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26th Jun 2019

6 Creative Ideas (With Examples) to Make Your Job Applications Pop

In the competitive job market, it's more important than ever to stand out. We've listed 6 creative job applications you could draw ideas from to help yours!

The job hunt can be a tiring process. Sending off application after application and sometimes hearing no news at all can bring anyone's spirits down.

As a jobs website, we believe it‘s our duty to help our users increase their chances of landing a job in as many ways possible. And sometimes, you can do that by thinking outside the box with a creative job application.

This is especially true for the industries we operate in - esports and gaming - where there’s extra room to be creative with how you approach applying for jobs. However, breaking the mold with how you apply for careers can be beneficial in many different industries.

That’s why we’ve taken a look at some of the most creative, epic and inspiring stories we’ve seen for how people have applied for jobs. We’ve grouped this with some of the other creative job application types we’re aware of too, to try and arm you with as many solutions to the problem as possible.

So if you’re struggling to find that perfect job, perhaps there’ll be something in this list to help give you that spark to shape your next job application into a successful one!

1. Cakes and cover letters

This example comes straight out of the industry we work in, and it caught the attention of the CEO of one of the biggest organizations in the space.

Ben Spoont, CEO of Misfits and the Florida Mayhem, came back to his office after a meeting and was told that someone had dropped by completely unannounced to hand in their cover letter and resume for a vacancy with the organization.

This may not sound unique on its own, but here’s the cherry on top:

Alongside these application documents was a custom cake.

Decorated with the company logo and adorned with the words “Hire Me!” in their distinctive colors, the cake was a wonderful, unique touch to augment what was already a high quality application.

A thought like this one displays personality, effort and a desire to be different, which can be key in some of the more creative jobs, including the many found the esports industry.

2. Who needs a resume when you can make…

... a website!

Whilst it’s traditional to apply to jobs with a resume and a cover letter - and while you should always submit those documents along with anything else you send to a potential employer - there’ve been a few stories over the years of people building entire websites to support a single job application.

Think about it: if you’re a developer or designer that can conceptualize and create a website in a matter of hours, then why not spend the small fee of purchasing a domain to stand out from the crowd?

One such case that went viral came from Jessica Bain, who applied for a Black History & Culture job with Spotify. She posted a tweet using some lighthearted and fun images along with a link to a website she’d made for her application to this job, and willed the power of Twitter to work its magic to bring her to the attention of Spotify.

And it did!

Reaching close to 10,000 likes, Jessica’s post blew up, bringing a whole lot of eyes onto the website she’d linked: https://www.bainboozled.com.

Not only did Jessica utilize a personal website to drive home her application, but she also included plenty of little touches to really make it unique for Spotify.

From a playlist featuring her favorite black artists to a story of how she had shared a playlist on Spotify each week since 2017, her passion for the brand and for music as a whole shone through, and made her solid cover letter and resume impossible to ignore. We haven’t seen many more innovative job applications or resumes than that!

Oh, and the result?


3. Video Applications

As more and more media moves into video form, it’s becoming the medium we’re all used to consuming information through.

Whether it’s a short news blast or quick social media skit, nearly everything can be conveyed over video these days.

And if you believe the presence of video will keep growing, why not get ahead of the curve by submitting a video application to a job?

Granted, and as we mentioned earlier, you’ll want this to accompany the more traditional and formal written documents that nearly all jobs ask for, but having a file you can upload, or an unlisted YouTube video you can link to, when applying to jobs is an ace that's handy to have up your sleeve.

The sort of sectors that would be most suiting to attach a video application with are ones where content creation, boldness and personality lie at the heart of what you’d do.

All you creative directors, video editors, production staff and on-camera talent could all show your flare for being on camera with a well-produced piece on why the company you’re applying to should hire you.

Just be sure to gauge what a company’s culture is like before sending one, and re-read the job description to see precisely what else they require from an application to make sure one won’t be poorly received!

4. Passion Projects

Coming from two industries that is fueled by passion, we can certainly speak to the value that passion projects bring when applying to jobs.

When we say passion projects, we’re referring to things people create and maintain in their own time - often showcasing some of their marketable skills - and which are typically done for their own enjoyment.

Not only does this show commitment to a craft, but passion projects can also be a great place to use as a portfolio to show hiring managers.

One example of this comes from esports journalist Adam Fitch, whom we interviewed at a Call of Duty event in the UK in May 2019.

Before fully breaking into the industry as an editor for one of the leading business publications, Adam worked on his own blog he set up to share his thoughts on esports. Within the first year, he’d published 1,000 different pieces of content on his site.

This honed his skills and gave him the foundation he needed lock down a job with industry news website Esports Insider.

We aren’t saying that you need to publish 1,000 posts on your website to write in the industry, but hopefully this shows the impact that a personal passion project can have on employers when you really pour your heart and soul into it!

A passion project could be video content, graphics, apps, websites or something else entirely; there’s nearly always value in them, no matter the form they take.

5. Get yourself out there

This might be harder to define than our other suggestions for creative ways that you can apply for jobs, but it comes from an inspiring video that really shows its worth.

Complexity Gaming is one of the biggest and most well-known organizations in esports, and they published a video in 2018 detailing exactly how one of their employees got his job.

Intensely passionate about the esports industry, Jordan Deaton made it his mission to attend the ELEAGUE Major in Atlanta from a small village several hours away and, after navigating some last minute obstacles, made it there. And what did he take with him? Nothing less than a STACK of resumes.

As well as attending the tournament, he was also keen to distribute his resume to as many people as possible. He was interested in getting objective advice on how it was put together, and, of course, if the people he gave it to were aware of any job opportunities in the scene.

And it just so happened one of the people he got the resume to had the connections to make his dreams come true.

Veteran journalist Richard Lewis was at the event and, after Jordan had given him his resume, spread it throughout his network. Through Richard Lewis’ connections, it eventually reached the eyes of Jason Lake, CEO of Complexity.

One thing led to another, and after completing a Skype interview and some brief tasks, Jordan was offered a full trial with the company. Now, he’s a full time employee!

All that came from handing out resumes at a gaming event.

Getting yourself out there can truly be a powerful ally when paired with some good fortune!

6. Research on research

It’s a given that you should always research the company you’re applying to before sending them your resume, though it’s certainly true that there are levels to what extent you can take this.

When you apply to jobs, are you addressing the cover letter to the specific person that is hiring for the position? Are you aware of what they’re working on (or towards) as a company currently, or what they’ll be working on in the next few months?

Taking the time to find out and add details like this is a great way to make your cover letter the best it can be for an individual job application. It will show the length of detail you take your research to, and also gives you the chance to tell the company exactly how your skills will be useful to them in the next few months (notice the use of “will” rather than “could” there!)

If you’re applying to an agency, make sure you know what projects they’re working with currently and with which clients. Then, if applicable, you can look at what they’ve done for the client so far and tell them why you’d be perfect for similar work for a future project.

Likewise, if you’re applying to a team (especially in esports) then be aware of how their squads have been playing lately. Comment on relevant results, standings or trends and how your presence might help these issues, and you’ll be well on your way to a winning job application!

Hopefully this series of anecdotes and tips has served to help you in your job application thought process.

There’s truly an abundance of different ways you can express an interest in working with a company in a creative way.

It ultimately boils down to knowing your industry and the company you’re applying to. This will arm you with the knowledge you need to judge if doing something extra is the right way to go about an application. The results, as you've seen, can be truly massive.

Good luck out there!

Team Hitmarker