Thinking Outside the Box pt. 2: Really Outside

October 20, 2011 by Careerminds

Jennifer Fry
Careerminds Consultant


Earlier this week, we shared some thoughts on creative resume ideas that don’t venture too terribly far from the norm, but what if you’re one of those job seekers who is really looking to stand out? When you’re looking for work in certain industries– those that value creative skills and innovative thinking, particularly– it’s ok to go a little crazy when networking or constructing a resume.

Looking for a job in digital media or web development, for instance, could really benefit from showing off their tech skills. Looking for work in video production? Take advantage of your production skills. Graphic design? Well, you get the picture. Employers will be thrilled to find an applicant so enthusiastic and creative.

Here are five specific ideas you might be tempted to try, or that might spark your own creative ideas:

  1. Interactive Resume Website: “Hire me” websites and e-portfolios are one thing, but did you ever think about giving an employer something to do while they’re scrolling through your skills and experience? Provide different tabs for different resume components. Feature a “random” button to reveal new pieces of information every time it’s clicked. Just remember to provide your resume in full somewhere on the website– clicking around can be fun, but if an employer has to click through each skill and past job one at a time to get to everything, he/she might grow impatient.

  2. Unconventional Paper Resume: Use creative layouts and designs to catch employers’ eyes. In a stack of white papers, think of how easy it will be to spot the resume that looks like an old movie poster or a page of vintage phonebook advertisements. Or how about one that’s not printed on paper at all, but stitched into a piece of fabric? Maybe the thematic design isn’t for you, but you can still show off your skills in an interesting way through infographics, for instance. Use your imagination, just make sure all the appropriate information is accessible.

  3. Video Resume: Sending in a DVD or providing a link to YouTube is not only a good way to set your resume apart from the rest, it also allows an employer to see you– really see you– before you ever set foot into an interview. A video resume will present a face, a voice, a personality to go along with your skills and experience. Just make sure your aren’t simply reading your resume out loud to a camera– be personable and get creative while still sharing relevant information.

  4. Twitter Campaign: Twitter isn’t just helpful for making connections– you can make those connections work for you. Make yourself more visible by starting a “hire me” campaign and getting your followers to spread the word. Something as simple as creating a #HireJohn hashtag can get you noticed and show off your ability to use social media strategically, a skill in which many employers are beginning to see the value.

  5. Facebook Resume: We recently shared a blog post about a couple of new features available or forthcoming on Facebook and how they can be used creatively but effectively by job seekers. While the platform is intended for social networking, you can think of your Facebook profile as digital resume that also allows you to network. The new timeline feature (which is not yet available) could provide the opportunity to display past work experience as well as more personal life achievements in one visually interesting, digital format. Add to that the ability to personalize photos, interests (which could reflect skills as much as interests) and everything else Facebook has to offer, and you could find yourself with a unique resume that’s already online for your entire network to see.

While these tactics may not be appropriate for everyone in career transition or on the job search, but, after considering the industry, company and position you’re striving toward, don’t be afraid to get a little creative.

Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.



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