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Creative Resumes: Are They Worth the Risk?

A scary movie poster. A Facebook profile page. A scannable QR code. A Google results page. A metro map. What do these formats have in common? Well, at one point, they were all the templates for resumes.

We live in an age where we’re constantly trying to distinguish ourselves; at a time when being your own individual outweighs your ability to follow the crowd. And while that’s definitely more fun, it can also pose some interesting challenges — like getting noticed when you’re applying for a job.

Business Insider revealed 13 of the most creative resume examples they’ve ever seen. They not only took ingenuity; they took talent. And what better place to reveal your penchant for thinking outside of the box than on your resume?

At the same time, constructing a creative resume comes with a lot of risk, and each of these wacky resume craftsmen and women can attest to that. For example, Joe Kelso likened his resume to a classic, slasher movie poster. He told Business Insider that initially, his resume guaranteed him an interview. However, when the economy began worsening, Kelso received very little interest in his out-there resume.

Sabrina Saccoccio formatted her resume like a Facebook profile page, including “Comments” from former employers and references about her work experience. While her resume was dubbed “brilliant,” it didn’t guarantee her a job when most companies were experiencing hiring freezes, according to Business Insider. But it sure got plenty of “Likes.”

Sarah Odgers took a big risk when she sent her creative resumes to a government agency, reports Business Insider. The hiring recruiter actually laughed at her for presenting an “over-the-top” resume. But guess what? She got the job in the end.

While there are risks, there are also big payoffs. Business Insider points out that Melissa Washin got the first job she interviewed for out of college in large part because of her hand sewn, fabric resume, and Eric Gandhi got a highly coveted interview at Google when an employee at Google found his resume that resembled a search results page.

So how do you know where to draw the line between creative resumes and a more traditional route? That’s easy — it all depends on the job you’re aiming to get. If there is an outlet for you to be creative with your desired job, then get creative with the resume. Even if you’re an engineer or an architect, you can stand out from the masses with a creative resume.

If you’re looking for a more traditional position, like finance or civil service, stick to a more classic resume. In those particular industries, the resume isn’t the most appropriate place to make yourself stand out. Save that for the interview.

But in both cases, never let your resume overshadow your actual experience. Make sure that the most important thing your resume says about you is that you’re a qualified, experienced and dependable worker. In reality, it goes much farther than the wackiest resume.

Have you tried a creative resume? Weigh in below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Sean MacEntee

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.