interview – which would turn out to be somewhat disastrous. Trying to impress his interviewer, David Fox, with his knowledge of LucasFilm productions, he began raving about his favourite game – ‘Ball Blaster’. Before long, he realised his mistake, as the voice on the other end of the phone coolly informed him that the LucasFilm game was in fact called ‘Ball Blazer’, and ‘Ball Blaster’ was the pirated version.
In Tim’s words, “the rest of the phone call didn’t go much better, but at the end of it, David [Fox] told me to send in my resume, along with a cover letter describing my ideal job. Since I figured I had blown the interview, I had nothing to lose. So I did my cover letter in the form of a semi-graphic adventure.”
The gamble paid off, and Tim received this letter:
Tim says he “still get[s] kind of excited looking at that letter”, and ends his post by thanking David Fox for hiring him, and everyone he’s worked with or who has played his games over the last twenty years. To cap it off, he wishes everyone on the job hunt good luck, but advises they don’t try his approach, as it “only worked in the 80s!”
The Infographic CV
Loren Burton wanted to work for AirBnB, so he created a website specifically created with the intention of landing him a job there. Beautifully designed, the website now appears to have been reduced to nothing but the words ‘Hi, I’m Loren. I am making things’, which we assume means he’s taking time off from the social world to focus on creative projects.
However, thanks to the nature of the internet, we can still see what it looked like:
It’s unclear whether AirBnB hired Loren, but we hope he’s found something to stretch his creative muscles!
The Social Media Application
Lindsay Backwell wanted to land a social media director position at the University of Michigan back in 2011, and she decided there was no better way to stand out than by creating a social media campaign in support of her application.
She researched the position, and found that Lisa Rudgers, the university’s VP of communications, was the person she needed to impress. She launched a website, DearLisaRudgers, which, along with her resume, included videos and text explaining who she is, why she’d be a good fit for the role and links to her social media accounts. She also set up a Twitter account with the handle @dearlisarudgers and encouraged visitors to her site to share it with their friends.
The Smokin’ Hot CV
Lindsay didn’t get the job with the University of Michigan, but she did get an interview, and along the way picked up the attention of the media and several other companies. She ended up taking a job as the Social Media Director at a marketing company.
Made Brave encourage their applicants to think outside of the box with their applications, as we mentioned in Pt II of this series with ‘The Mad Hatter Delivery’, but this one really stepped outside the building.
Ricky Galea applied to Made Brave with a smokin’ hot resume – in the form of a packet of ‘cigarettes’! With a fully customised box featuring such taglines as ‘creative ideas, creatively executed’, and his contact details, Ricky’s CV came in the form of little notes rolled up into numbered ‘cigarettes’:
Made Brave don’t state whether Ricky landed a CV but they certainly seemed rather impressed with his creativity.
BONUS No. 8:
The Accidental Application
Donald Gould is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with extensive musical training – and in July of last year he was homeless. Coming across a piano on the side of the street one day as part of the city of Sarasota’s Keys Piano Project, he sat down to play a little, not knowing that this decision could change his circumstances for the better.
Playing Styx’s ‘Come Sail Away’, Gould was filmed by a bystander, Aurore Henry, who posted the video to Youtube and Facebook, where it received over two million ‘likes’ in just two days.
“We saw him playing and it was so phenomenal that I got my phone out to start recording,” she told ABC News.
Having studied to become a music teacher, Donald had to give up his dream when he ran out of money to finish his education, and following the death of his wife in 1998 struggled with substance abuse, but things may be looking up for him: having seen Henry’s video, Steve Bishop, owner of local restaurant Surf Shack, offered him a job, despite the lack of a formal application.
“Yeah, that is true. We’re looking to arrange it,” Recruitment Grapevine quotes Surf Shack. “We call it a New York-style piano bar. It’s got a balcony that seats about 50 and a nightclub inside. We do live piano music just about every night. We’ve been doing for local people and we heard about this gentleman and we’re trying to arrange it. We’re in the early phases here but we are trying to do our homework to touch base with him.”
Aurore Henry was quoted as saying that she hopes the video helps to humanise the homeless a little more: “I think it is important to recognise that what the people on the streets really need is a purpose and a sense of belonging. And that is what Donald is getting.”
On top of the possibility of a steady piano gig, Donald was also the recipient of a GoFundMe page which raised $40,000 in eight days with the goal of helping the trained musician get back on his feet and his life back on track.
And that wraps up our series of ‘Creative Job Applications’. We hope you enjoyed reading about the crazy things people have done to get a job, and hope you find yourself inspired!
Missed the first two installments? Find them here and here!
If you’re currently looking for a new job, get in touch on 00441737822000, check out our current vacancies here or send your CV to email@example.com – and don’t worry, a normal CV is just fine.