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Early in 2009, I was just a few months away from graduating and at the time, I was working for an ad agency in Saint John, NB. Naturally, it made me feel good to have a job before I was even out of university. But thanks to the financial meltdown, I found myself unemployed and back in the job market with everybody else.
So, I decided to try something new for a change, and I set up some informational interviews. At the time, it did the trick and while it wasn’t a revolutionary approach in any way, I got hired at a media agency in Halifax, NS. From that point on, I’ve always approached job hunting rather creatively, and today I am sharing six creative resume ideas that are guaranteed to get you a call back, four of which I’ve personally tried and have gotten call backs.
Resume Dashboard + LinkedIn QR code
In 2011, I came across a job posting for a media planner’s position at MEC in Toronto, and I was so psyched! It was like the mother ship calling me home – if “home” was a media agency. But there I was in Halifax, and I was worried they wouldn’t consider my application for that reason. So, I decided to do something drastic – I created a resume dashboard!
I mocked up the visual and then got my graphic designer friend to put it together for me. And for good measure, I also showcased how active I was in social media to indicate I had an understanding of how to use these channels to promote my clients.
I also included a QR code using a free QR code generator, which would make it easy for the hiring manager to check out my LinkedIn profile for more information on my experience.
Along with an awesome cover letter, I sent it off to the HR manager at MEC and sure enough, I got a call back! I bombed the interview because I was a complete nervous wreck, but a few weeks later, I was offered the position at MEC. I credit that hiring entirely to my resume dashboard.
Total Cost: $0
Graphic Designer: $0 (This might cost you if you don’t have a designer stashed in your closet)
QR Code Generator: $0
This personal web hosting service, courtesy AOL, allows you to link your multiple online identities and social networking profiles all in one place. While this may not necessarily be an outright resume solution, if you are an active blogger or photographer, you can hook up your WordPress / Tumblr profile or your Flickr account and use it to showcase your portfolio.
And for all you who aren’t the creative types, it’s still a great idea to add your about.me link to your personal signature so that hiring managers can check out your social profiles easily. However, I’d strongly advice you to be cautious if you have your Facebook profile hooked up – you don’t want to share anything that could be used against you
My current example may not be the nicest looking profile, but there are a ton of awesome profiles on about.me that you can check out for inspiration.
Total Cost: $0
About.me profile: $0 (You can upgrade to access more features for $4 or $9 per month based on the plan you choose)
I’d recommend investing in a good head shot if you can, which might cost you a bit, but it would make your profile look a lot more slick – it’s on my shopping list for sure!
Infographic resumes are getting popular, but it still isn’t as common place as you’d think. So, you should probably capitalize on this creative resume idea while you still have a chance. If you’re not a graphic designer, the best DIY platform to create an infographic resume is Piktochart.
I like to think of my infographic resume as a sort of upgrade to my resume dashboard. And trust me, it has the same impact.
To make the most of the limited space available, I only put in the most relevant work experience, included volunteer work, highlighted the awards I had won, my technical skills and core competencies. It got across all the important information in an eye-catching visual, and sure enough, I got a call back. This was the resume I used to land my current job at Wagepoint
Before you get excited and go all Piktocharty on me, I should warn you that customizing your infographic can be a tad annoying, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. It’s also a nightmare to turn these bad boys into PDFs, but I found myself someone tech savvy enough to help me out.
Total Cost: $0
Piktochart subscription: $0 (You can upgrade to one of their monthly packages, which could cost you $14 or $29 per month depending on the package you pick)
Tech savvy assistant: $0 (You don’t want to see what I’ve got stashed away in my closet)
To be entirely honest with you, I never thought about using this presentation software to promote myself, because I just couldn’t envision it being useful. But that was only until I realized that Haiku Deck would be the best platform to tell a story.
And once I got my head wrapped around the story I was going to tell, I went on to create 12 visually stunning slides that told a potential recruiter about my background, personal beliefs, and finally, the things I loved about working.
Just as I expected, I got a call back and some really great feedback about my creative approach to job hunting. You can check out my story here: http://www.haikudeck.com/p/JGZynDzlUS/my-story
Total Cost: $0
Haiku Deck app: $0 (Free to download in an app store near you)
I haven’t personally tried these last two ideas, but I’d like to share them as examples of creative resume ideas that would definitely help with your job hunting!
Alec Brownstein didn’t bother with the traditional “send in your resume” approach when he was looking to get hired by the best creative minds. He employed some of his own creativity and invested $6 (Yup, you read it right – $6) in a Google Adwords campaign to target the five creative directors he admired the most.
No surprises, he got a call from all but one of them and at the end of the year, he was hired by Y&R New York. Did I mention he also got some pretty cool awards for his self-promotion efforts?
Total Cost: $6
Google Adwords Campaign: $6 (actual cost are subject to change based on who you are targeting)
The example I am about to share with you isn’t really specific to job-hunting, but an idea like this has a lot of potential.
Honza is a marketing student in Europe who was doing his Bachelor Thesis on startup marketing in the US. When he needed to get startups to participate in the survey, he put together this really cool landing page and he got hundreds of responses.
To do something fun like this, you can use an app like Unbounce to create landing pages in no time! Again, I haven’t really tested this idea myself, but if you are inspired to try this method, I’d love to hear your success story
Total Cost: $49 / month
Unbounce subscription: $49 / month (That’s the basic plan, and it includes all the analytics)
So there you go – six creative resume ideas to help you find a job and if this doesn’t inspire you to do something radical, this blog post might just do the trick with 22 more creative resume ideas you can check out! If you have a resume idea you want to share, I would love to hear it!