7 creative ideas (with examples) to make your job applications pop
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, video games and esports, 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, 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 the words “Hire Me!”, the cake was a wonderful touch to compliment an already-high quality application.
A thought like this one displays personality and a desire to stand out, which can be key in some of the more creative job types, including many found in the gaming industry.
2. Who needs a resume when you can make…
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 light-hearted 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.
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!
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 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 an industry that is fuelled 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 thing to use as a portfolio to show hiring managers.
One example of this comes from journalist Adam Fitch. Before fully breaking into the esports 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. Building success
Building an eye-catching application isn't as easy as building LEGO, however for Accountant Service Intern Leah Bowman it definitely helped!
When a potential employer asked Leah for a persuasive and unique application, she used her graphic design skills and love of Lego to advertise herself for the position by building a LEGO version of herself, which included assembly instructions that highlight her skills, creativity, and other informative details.
Discussing her application on Imgur, Leah said, “I wanted a fun way to stand out to agencies and get my resume out of the trash can — I've always loved LEGO and I created this set to highlight my creativity, skills, and initiative! It's something I hope to be able to send out along with a job application.”
The application was a roaring success, seeing Leah land the role as an Intern and later a full-time job working in advertising in Chicago!
6. 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 is one of the biggest and best-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 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.
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!
Getting yourself out there can truly be a powerful ally when paired with some good fortune.
7. 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!)
We've spoken at length about how to create a cover letter that will get you hired on our partner Skillshare's website. You can start our course as well as kick off a free 1 month trial by using our link below.
→ Start our cover letter course
Hopefully this series of 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.
We're all wishing you the best of luck out there!