It’s been a tough year for us all, but gradually businesses are beginning to reignite their recruitment efforts. So, if you’re in the market for a new job, now could be the perfect time to kickstart your job search and start applying for new and exciting roles.

With so much fierce competition out there at the moment, grabbing the attention of businesses and employers is an absolute must and trust us, your boring old CV just isn’t going to cut it. So why not take this opportunity to try some out of the box thinking?

A little creativity and innovation can go a long way when it comes to job applications, CVs and portfolios. Employers love to be wowed regardless of what industry they’re in and always appreciate someone who goes the extra mile to impress them. Here are some of our favourite examples of ways people have used out of the box ideas to get noticed by prospective employers to give you some much-needed inspiration.

Everyone loves some procrastination

We’re obsessed with Frontend developer, Peter Oravec’s online portfolio, based on a retro arcade game. Not only can you move a mini-Peter around a small town just like you would in a video game, but there are also checkpoints throughout that tell you more about his career and show examples of his work. This fun and interactive concept certainly shows that portfolios don’t need to be business-like and boring to be effective.

Peter Oravec - CV Game

Google always knows the best results

What better way to impress a prospective employer than by creating a CV that is targeted directly towards them. This is the exact route that designer, Eric Gandhi took when he applied for a job at Google. Instead of just creating a standard CV, he formatted his CV to look like he had appeared in a Google search for a ‘talented designer’.

Our favourite thing about this idea is that it’s super simple, yet extremely effective.

According to Eric, he was offered an interview at Google within 30 minutes of sending his application to them.

Google Resume

Showcase your skills

Using something people are familiar with and turning it on its head is another prime way of getting noticed. Brazilian web developer, Leandro Gabriel did just this when he created his own version of Windows OS to showcase his portfolio. With mini games and music to listen to too, there’s little chance of you getting bored whilst learning more about Leandro and his work.

Unique CVs

Help them visualise working with you

To help her prospective employer visualise her working in the office more clearly, a graphic designer from the UK sent a life-sized cut-out of herself sitting on an office chair to their office with her CV and cover letter attached. The roller banner was so well received by the team that they shared it on their social media channels and then went on to offer her an interview. We applaud her creativity and humour!

Innovative Job Applications

Showcase your skills

Creative frontend developer, designer and illustrator, Iuri de Paula’s portfolio not only uses bold fonts and endless scroll design but is also filled with cartoon characters and animations that change depending on which section you enter. Not only is this creative and edgy, but it also futher highlights his skillset and abilities. We bet he doesn’t have much trouble getting the attention of prospective clients.

Statement CVs

Make your CV into something physical

Andy Morris, a designer from Cardiff went viral a few years ago after he created his very own Lego minifigure CV in an attempt to stand out from his competition when applying for jobs. The minifigure looks just like Andy and is holding a laptop and a mini-CV and is displayed in custom packaging similar to exclusive LEGO figures that contains all of his contact information. We’re not surprised this humorous CV alternative got so much attention!

Lego CV - Andy Morris

Embrace current trends

After losing her job due to the coronavirus pandemic, recent graduate Ffion Clarke decided to transform her CV into short video which she then edited and uploaded onto TikTok. In the 45 second video, Ffion talked about all the reasons why hiring her makes sense and within two months, she was hired by podcast production company Crowd Network. What a great way to introduce yourself to a time-poor recruiter or business.

TikTok CV

Go the extra mile

Rather than just sending their CV’s to prospective employers via email, Dian Volschenk and Ben Wright took to the streets of Calgary, Canada to hand out free coffee, with their CVs printed on the sleeves, to passers-by. Not only did this help them to meet new industry professionals, but it also showed their willingness to go the extra mile to find work.

After just two weeks of doing this, both were approached with job opportunities from people they might not have met if they hadn’t given them their coffee cups.

Coffee Cup CV

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