3 creative ways to land a job

istock creative cv diagram

Applying for a job online may seem easy, but actually landing the role is getting harder. Employers can receive hundreds of applications from a single ad – many completely irrelevant to the job.

Recruiters are getting savvy, using tools to filter applications and quickly disregarding CVs that don't immediately stand out as being relevant. It's important to have a strong CV tailored to the role you're applying for, so that you highlight your specific skills and experience relevant to the job. But if you really want to get noticed, there are a few other techniques you could try.

1. Create a CV with a twist

In the competitive creative and technology industries, a CV or portfolio that demonstrates your skills in an innovative way can be all you need to stand out and land your dream job. Here are some great examples.

The game

A web developer in New York used his design and programming skills to create a virtual CV. Navigating through Robby Leonardi’s CV is like playing an online game – you control a cartoon character who runs, jumps or flies around information about Leonardi’s skills and experience. This is a fun, interactive way to show what you can do. 

Twitter hustle

A pair of freelance creatives used Twitter in a clever way to get a job at a respected advertising agency. Bas Van de Poel and Daan van Dam knew that creatives use Twitter to keep up with what’s happening in the advertising world – and they worked out how to use this to their advantage. They created five Twitter accounts, gave each account a different letter as its profile picture, and linked them all to their portfolio. They then used the five accounts to follow creative directors from some prestigious advertising agencies. When the creative directors viewed their own timelines, the recent followers’ profile pictures spelled out ‘hire us’ – and one of them did!

Talking CV

French creative Victor Petit decided to do something that would make him stand out in the competitive communications industry. To get attention and land an interview he brought his CV to life using a QR code. His printed CV looked normal on one side, while on the reverse was a full page image of Petit's face with a QR code over his mouth. When scanned, the QR code linked to a YouTube video featuring a close-up of Petit's mouth as he spoke – transforming his paper CV into a talking one.

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2. Work it on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful way to connect with potential employers. If you know how to make the most of this professional networking platform, the employment opportunities are endless.

Below are a few tips on how to make LinkedIn work for you.

Create a powerful profile

Your profile is a valuable tool – it demonstrates who you are and what you can offer potential employers. To make the most of the opportunities LinkedIn can provide, your profile must:

  • be up to date and relevant
  • include a photo
  • list at least one past position
  • list your education history and achievements
  • include examples of your work, if appropriate, such as photos, videos or presentations.

Grow your network

It’s essential to have a strong network made up of people you know and trust. The larger your LinkedIn network, the more opportunities you’ll be exposed to. You can also use your network to get recommendations and ask for introductions. And if you’re looking for a new job, use your LinkedIn profile status update to let those in your network know.

Find out who’s hiring

LinkedIn company pages let you follow companies and receive their updates, including job opportunities. You can build direct relationships with recruiters and hiring managers by connecting with them or sending them private messages via InMail.  

Get recommendations and endorsements

Recommendations from people you’ve worked with will highlight your skills as well as show potential employers that you’re a valued employee. Endorsements are a great way to demonstrate that you’re good at what you do.

3. Power up with word of mouth

Word of mouth is powerful when it comes to recruitment, and referrals are still one of the main ways that employers recruit people.

Build strong relationships

Build relationships with people based on common interests, shared values and mutual respect.

Share your successes

You should share your successes with your communities – particularly on LinkedIn. They show how your contributions can add value and benefit others.

Get testimonials

When you’ve done great work, ask for testimonials – these can be your most powerful word-of-mouth tool.

Thinking outside the box when it comes to applying for a job can be highly effective. However, make sure the approach you take is appropriate – sending an extremely creative CV to apply for a job at a law firm probably won’t make a positive impact. The most important thing to remember is to tailor your CV to each job you apply for, and to keep it relevant and professional. 

Get in touch

Chat to us about the best approach to applying for jobs – phone us free, even from a mobile, or chat online for career information and guidance. 

Find out more 


  • Faraz, D, ‘Top tips for getting a job through LinkedIn’, accessed July 2016, (www.nz.hudson.com).
  • Maine, S, ’25 brilliantly creative resumés’, June 2016, (www.creativebloq.com).
  • Shane, D, ‘How to use word of mouth effectively in your job search’, May 2013, (www.careerealism.com).