When Job Seekers Get Creative (Not Desperate), This Is What Happens

Create Job Seekers
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Create Job Seekers

Desperate times call for desperate measures — and some job seekers get very desperate. An August 2016 survey from CareerBuilder found some of the most unconventional ways job seekers tried to get attention from hiring managers, like wearing a tie with the company name on it or sending homemade soap bars as a way to say thank you.

Good news! You don’t have to kiss a hiring manager or mail in an envelope with cash to get noticed. And you definitely don’t have to lie during your next job interview.

While many people have resorted to wildly inappropriate efforts to land a job, some actually create really interesting and fun ways to get attention from employers and eventually earn their dream role.

Let’s take a look at some real life stories about how job seekers used their creativity to get job offers:


As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. If you’re a hiring manager and receive a four pack of beer, you may be confused but also intrigued.

Brennan Gleason was close to graduating and realized that he needed to start thinking about strapping on his work boots. So he wrote his resume and gathered his profile to show some of his designs to designer firms.

Except instead of opening a Word document and uploading his documents to Dropbox, he grabbed some yeast, hops, and other ingredients and started brewing a blonde ale. After the fermentation and bottling, he got creative with his packaging designs to reflect his identity and showcase his skills, not to mention his attention to detail — all the way down to his personal branded bottle caps.

With his resume on the box and each bottle label containing one of his own designs from his portfolio, Brennan sent out several four packs to various design firms and companies. His Resum-Ale earned him several offers and a job as a creative director.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to show your personality in your application. Demonstrate how you use your skills that would be helpful in the prospective role, and share some of your passions, which in Brennan’s case is homebrewing.

Level Up

Robby Leonardi needed to stand out in the competitive job market of the graphic design world. Ultimately, he decided to create an interactive resume. His however, stood out from the rest because he combined gaming and his work experience. The result — a side scrolling video game in the style of Super Mario Bros.

The user walks through colorful levels to see his resume in several unique and beautiful formats. Check out his multidisciplinary designer skill levels on a chart, continue onto learn about where he lives and how much he loves basketball.

Next, take a dive into water and swim through his graphic and web software skill sets, along with the programming and 3-D graphics skills. Climb out of the water and dodge robots as you travel through his work experience history.

Finally, take a hot air balloon up through all his accomplishments and awards and end in the clouds, where you can fill out a contact form to message him directly.

Takeaway: This works because it is engaging. Consider some uniques ways you can make your resume and application more interactive. Also, just as Robby does at the end of his video game adventure, incorporate a call to action. Encourage prospective employers to message you directly at the end of your cover letter.

Boxed and Branded

Emma Hopkins decided she didn’t want to send the same old CV and emails to companies she wanted to work for. Instead, she thought outside the box…and branded her own box.

Her self promotional mailers were stylish boxed packages, each branded with her name and job title. Inside each one, she added fun badges and provided a bound catalogue featuring her skills and work experience.

Takeaway: Create a personal brand online to stand out amongst the crowd. Start writing and building a reputation once you know your expertise, then develop your social media presence and start networking online and in person. As part of your personal brand, you need a website to demonstrate your skills. Nowadays, with services like Squarespace and WordPress, creating a personal website has never been easier.

How are you standing out amongst the crowd of job seekers?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.