The bar is somewhat higher for applicants looking for gigs at creative and design agencies. In order to stand out among a throng of other creative job seekers, applicants need a little something extra — a resume that stands out for its creativity while remaining appropriate to the agency. Crafting the perfect calling card requires skill and smarts, but also panache and a dash of wit. Here, Carrot, Partners + Napier, Fjord and 22squared shared some of the most creative resumes that they’ve received in recent months.
‘dear. carrot. people.’
When Texas-based freelance writer Greg Peterson conducted his research for agencies in New York City, Carrot emerged at the top of the list of agencies where he wanted work. So Peterson spent five sleepless nights turning his cover letter into an Instagram collage and named it “dear. carrot. people.” There, he explained his personality, his goals and how he identifies himself with the Carrot team.
He also included a link to his website where visitors can see his portfolio and read up on his experience. “Carrot is my white whale so I want to make it as easy as possible for them to find me,” said Peterson. “This is the first time that I customized my resume. I was actually inspired by Carrot’s Instagram campaign for cartoon Rick and Morty.”
The resume landed him a job interview.“Looking at thousands of resumes can get a little mundane, so this kind of thing is a treat for us,” said Adam Katzenback, president for Carrot. “In this particular case, he modeled the idea off one of our campaigns for Rick and Morty, the Rickstaverse. That certainly will earn him a bonus point.”
A mini basketball court
An applicant walked into Partners + Napier’s office for an in-person interview, with her resume, cover letter and something a little less orthodox: A mini-basketball court featuring the agency’s logos, colors and the Rochester skyline. (Partners + Napier declined to disclose the applicant’s name as she is still in the process of interviewing for the job.)
A basketball fan, Sharon Napier, CEO for Partners + Napier, loved this idea. “The quality of her craft, the actual basketball hoop looked like something straight from a manufacturer. And she personalized it for me! She knew I loved basketball,” said Napier. “In a day and age where everything is a tweet, an email or a text, this tangible, physical application grabbed my attention very quickly.”
Soon after the interview, the candidate also sent a dozen homemade cookies, individually wrapped with a sticker on each depicting what she appreciated about the company’s culture: Its beer Friday, Brick Awards (an internal creative award where winners are given bonuses) and creative spirit.
A Lego miniature
Emily Kuret, interaction designer for Fjord Toronto Studio, landed her current job four months ago with a Lego girl attached to a customized flash drive where she put her design portfolio and resume.
Kuret explained that the miniature of herself was pieced together from several Lego kits. “My hunt began with finding a Lego person whose face most closely resembled mine,” she said. Since she often wears all black, she had to find another Lego person with a black top and bottom. And her dark blond hair was a whole other task.
“Much to my surprise, Lego does not make many blonde girls, so I had to search through several toy stores to find a kit with matching hair color!” she said.
Kuret even put a tiny business card inside the figure’s briefcase because she wanted to impress her now boss by something that would stand out amid the stack of print-outs on his desk.
A Snapchat geofilter
Courtney Arnold started her career off as a receptionist at 22squared back in 2013 before leaving to be the social media coordinator for United Soccer League. To make an impression, she created a Snapchat geofilter prior to her interview with the 22squared team in Atlanta.
The geofilter contained a cartoon avatar, her first name, the position she was looking for and the line “Let’s be friends again” to show that she wants to go back to the 22squared family. It seems to have done the trick: Arnold joined the team this week.
While Arnold is not the first job hunter who managed to land an agency job through Snapchat geofilter, John Stapleton, chief creative officer for 22squared, liked what he saw.
“I love to see candidates playing in the spaces where we’re working to push the envelope for our clients,” he said. “It shows me that they can think outside the box and that they’re willing to go above and beyond.”
When 25-year-old Lukas Yla moved from Lithuania to San Francisco a few weeks ago, he knew he needed to come up with an innovative way to stand out and land his dream job. So Yla decided to print a t-shirt out, adopted the guise of a Postmates delivery guy and go door-to-door at agencies delivering them his resume in a doughnut box.
“I decided to use this approach to grab attention and stand out from the competition by giving them a sense of my professional and personal capabilities,” he said. “Marketing is no longer only about messages and channels, but also the overall experience.”
Delivering doughnuts may look like a stunt, but Yla put some careful thought into it, performing A/B tests on companies of different sizes, different target audiences and with variations on the copy. Yla packaged the doughnut box with his resume and some witty text: “Most resumes end up in trash – mine in your belly.” He also included a link to his LinkedIn profile, so recruiters could get back to him easily.
Yla has delivered over 40 boxes to both tech companies and agencies so far, including Mekanism, Teak, Heat, Eleven, Salt Branding, Muhtayzik Hoffer, Grey, AKQA, Venables Bell and Partners and Duncan/Cannon. While he has yet to land an offer, he says he is interviewing with a few agencies.
This post originally appeared in Digiday. Read it here.