Finding the right role is increasingly becoming a mine-field for job seekers. Searching for the ‘right fit’ employer is possibly the trickiest relationship you’ll ever develop. Imagine this;
You’ve decided you want to meet the man or woman of your dreams. You sit at home and profile them in detail. Their personality, motivations, looks and social circle. Then with this information carefully defined in your mind – you head off to try and meet them. But the moment you walk into a party full of potential matches, you’re told that you can neither talk to anyone, know anything about them or read their opinion of you.
THAT’S the reality of many recruitment processes. So when you’re searching for a role in a creative and dynamic industry such as marketing and digital. This challenge is perpetuated further!
So, your approach to the organisation of your dreams, with your CV often being the primary currency to bring them to their senses of wanting to meet you, becomes currency which you simply can’t risk getting wrong. Fundamentally, you’re trying to match yourself to an organisation by showing you have shared values, and will be happy, and a good fit within the environment and culture; ultimately performing well.
Distinct CVs can help a candidate stand out from the crowd, and show that they’re able to think outside of the box whilst making a lasting impression However, it’s important to get the balance right and ensure you’re not going wildly off piste with a CV just for the sake of it.
CAB Studios is a creative business and we are currently hiring for a number of roles. Of course, we’re always looking for people to showcase their creativity from the moment they apply, but we recognise that creativity comes in many forms. Whilst the idea of putting your CV onto a T shirt or building an avatar of yourself is fantastic and original, never fear if you’re planning to simply wow us at interview by talking passionately about your skills and experience and what you love about marketing and digital. We are always focused on getting to know the person from the very first interview, and helping them understand what it’s like to work for us.
However, we couldn’t resist taking a fun look at some of the most imaginative CVs ever submitted, and looking at whether or not they helped the applicant get a job. If this inspires you to come up with an amazingly creative CV, then perhaps you should consider applying for a role at CAB!
1. Lego Piece
Mashable describes the unusual CV of Leah Bowman, a student who used Lego to build the ultimate resume. Inspired by her childhood memories playing with Lego, she used the Lego Digital Designer to create a Lego version of herself, after a potential employer asked for a persuasive advertisement.
The assembly instructions included in the box, illustrate her skills, creativity and strengths. Bowman says with today’s tough job market, she felt she needed to do something that would make her stand out.
"Looking for a job can be a bit frustrating at times, I've applied for dozens of jobs and had a handful of interviews, but sometimes there's just another candidate that edged you out. I know I'd be a great addition to any team, but I needed a better way to communicate that rather than just sending in a boring resume."
2. Chocolate bar
This idea, shows everything a potential employer will need to know about Nicholas on chocolate bar, or resume bar as it were. Everyone loves chocolate right? This should go down a treat.
Graduate Nick Begley was fed up of sending his CV to recruiters, but not getting a response from any of them, so he took matters into his own hands and decided to wrap his CV around a Nestlé Crunch bar.
It caught the attention of execs at New York-based sport marketing company Sportsvite, saying: ‘People are either going to love it or hate it. My focus was to find an organization that would embrace it because if they weren’t open to that kind of out-of-the-box thinking, that wouldn’t be a company that I would fit in well with anyways.’
3. Board Game
Creating a board game CV is an eye-catching and immersive way to get a CV picked up - if it’s quirky, well designed and above all, well thought out.. When applying for a job as a designer, as is the case with this graduate graphic designer’s CV, a creative CV is appropriate, and goes a long way to show the candidate’s design skills.
The CV included instructions and dice for recruiters, showcasing the designer’s work, creative mind and experience.
This infographic style timeline illustrates the candidate’s life timeline, from birth, which is probably a bit too much detail, to the present day. Compared to the usual list of skills, these graphics are a quick, easy to understand, way of displaying candidates’ degrees of strength and their breadth of experience
Aspiring journalist Jonathan Frost explained he decided to create an infographic-style CV to stand out from the crowd. He explained in an article on the The Guardian how recruiters don’t have time to read through pages of experience, but would rather get an impression of a candidate from one, attractive, easy to digest page. The stunt worked, getting Jonathan two work placements – and he only sent it to three publications. US graduate Chris Spurlock took the same route and the Huffington Post picked up his CV and it went viral. Shortly after, he was offered a job as infographics editor at the publication.
This is a fun idea, and definitely an icebreaker when meeting potential employers or at job fairs, however it may become impractical in certain situations and should probably be accompanied by a paper copy.
In 2001, jobless business management graduate Joe Busby produced a t-shirt with the words ‘employ me’ written on the front and his CV printed on the back. He walked around Gateshead and Newcastle, hoping a prospective employer would pick up the message and take a closer look at his experience.
He said: "When I wear it through the city centre, 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."
6. Fold up box
Art director and photographer, Omondi Abudho, designed a CV which potential employers could cut out and fold into a box.
This CV proved highly successful, Abudho got three job offers from top agencies in Kenya and is currently a creative partner at Scanad in Nairobi.
Eric Gandi, a tech graduate modelled his CV on Google’s search results page. The CV got him an interview at the search giant, a company known for being particularly selective with its recruitment.
However, the position was a marketing role, not a design one and he never got any further, but the CV did help him land interviews elsewhere, and Ghandi is now a product designer at Magneto in Los Angeles.
Rick Mundon designed this notepad resume for a friend, but after receiving so much positive feedback online, he launched The Whole Orange, a creative design company that does design work and creative CVs
Mundon says that CVs need to be job-specific, even if they are designed, employees need to be able to find the candidates work experience immediately.
Philippe Dubost built his own website in the style of an Amazon product page for his CV, which can be found at phildub.com. Along with all the usual information; the page includes web links to his LinkedIn profile and University webpages, and reviews from past employees.
The page went viral and received over 1.5 million views during the course of his job search.
The inventive and technically impressive CV got him 150 job offers and finally a job as a tech product manager at a start up company in New York called Birchbox.
At CAB, we embrace creativity in all its forms, and encourage applicants for the positions we’re hiring for at the moment, to showcase it in whichever way they wish. Good luck!