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Jobs & Careers

12 brilliantly creative CV examples

We've all spent hours trying to make our CVs sparkle to grab the attention of recruiters. But have you thought about creating a unique and highly creative job application?

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 writing a great CV than Times New Roman and sensible headings.

With a bit of thought, you can create something that will stand out and help you progress quickly through the application process. Here are some of the best creative CV ideas we've come across.

Chocolate bar CV, anyone?

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

Best creative CV examples

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

  1. Google CV

    Google CV

    Credit: Eric Gandhi

    Possibly our favourite thing about this alternative 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 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

    billboard CV with words save me from emigration

    Credit: Féilim Mac An Iomaire

    While it isn't technically a CV, this billboard by Féilim Mac An Iomaire is 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 the 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 creating your own website, our tips can help you do it in just 20 minutes.

  4. Musical guitar CV

    man playing guitar with CV written on it

    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.

    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 his 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 three months with this 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.

    Already written your CV and want some feedback? You can get it reviewed for free by CV-Library.
  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 a 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 this creative CV in action.

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

  8. eBay CV

    ebay cv josh butler

    Credit: Josh Butler

    You're a great candidate. So, 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, but he also got bid on three times. Innovation pays off.

  9. Fabric CV

    fabric CV with embroidery

    Credit: Melissa Washin

    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.

    It lets you scroll along the screen to view his skills, a bit like Super Mario Bros, but for the world of employment.

    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 got creative with their opportunities and are now some of the UK’s most famous people.

Jem Collins

WRITTEN BY Jem Collins

Jem Collins, founder of Journo Resources, is an experienced journalist who has written for the i, Metro and more. For Save the Student, she's shared tips on topics related to careers, health, saving money and more.
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