The dos and don'ts of creative job applications

Aug 20, 2014

From Google ads to YouTube songs, job hunters are thinking outside the box in a competitive market

job hunting

With over two million people out of work in the UK alone and an extremely competitive job market throughout the world, applicants have been forced to get creative in search of their dream job.

Research conducted by the recruitment company Career Builder suggests that one in five bosses admit taking less than 30 seconds to review an application, so catching their eye quickly is essential.

Yesterday marketing graduate Alfred Ajani tried his luck outside Waterloo station in London, and has since been offered several job interviews.

Here are some other creative ways in which job hunters have gone about their search:

  • The Google ad

Alec Brownstein's creative technique "relied on the vanity" of advertising executives, CBS reports. He took out ads on Google at a cost of 15 cents each, so that when the executives googled their names, Brownstein's CV would appear at the top of the featured ad list.

When Ian Reichenthal, creative director of a New York ad agency, saw the ads he immediately invited Brownstein for an interview and then hired him. "I thought it was great. It was so unusual and fun and just really simple," he said.

  • The billboard

An Irishman known as the "jobless paddy", spent the last of his life savings on a billboard with the headline "save me from emigration". Féilim Mac An Iomaire , a sales and marketing graduate, launched his campaign to find a job across social media after exhausting all other options.

As a result he reportedly had 20 job interviews and several job offers, and was eventually hired by the bookmaker's Paddy Power. "I have no doubt his energy, creativity and never-say-die attitude will be a massive plus to the brand," the company's Ken Robertson told the Guardian.

  • The YouTube song

Alec Biedrzycki decided to use his musical talents to appeal to marketing bosses in this catchy YouTube video. Not everyone was impressed, though, with one user begging someone to hire Alec so he would not have to make any more music. Alec is now employed but it is unclear whether or not the video had anything to do with it.

Meanwhile, other efforts have failed to impress prospective employers:

  • One man referred to himself as a genius and demanded to be interviewed in his own apartment
  • Another candidate claimed to be able to speak 'Antarctican' in a job application to go and work in Antarctica
  • When applying for a job at an accounting firm, one man described himself as "deetail-oriented" and spelt the company's name incorrectly 
  • One applicant included the word "LOL" in her CV 

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