I get sent resumes every week and since the financial turmoil kicked in a few months ago, the number of resumes coming in has increased noticeably. This week, I received one that I will not soon forget and thought it was worth sharing here (with permission!).
Creative vs Standard Resumes.
There’s always a great debate in resume-writing-land about how unique and creative to be with your C.V. You want to stand out from the crowd, but you don’t want to come across as a showboat, an egomaniac, or a weirdo. Some will say anything you can do to get noticed is good, from using coloured paper to having it couriered directly to the hiring decision maker (so they have to sign for it, will open it themselves instead of H.R., etc).
Others will say that you need to be professional, stick to standard formatting, and make yourself stand out with a customized version of your resume tailored to the particular position you’re applying for. I’ve seen both work and have hired people with each type of resume.
As a rule of thumb, though, plain resumes are generally tougher to distinguish from other plain resumes. And when you get a brilliant, creative resume like the one I’m going to show you, you won’t forget the person today, tomorrow, or next year when you’ve got the right position for them.
Success and Failure with Creative Resumes
About 10 years ago, I had a lot of success by using this site’s URL to host what was at the time very new – an online video demo reel. I got so sick of dubbing and sending tapes that I put the reel online (in a VERY small quicktime window) and instead just gave everyone the link. Some didn’t like it, but the ones who did were the ones I wanted to work for anyway. And it helped let potential employers know that I was interested in digital media and was trying out new ideas.
And before I show you the amazing example of a creative resume, I should say that creative resumes can backfire pretty hard, too. I once had someone applying to be an on-air host send me a giant plastic tube of candy… nice, except that there was a GIANT, NUDE PHOTO of himself taped to the outside of the tube. Creative yes. Instant no for the job? You bet.
The Most Creative Resume I’ve Seen In Years
So here’s the gold! Sabrina Saccocio is a TV, radio print and web producer who has put together the perfect eye-grabbing resume for a young, creative type looking for unique and interesting work. Check this out and tell me you’re not impressed…
(I know these JPEGS are small, so you can download the PDF to see all the amazing details.)
How brilliant is this? She’s taken a format EVERYONE is familiar with – the Facebook profile page – and totally subverted it into a resume. And the format is perfect for telling a potential employer:
- -Sabrina’s work experience
- -Her cultural world
- -Her education
- -A set of references
- -Strong testimonials from some recognizable names (Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall!)
- -AND this is basically a sample piece of content to evaluate, too
Look at all the ‘intangible’ qualities of Sabrina’s that are revealed, too:
- -She’s creative
- -She’s got a sense of great sense of humour (check out the event listing: ‘plans to apply for a new position’)
- -She can grab people’s attention
- -She can create memorable content
- -She’s active in social media and obviously understands it
Personalized For Me
And it’s customized, too: the reason Sabrina sent it to me was an inquiry about employment at Radio 3. If you check out her favourite music, radio, and digital TV sections, it’s full of Radio 3-type bands and even includes our video podcast R3TV. I hope it’s true that she loves the Radio 3 stuff this much, but even if it’s not, just having it on the resume goes WAY farther than 99% of other job applicants to show that she’s familiar with our programming and our music universe.
She has even included a ‘viral’ section for web content she’s created. (I’m predicting that this resume may soon have to be added to the ‘viral’ list… it certainly got me excited enough to blog about it!).
If there’s anyone out there in the media who ISN’T under a hiring freeze right now, check out Sabrina. I know she’s at the top of my list of candidates… once the hiring freeze is over
What’s are the best and worst resumes you’ve ever seen?
Have you ever taken a big risk on your own resume?
Any other resume do’s and don’t's?