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Jobs & Careers

12 alternative CV examples to help you stand out

We've all spent hours trying to make our CVs 'sparkle' to grab the attention of recruiters. But have you ever thought about doing something completely off the wall?

examples of alternative cvs

Credit: (left),Robby Leonardi, (right) Brian Moose

While employers might expect online applications that consist of two A4 pages detailing your qualifications, experience and achievements, there's more to stand-out CVs than Times New Roman and sensible headings.

With a little bit of flair and pizazz, you can create something that'll really stand out and help you progress quickly through the application process. We've seen some pretty out-there examples, but here's our pick of the best and most creative CVs.

Chocolate bar CV, anyone? 🍫

If you're looking for extra help with your CV, our guide to great CVs includes advice on impressing recruiters, along with a handy CV template.

Best examples of creative CVs

These are some of the most unique, unconventional and effective CVs that have helped people get jobs:

  1. Google CV

    Google CV

    Credit: Eric Gandhi

    Possibly our favourite thing about this CV is that the idea is actually so simple and easy to create.

    When Eric Gandhi was applying for a job at Google, he formatted his CV to look like he's appeared in a Google search for a 'Creative, hard-working, talented designer'.

    Did it work? Yes. Eric was offered an interview just 30 minutes after submitting his application. But he actually ended up turning down his job offer at Google, and has since built an amazing career working for the likes of likes of eBay, Walt Disney Studios, BuzzFeed and the Weather Channel.

    I was looking for a way to stand out from all the other designers out there. Truthfully, I got fed up with following the stuffy, formal conventions that you are expected to follow in your job hunt or work life.

  2. 'Save me from emigration' billboard

    jobless paddy billboard CV

    Credit: Féilim Mac An Iomaire

    While it isn't technically a CV, this billboard by Féilim Mac An Iomaire is pretty damn cool and very inventive. Wondering how potential employers could get in touch? Féilim's email address was on the bottom of the billboard.

    The bold stunt proved a big success, resulting in 20 interviews and several job offers. Féilim eventually took a job at Paddy Power – and was saved from emigration as a result!

  3. 'Employ Adam' billboard campaign

    Adam Pacciti Billboard CV

    Credit: Adam Pacitti

    While we're on the subject of billboards, media production grad Adam Pacitti got everyone talking when his campaign seeking employment went viral.

    Adam spent his last £500 on a billboard, set up a video CV and a website, and suddenly appeared all over international newspapers and TV. Oh, and he received over 100 job offers.

    He eventually ended up working at media company KEO and spent his first paycheck on another billboard to say thank you.

    Of course I was hoping it would go viral, but I ended up receiving coverage from newspapers across the country and websites around the world.

    If you fancy setting up your own website, our tips can help you do it in just 20 minutes.

  4. Musical guitar CV

    guitar CV

    Credit: Scott McFadden

    Musician and graphic designer Scott McFadden decided to turn his beloved guitar into a very original resume. Not surprisingly, when he posted the photos online, he got quite a lot of attention over it.

    It might not be the most practical CV to take along to a job interview, but it certainly shows some serious style and creativity.

  5. CD CV

    Digital design student, Sean Ball, went all out with his quirky CV.

    Turning his resume into a coordinated design across business cards, CD-ROMs (those were the days) and accompanying booklets, he created the ultimate example of not just saying what your skills are, but showing them.

    Some people can just do it all..!

  6. Chocolate bar CV

    chocolate bar CV

    Credit: Nicholas Begley

    Who's to say a bit of sweet-talking doesn't do the trick when applying for a job? Nicholas Begley was offered two jobs in just three months with this nice example of creative self-marketing.

    His chocolate bar had all the right ingredients, including "100% daily value in leadership, creativity, and business acumen". Not to mention, "110% work ethic".

    Although he always sent the chocolate bar along with a more conventional CV, the sweet treat certainly helped him stand out from the crowd.

  7. QR code CV

    CV with QR code

    Credit: Victor Petit

    Taking his CV from paper format to digital, Victor Petit printed his resume with a photo on the back that had QR code placed over his mouth. When employers scanned the code, a video of his mouth popped up and completed the picture.

    You can see the CV in action here.

    I tried to create a CV that would enable me to express myself vocally as soon as they read the paper version.

    It's amazing what technology can achieve these days, eh?

  8. eBay CV

    ebay cv josh butler

    Credit: Josh Butler

    You're a great candidate, right? Rather than sending out heaps of conventional CVs, you could always let the world fight over you, as Josh Butler did.

    After applying for over 600 jobs when he finished his A levels, Josh took matters into his own hands – and the clever tactic landed him job interviews at companies such as John Lewis.

    Not only did his resume make him stand out from the hoards of other candidates, but he also got bid on three times. Innovation pays off.

  9. Fabric CV

    It's rare to see a CV that's so visually appealing, you want to stick it on your wall and frame it... or maybe even wear it. But we think we may have found a winner here.

    Melissa Washin printed her CV onto fabric and added some hand embroidery for extra personalisation.

    Thanks to the CV, she ended up getting the first job she applied for after college, and has since worked at companies like Etsy and ModCloth.

  10. Video game CV

    You read that correctly. Robby Leonardi genuinely created a CV that's also a game. Well, an interactive CV that looks and feels like a game, at least.

    You can scroll along the screen to view his skills – it's like Super Mario Bros but for the world of employment and we love it.

    The resume went on to win Robby many awards – and a career at Fox News in New York.

  11. Pixar package CV

    handmade CV for Pixar

    Credit: Brian Moose

    What's in the box?! Well, it's only an old-school style film canister, with a sketchbook full of brilliance that Brian Moose sent to Pixar in the hopes of getting a job with the company.

    Pixar better have hired this guy.

  12. Interactive video CV

    While a lot of people have tried to hop onto the video CV bandwagon, Graeme Anthony blew this out of the water.

    He created his own interactive YouTube video (or a CVIV), showing off his smart design and production skills. Very clever.

    It shows off my personality in a way a paper CV can't. It's got the wow factor.

    Graeme secured his job at Frank PR when they saw the video and were suitably impressed.

Have a look at these UK millionaires who certainly got creative with their opportunities and are now some of the UK’s biggest ballers.

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