March 22, 2021

Helping You Choose The Right Career!

Non-Traditional Resumes that Stand Out | Career Thoughts

4 min read

Syncing Your Resume with the Digital Age

It can be really difficult to stand out from the crowd when applying for a job. If you’re applying directly (without the help of an agency), standing out from everyone else in that huge pile of resumes is not an easy task. Even if you’re using a recruitment agency, it really helps if you provide them with as many examples of your creativity and skills as you can.

This is why there is an increasingly strong case for applicants to use a more creative resume in order to get noticed.

Below I’ve run through a couple of the most popular takes, with examples, on the traditional resume.


Video is probably the most well-known of the options I’m going to run through in this article, but it can also be one of the most effective. Videos are great if perhaps you don’t have the qualifications or experience to really dazzle employers with a piece of paper. They give you the opportunity to use your personality and creativity to stand out. In a way, using video gets you straight to interview stage – albeit a one sided one.

The video below was the brainchild of Matthew Epstein. It earned him over a million views on YouTube, and got him his dream job (as well as interviews with Google, Microsoft and Amazon).

[Video has been removed from YouTube, so unfortunate]

This next video is a little less glamorous than Matthew’s, but it showcases an alternative approach so it’s still well worth a watch.

[Video has been removed from YouTube, so unfortunate]

After watching those two videos, you might be thinking, “I can’t do this, I don’t have the confidence or skills to create something like that.” But do not despair; if video isn’t the option for you then there are plenty of other options…

Social Media

Facebook has over 1 billion users. Twitter has 500 million users. LinkedIn has 200 million users. Even Google+ has 340 million users. So clearly if you’re hoping to get noticed, social media is a good place to get started. But how?

Obviously, you can use LinkedIn to speak to recruiters and people who work for your dream company. But you could also set up Facebook pages to garner enough support for your cause to make your target companies pay attention. Or, you can interact with them on Twitter.

Equally, you can combine social media with the other resumes ideas in this article to directly send your video resume to potential employment companies. In fact, there is scope to try to use social media to give your alternative resume some traction to make sure your dream company takes notice.

Think of it like this: social media is a busy train station. No one can hear anyone, except those who they are with or those who are nearby. The only time we ever take notice of anyone we don’t know is if they stand out for some reason. Whether that’s because of how they look, or what they’re doing differently than everyone else. The same principle works in social media – you have to do something different to stand out from the crowd. Otherwise, no one will take any notice.

Traditional with a Twist

Instead of spending a lot of time creating a video or trying to stand out on social media, you could go down the traditional route — just with a twist. In place of a piece of paper listing past jobs and qualifications, think outside the box to ensure that an employer remembers your application.

The flow chart below was created by Craig Baute, and it got him an interview with Apple. No employer would forget that resume in a hurry!

Let’s not forget the brilliant comic strip resume, either. The one below was designed by Joshua Drummond, and is an excellent example of using the skills you want to showcase to get an employer’s attention. Show you can do the job — don’t just say that you can.


So there you have it, some innovative ways to jump to the front of every employers queue by being creative and original.

There is one word of warning though. Well two actually; first, make sure whatever you do is done well. A poorly made video or social media campaign is going to do more harm than good.

Second, bear in mind where you’re applying to, because I’d be surprised if a law firm would be interested in hiring someone who applied via a flow chart. Whereas if you’re looking for jobs in PR, marketing or social media you have far more chances of being successful!

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