We all know finding work in the design industry is an extremely competitive process, even if you do have a killer design portfolio. With so many talented people around, just getting noticed is a job in itself.
Designers and illustrators around the world have long been coming up with unusual creative strategies to give their resumés an edge in the hunt for employment. If you're in need of inspiration for your own CV, here are some of the best creative resumés out there to help get the creative juices flowing. And if you're also thinking about sprucing up your portfolio, check out our post on inspiring design portfolios.
01. Kenny Barela
This one's an oldie but a goodie. Back in 2010, designer Kenny Barela put together this self-promotion package to attract potential clients when he moved to a new city. Containing a screenprinted T-shirt, infographic, and a cover letter showing off his sharp copywriting skills, this tube bundle demonstrates both his creative skills and his sense of humour.
All his hard work paid off big time. The hand-delivered or mailed package lead to Barela being hired as an art director at Motive, plus it was honoured as the Best of Show winner in the 2010 HOW Promotion Design Awards. We wonder if in the future he'll update this resumé to include its fantastic performance...
Keep this to yourself, right, but freelance graphic designer Vidar Olufsen Møller designed a creative resume that looks like a 'Top Secret' report. Just like Barela, Møller put this package together when he settled in a new city and had to start drumming up clients.
After a phone call with a design studio who said they would file him for later, Møller couldn't get the idea of old and dusty filing cabinets out of his head. This lead to the creation of his brown folder resume that looks like it should be exchanged in a car park by a pair of shifty looking spies wearing trench coats.
Inside you'll find a CV booklet, documents that look like they've been filled out with a typewriter, and even Møller's fingerprints. In a nice final touch, everything is held in place with paperclips.
03. Victor Rodriguez
Colombian art director and designer Victor Rodriguez, also known as Vimarovi, has an appreciation for lots of different aspects of graphic design, including corporate identity, packaging and product design. So what better way to showcase all these interests than with a resumé that brings together all these elements?
That's just what Rodriguez has done with the innovative VICK cereal box. Designed to look like an everyday cereal box, this CV humorously weaves his work history and creative skills into the design. Instead of ingredients, hungry clients will find information about his personality, strengths and previous employment, and if anyone needed any proof of Rodriguez's claims, the packaging speaks for itself.
04. Andy Morris
Art director, artist and designer Andy Morris caught the design industry's attention for all the right reasons with this fantastically creative resumé. Rather than sticking with the traditional paper design portfolio, Morris commissioned a LEGO minifigure in his own likeness, complete with a tiny laptop in one hand and a mini-CV in the other. To update prospective clients with the information they need, the packaging features a bitesized run-down of Morris' skills, plus contact details.
Graphic designer and illustrator Pierre-Marie Postel – also known as Paiheme – decided to use his CV to show off exactly what he's best at. His creative resumé displays his impressive illustration style, and mimics a Japanese print advert.
It's not style at the expense of substance, however – this CV includes plenty of key information, plus some quirky additions such as character designs to show off Postel's personality. The monochrome colour palette ensures it doesn't become overwhelming.
06. Brennan Gleason
Interaction designer Brennan Gleason was nearing the end of university and needed to get his name known by potential employers. To do so in style, he brewed up a batch of blonde ale, packaged it up in a neat cardboard carrier, and printed his CV on the back. The idea being that prospective employers could sit down for a quick drink and peruse Gleason's design skills at the same time.
07. Curriculum 3D
Inspired by this great-looking flat CV from Jimmy Raheriarisoa, Paris-based art director and motion designer Benjamin Benhaim set to work and made this stunning 3D rendered resumé. Created using Cinema 4D, Octane and After Effects, it covers all the bases and features plenty of playful touches, and each image took around seven minutes to render. Time well spent!
08. Robynne Redgrave
This portfolio mail package created by Robynne Redgrave, a Canadian graphic designer based in Helsinki, is a real attention-grabber. It contains not only her CV but a whole load of stuff including a hand-bound portfolio book, a letter of intent, application form and certificates.
09. Robby Leonardi
Robby Leonardi is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York City. Specialising in illustration, graphic design, animation, and front end development, he has worked with the likes of Fox, Speed TV, FX Networks, myNetworkTV and G4. His incredibly fun interactive design resumé will have you scrolling for hours.
10. Julia Miceli
Julia Miceli – a graphic designer based in Buenos Aires, Argentina – managed to hit all the right notes with her creative resume. It's simple compared to many of the other in this list, but still oozes personality. The bold orange colour is unusual and eye-catching, and there isn't an element that hasn't been carefully art directed.
Miceli has also considered practical aspects: the CV is a standard A4 size, but sits in a wallet that shows it off to its full potential, and there's a neat slot that holds a business card the viewer can pop out and keep.
11. Zhi Liang
Singapore-based student Chen Zhi Liang was set a task by his graphic design tutor to create an inventive resumé that would make him stand out from the crowd. The semester-end assignment was to create an infographic resumé and we think he's come up trumps with this design.
Showcasing the all-important qualifications and skills, the resumé is eye-catching without being overwhelming. Liang's minimal approach is perfect for an overcrowded job market. You can now also buy this template.
12. Ed Hamilton
When London-based copywriter Ed Hamilton was out of work, he decided to put his time to good use and develop a creative way to stand out to prospective employers.
Using Google Maps' My Maps feature, Hamilton mapped his resumé, using different coloured pins to create personalised placemarkers, each accompanied by explanatory text. The brilliant design includes pins for where Hamilton lives, his interests and his previous employment.