We’ve featured some pretty cool resumes on Business Insider, plus last month we showed you how some job seekers are getting crafty on Pinterest.
But do these cool resumes really work? And are they only for artsy professionals like graphic designers and photographers?
Click here to see the resumes >
We caught up with the owners of some of the resumes we showed you to see if they’ve had any success with their unusual designs and hear their thoughts on when getting creative is appropriate.
Although most of the creators are graphic designers, they believe everyone can and should make their resumes more visually appealing, even if you aren’t a designer.
“I painstakingly design even my traditional resume,” says Joe Kelso, whose out-of-the-box resume got him several job offers. “You can make even a plain old resume stand out. Also, it makes it easier to read and you can present your information in a way that draws attention to specific parts.”
Everyone we spoke to said they’ve received mostly positive reactions to their resumes.
“The few times I’ve gotten a less-than-stellar reception to my resume, it was always at a company that had a very old-industry culture, where they believed resumes should simply be a list of bullets and paragraphs,” says Eric Gandhi, creator of the Google resume. “Many employers, however, are more open-minded than they used to be about the application process.”
But even if you feel it’s more appropriate to keep it traditional, Gandhi says you can still include the more “flashy” resume just to show employers what you can do and help yourself stand out.
“Keep in mind how many black-and-white, paragraph-intensive resumes employers sift through a day and how that can really help you stand out in their mind,” he said.
Hagan Blount, whose resume got so much attention that he now designs them for other people, including a CTO and a ghost writer who have no design experience at all, says his clients are always impressed with the reactions they get — and the doors that open because of it.
“It’s not necessarily going to get them a job, but it might get them a foot in the door,” he says.
Since we featured his QR code resume, Victor Petit has graduated from university in France, where he was studying advertising.
He says the resume got him 'numerous offers of internships across France, not to mention job offers from large scale agencies in Quebec, the United States and the Middle East.' But more importantly, it gave him exposure to industry professionals.
Now, he's looking for a job as an art director.
Petit still uses his resume occasionally and says it's gotten only positive reactions.
'The only limitation being if the recruiting party does not have a smartphone in his possession, which, albeit in my area of expertise is rare (also given that France has a high level of use of smartphones),' he told us.
Petit says the concept for his resume has also inspired a number of international ad campaigns, including one for a Lady Gaga concert and another for Trident gum.
When we first featured this resume, we reported that it got Gandhi an interview with Google, but when we caught up with him he admitted that he never got the job.
'It ended up being more of a marketing position rather than design, so it wasn't a great fit for me,' Gandhi told us.
He said that the Google resume worked well because he was applying for jobs as a designer. In fact, he still included a more traditional resume when he sent off the Google CV to potential employers.
Today he works as a designer at The Weather Channel. 'I actually received a call from their senior talent acquisition consultant within 30 minutes of applying for a designer job on their website and I was called in for an interview that same week, which led to a job offer a few days later.
'I knew that a resume like this would be appreciated by other people in that industry. It's all about context, though. I wouldn't necessarily apply for, say, a position in finance with a resume like that.'
This 1950s horror movie-esque resume got Joe Kelso a ton of interviews at different companies, and in some cases the employer even told him it was just because of the design.
'They wanted to meet the kind of person who would do a resume like that,' Kelso told us.
Since he was targeting jobs in the movie production and motion graphics fields, the idea worked, but he believes that even more 'traditional' resumes, like the one he uses now, should be designed creatively.
Today Kelso works at Monsanto, and said his job search strategy has always been a little different than most people's.
'I only sent my resume out to very specific employers,' Kelso told us. 'I was never a fan of the 'shotgun' approach to job hunting where you send out a resume everywhere you can. I would only send it to places where I would want to work. I know people can't be as choosy nowadays, but I always feel that you're better off working at a place that you want to work at.'
Feng, unlike most of the other people we spoke to, said he hasn't used this resume much. He made it four years ago for an interview at a graphic design boutique and only sent it to one employer who got in touch with him after seeing his portfolio.
Feng is currently working on a bachelor's degree at Lasalle College of the Arts and doing freelance design work. As a graphic designer, Feng views the resume as just another part of his body of work. But now, he says the resume no longer reflects his style.
Melissa Washin created her fabric resume several years ago when she was in her final year at SUNY New Paltz as a graphic design major.
'All design students were tasked with preparing things we'd need in the business world, things like creating mission statements and designing resumes,' Washin told us. 'Being designers, creativity is literally part of our job description, and of course our resumes should reflect that.'
She brought her resume to different interviews in New York and got the first job she interviewed for - at Givaudan, a fragrance manufacturer that's worked with celebrities like Marc Jacobs and Beyonce.
'They liked my approach to design and thought it would bring value and a memorable quality to the presentation materials they give to clients.'
She left after two years to start her own web design company, where she still incorporates textiles into her work. As a business owner, she doesn't need to use her resume more, and said she mostly only gets contacted about her resume by people who want to know how she made it.
Neilson's really cool resume uses special effects to show an octopus swimming when it's pulled out of the envelope.
'Like most graduates I wanted to create something that would stand out against the crowd. But the advantage of being a graphic designer is that you can literally show off your design skills and creative thinking before anyone has even read the CV,' Neilson told us.
He said he only sent the resume to employers he 'wanted to genuinely work for,' and tried to avoid sending it to large companies where an HR professional or someone who wasn't design-oriented would look at it and miss the point.
Neilson said his resume helped him to land a couple freelance jobs, as well as his current position at Luckies of London, a giftware company where he works on the graphics for their packaging. At the very least, it's been a great conversation piece.
'I took it to interviews and I would always have it with me just to show it off and talk about the process of actually making the envelopes and animation sleeve.'
He made this video to show how the effect on his resume worked.
Miguel Rato says he created his genius milk carton resume specifically to get a job at a Wieden + Kennedy, an advertising agency in London.
'Getting an interview there is not an easy job as they receive hundreds every day, so I felt I had to make something different.'
Now in his last year at the University of Creative Arts in London, he's waiting to hear back from the company. But he also dreams of moving to the United States to get an interview at Google, Apple or Digital Kitchen.
His resume has opened up a few doors for him, in the form of several job offers and freelance positions, but he says he hasn't been able to accept any full-time positions because of school and a major exhibition his working on for the summer.
'If a resume is boring people won't look at it,' he told us. 'My question was always 'If I don't put effort on making my resume why would the person that is hiring put any effort on reading it?''
Rato also told us that his resume still has a traditional element -- it's actually presented in a brown paper bag along with a cookie and a bulleted resume that further details his experiences and education.
Craig Baute told us his flowchart resume was actually part of a Facebook ad campaign that he targeted toward specific employers and featured the line: 'Should you hire Craig? Use this helpful flowchart to find out.'
'I didn't have to apply for every single job out there. I could just do an ad and pay when people were interested in me,' he said.
The resume got Apple's notice as well as interest from Colorado University who flew him out to Boulder for an interview. He didn't get either job but says the experience changed his life.
He eventually took a job with a co-working spaces company in Toronto, but left a year ago to go back to Colorado because he was so impressed by the area after seeing Boulder and the Rockies. He started his own co-working spaces company in Denver last June and is also branching out into freelance market research.
When he was looking for jobs in 2010, he had just finished grad school. 'As an MBA graduate I was kind of employing to not specifically creative industries and I needed something that bridged the two worlds, which showed that I was creative but gave them something that they could relate to.'
It worked and got him 10 interviews in two weeks.
Liz Hickok made headlines for stringing up her job request in lights last Christmas and she said it's gotten her a few bites.
'In addition to many messages via LinkedIn complimenting me on my creativity and offering to assist, I've had four interviews as a direct result of the lights, with three of them being with CEOs of small companies,' Hickok told us.
She said she's currently in the interviewing process with several companies and is hoping one of those will turn into an offer soon.
But if nothing, it's been a really interesting experience: 'I've really enjoyed meeting people and learning about lots of great companies.'
'The Slideshare Resume did not get me a job externally, but did open up a few new opportunities at the company I was already working at. It got noticed by a few colleagues and an old manager, and one thing led to another. I went from being an HR guy to a community manager, and now I'm a web designer, still at EMC Corporation.'
Ferdinandi thought the Slideshare resume was fitting because he was in the social media field, but says he still thinks a traditional resume is necessary. Video resumes like his are best as a supplement, rather than a replacement, he said.
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