If you have ever written a resume you probably know that one of the most important things is to keep it professional. From how it looks to how it sounds, you want it to project professionalism. This means using the right paper, the right font, the right language. But what if bucking these standards with a “resume” that breaks all the rules is the key to landing your dream job? Can it ever work?
Breaking away from the standard paper resume in an attempt to impress potential employers with your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking has worked for many job seekers. However, the potential to crash and burn with this approach far outweighs the success stories.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the job seeker that commissioned a billboard to advertise his qualifications or the resume sent in a shoe, you know so they could get their foot in the door. Below are some examples of creative approaches that were appreciated and some that most definitely were not.
Resumes so crazy they actually worked:
- Applicant to a radio station baked a cake with her resume on it.
- Job seeker hoping to get a job at Google started a social media blitz; although he didn’t get hired by Google he did land a job based on his efforts.
- The job seeker that took out Google ads with the names of advertising executives he hoped to work for scored the job he wanted. How? When that executive Googled his own name, the Google ad with the applicant’s info popped up.
Tactics that didn’t work:
- Applicant stood outside the desired company wearing a sign that said “Hire Me”.
- Job seeker sent a cryptic message telling the hiring manager he was going to “blow him away”. Instead of landing the job he landed a visit from the police.
- Candidate sent a box to a hiring manager that when opened a heart shaped helium balloon floated out. The message in the box read – If you’re looking for a candidate that will rise above the rest you’ll love me. Needless to say, they didn’t love him.
One downside to the creative resume approach is that once it’s out there it will be copied by others and will lose the distinction of being unique, therefore bringing the effectiveness of such an attempt to a screeching halt. If you’re the first job seeker that hires a hot air balloon to drop your resume from the sky great (unless of course you’re cited for littering!); but if you are the copycat that does the same stunt you can pretty much expect that you will not have the success you were hoping for.
If you are considering an extreme resume stunt you must carefully evaluate the position and company that you want to apply to. Not all companies will appreciate anything but the standard resume. Additionally, if you don’t have the qualifications you can package up your resume in any number of ways but ultimately if it can’t ‘walk the walk’ it won’t matter what delivery method you use.
by Megan Koehler