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The Top 10 Non-Traditional Resumes That Have Gone Viral


Take inspiration from these brilliant examples of self promotion.

Job hunting is hard; these days, it can be pretty discouraging when you realize that your resume could be sitting in a pile with hundreds of others. No matter how good your qualifications are, grabbing an employer's attention with your resume or CV could mean the difference between landing your dream job, and not even being considered for an interview. The following is a list of people who went above and beyond average attempts of self-marketing.
10. Bennett Olson: Billboard Ad

After losing his job at a Minnesota casino last April, Bennett Olson soon realized that he would need to think big if he wanted to be noticed. In order to stand out to prospective employers, he spent $300 on an 8-second clip for 24 hours on a rotating electronic billboard. The ad featured the words "HIRE ME," with his picture and the address of his personal website. While some might not have approved of this investment, Olson's stunt paid off. By the time his local radio station KARE 11 picked up the story, he had already been offered a job as a sales and marketing associate at Laser Design & GKS Services, in Bloomington, Minnesota.
9. Kelly Kinney: T-Shirt Resume

In 2008, Kelly Kinney had just relocated to Valencia, California, when the Ohio company she worked for remotely decided to downsize. Kinney searched for a new job for over a year, but quickly became frustrated by her inability to get an interview, while her family was forced to break into their savings. At the height of her desperation, Kinney decided to have her resume printed on the front of her shirt, headlined with the words "I need a job" in bold print. While wearing the shirt, Kinney spent times at cafés and coffee shops with hopes of attracting the attention of employers. Despite being interviewed by multiple news sources, there has been no word on whether her idea worked. However, a site that prints customizable T-shirt resumes (pictured here) has popped up recently, in case you want to try it for yourself.
8. Chris Ferdinandi: Slideshow Resume

In 2009, Chris Ferdinandi realized that the best way to show that he was a great candidate for a social media marketing position was to use a social media venue to promote his resume. Using the site, he presented his resume as a slideshow for the public to see, share, and comment on, making sure that as many people would see it as possible. The idea must have worked because now Ferdinandi works as a Web designer and front-end developer at EMC (NYSE:EMC) in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
7. Melissa Washin: Resume Sewn in Fabric
It's actually not uncommon for graphic designers to dress up their resumes stylistically to grab employers' interest at first glance. But when Melissa Washin finished college in 2008, she decided to make her resume both appealing to the eye and to the fingertips. Using the medium she loved most, Washin sewed her resume onto fabric, demonstrating her affection for sewing and creating a more precious document, so employers would have a harder time throwing it away. According to Washin's blog, she got the first job she applied for, and is currently a senior designer at Prolific Interactive in Brooklyn, New York.
6. Victor Petit: Handout With a QR Code That Led to an Internet Video CV

Last year, French native Victor Petit realized that the best way to make himself seem appealing to a communications agency would be to use a medium that would allow him to express himself vocally. Using QR codes and the scanning ability of most smartphones, Petit was able to create a link to his video CV on the back of his resume, giving employers a good sense of his voice and his ability to use communications technology. His plan was successful: It landed him an internship at Native Communications in Lyons, France.
5. Graeme Anthony: Interactive Video Resume/CV
Graeme Anthony's online resume, made in 2010, predated Petit's electronic CV by two years, and had the added feature of being interactive. The London-based Anthony was a communications specialist who realized YouTube's (NASDAQ:GOOG) potential to help him convey his abilities to employers; he created six videos meant to show off his experience and talents. Graeme originally sent the video strictly to employers and had a job lined up before the video went public. But after its public release, the video went viral and was praised by business sites and commentators. In the end, he received so many job offers that he decided it made more sense to start a freelance business.
4. Benjamin Dooling: Coffee Bag CV
As an independent graphic designer, Benjamin Dooling prefers to let his work speak for itself. In 2011, the Boston-based artist created a coffee bag design as a clever self-promotion to get potential employers interested in his personality and the rest of his work. And he went all out: Dooling filled each bag with locally roasted beans and a card that read, "Let's talk over a cup of coffee." As if the bags alone weren't great promotion, the fact that they have been featured on plenty of graphic design websites has no doubt helped Dooling in his ability to land projects with companies ranging from Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) to Costco (NASDAQ:COST).
3. Eric Gandhi: Google Resume

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Similar to the graphic designers on this list, a few talented Web designers have used their resumes as a canvas to display their talents for employers. In 2010, Eric Gandhi attempted to get his dream job at Google by creating a resume in the format of their search engine results page. The stunt worked well enough to get him an interview, but sadly he didn't get the job. According to his most updated resume, he currently works at the Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia.
2. Phil Dubost: Amazon Resume

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Just last week, French Web product manager Phil Dubost made headlines after designing his resume like an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) product page on his website. Like Eric Gandhi's Google resume, Dubost's site is a complete replication of Amazon's webpage, but customized to include Dubost's personal information, work experience, and comments from previous employers. The site also has some interactivity: Clicking the "add to cart" buttons opens a window for employers to contact Dubost directly, while the button for seeing his complete professional experience sends you to his LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) page. With all of the press he's getting, he is bound to find a top job soon.
1. Sabrina Saccocio: Facebook Resume

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When most people apply for jobs, they hope and pray that employers won't check their Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) account. However, television, radio, and Web producer Sabrina Saccocio was actually planning for it. In 2007, Saccocio designed a resume in the exact format of a Facebook profile layout, utilizing a design that everyone was familiar with to draw attention to herself. The page not only displayed her work experience and qualifications, but also listed a plethora of references from famous celebrities and media professionals as wall posts. The resume got high praise from media professionals despite being released during an industry hiring freeze. According to her LinkedIn profile, Saccocio now works as a producer at Secret Location, an Emmy Award-winning digital advertising agency based in Toronto.

Now if you'll excuse me -- I need to get back to work making my article CV.
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