8 Most Creative Job Applications We’ve Ever Seen

8 Most Creative Job Applications We’ve Ever Seen

It pays to stand out.

Especially when the average number of applications per job stands at 118.

Out of these, businesses are expected to typically interview around 5-10 of these candidates.

That’s a lot of shortlisting and added pressure on both parties.

Sometimes, the key to finding the right candidate is all about finding someone with the “X factor”.

That’s where the job application plays an integral part.

Over the years, we’ve received an array of creative job applications. Some good, some bad and some just plain crazy.

Whether you’re here for entertainment or actively searching for inspiration, I’ve compiled some of my all-time favourites for you to enjoy.

The singing job application

In the past, I’ve been fortunate/unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a spontaneous sing-song in the middle of the interview.

However, one of the craziest creative job applications I’ve ever seen is when a candidate decided to ditch the CV for a marketing assistant role and send in a video of himself singing.

He not only wrote the song about his work experience, but he even serenaded the employer with a guitar in hand.

I know, I know.

However, despite the cheesy nature of the stunt, he landed the job.


The Lego applicant

If you’re a big kid like me, you’ll love this creative job application.

Leah Bowman was the brains behind the Lego application, sending in customised packets of Lego sets prompting hiring managers to “build the perfect account service intern.”

It worked too, as The Northwestern grad secured a role as an intern and then a full-time job working in advertising in Chicago.

Now to find the website for making personalised Lego people…

Buying a Google Ad

This next creative job application method used by Alec Brownstein is genius.

Using the powers of Google Ads, he targeted the names of several advertising executives – including a man called Ian Reichenthal.

When Reichenthal Googled his own name (don’t pretend you haven’t), he found Brownstein’s tailored advert.

As a result, he was offered an interview and eventually given a job.  

The free shoe

Lumpy mail is a proven marketing strategy to get noticed.

And it turns out it’s a pretty effective method for securing an interview too!

One applicant once sent over a shoe with his CV to get his ‘foot through the door’.

I don’t know about you, but I’d hire him on the spot.

It’s creative, funny and memorable.

Plus, it stands out from all of the others who chose to send their application online.

The postcard application

Sticking to the snail mail approach, we’ve been sent a CV via a postcard while the candidate was on holiday in Venice before.

While the cynical side of me thinks it could have been a desperate ploy to apply when they had no access to their laptop, the other positive side sees it as a cute gesture.

It’s effectively telling the employer that the candidate is thinking of them while on holiday in a romantic part of Europe.

Aww, molto bene!

The infographic CV

Infographic CVs have become increasingly popular over the past few years and I expect the trend to continue rising in 2020.

However, despite their popularity, they still make one of the best creative job applications.

If videos, shoes and postcards are too extra for you, encouraging candidates to present their life’s work in visual form is a smart move.

An infographic CV shows creativity, flair and a love for the user experience. Some candidates have chosen to bench the formalities of ‘education’, ‘hobbies’ etc. and cut straight to the statistics.

For example, one salesperson detailed their selling figures in their last three jobs to give the employers an insight into their abilities.

The power of the internet

While a CV is the standard way of applying for a job, Jessica Bain decided to take a different approach when she applied for a Black History & Culture Job with Spotify.

After making a CV website, she purchased a domain and published a series of tweets and fun images encouraging users to visit her site.

This crazy method went viral, reaching 10,000 likes.

To no surprise, her application caught the attention of Spotify and she got the job.  

The ‘accidental’ profile picture

The last example in our list of creative job applications is one that backfired – yet I bloody love it!

A young professional named Vanessa Hodja, worked hard on her application for the role of Administrative Assistant at York University.

However, she made the fatal error of attaching an insane picture of Hollywood actor, Nicholas Cage, instead of her CV.

While she didn’t get the job, I think we can all safely say that was the wrong decision.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s important to keep an open mind towards creative job applications.

Yes, you’ll receive a few that are bordering on bananas, but you’ll also receive some that leave a positive lasting impression.

Don’t be afraid to invite candidates to be creative with their job applications.

In fact, actively encourage it by making it your call to action.

At least it’ll make it easy to identify who’s made a genuine effort to impress and who hasn’t.

Good luck!

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James Ball
Written by James Ball

James is the founder and owner of AdBuilder and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes and advertising.

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