By Alexis Grant

If it's appropriate for your industry, an out-of-the-box resume could help you stand out

If you're applying for a job that requires creativity, innovative thinking, or problem-solving, one way to make yourself stand out is through a unique digital resume. Showcasing your resume online can not only help you emphasize your creativity, it can also demonstrate skills like design, programming, and more.

This approach worked for Christine Hall, a recent graduate of Duke University who was striking out when cold-calling advertising agencies on the hunt for her first after-college job. Using skills she'd gained while working in advertising for the school newspaper, she designed and built, an interactive site that introduces her resume and then allows employers to click on it to read more about her.

"I wanted something that was really different, that people would pass along and say, 'Hey, look at this,'" says Hall, 22.

That's exactly what happened. The site spread like wildfire on social media, getting more than 10,000 page views on the first day it went viral. More than a dozen companies contacted her about a job, and she's now in the midst of interviewing for positions. Her advice for job seekers looking to spark similar interest? "Be as creative as you can," she says, "while still understanding your target audience."

If you decide to go the creative route, remember content still counts. The story your resume tells about your experience and knowledge is important even if you present it in a unique way.

Here are five ways to make your resume stand out from the pack:

1. Create an infographic.

If you'll be working with data or visuals on the job, an infographic resume might be the way to go. These are naturally packed full of information, which means you'll have ample opportunity to strut your stuff. For inspiration, check out resumes by social media strategist Hagan Blount , journalism student Chris Spurlock , graphic designer Elliot Hasse , and visual journalist Heather Billings .

2. Produce a video.

A video resume allows the hiring manager to get a feel for your personality before meeting you in person. And since likeability and cultural fit are often high priorities when considering a candidate, introducing yourself via video can put you ahead of your competition. You'll need multimedia skills and a friendly, upbeat-yet-professional personality to make this work, so if cameras and editing tools aren't your strong point, it might be smarter to skip this option. Alternatively, consider a tool like Hello There that does some of the legwork for you.

3. Use a QR code.

For techies, QR codes -- or barcodes that direct you to a website when read by a smart phone -- present loads of opportunity. The code itself isn't difficult to generate. What's more time-consuming is figuring out where that code will take your potential employer; whatever's at the other end has to be impressive. Make sure the hiring manager will understand and appreciate this technology before using it as part of your pitch. Check out this resume spotted by Mashable that has both QR code and video elements.

4. Just go digital.

LinkedIn works for getting your experience and skills online, but what if you displayed your resume on your own website? Even without interactive bells and whistles, offering a good-looking resume at a URL rather than on a piece of paper shows you're ahead of the curve. Like with the rest of these options, you'll probably want an old-school paper version of your resume too, in case the human-relations department requests it. But if you're applying with a Web-savvy company, a digital resume might be all you need. Here's one great example by NYC-based art director Nick Hansen .

5. Pitch yourself with a PowerPoint.

If you're looking to work at a presentation-oriented company and can convince the hiring manager to click through more than one page, a PowerPoint might be the right choice for you. Pitching your skills isn't the only way to approach this; you could also offer ideas on how the company could become more effective and the role you'd play in that transformation. Watch how this job seeker pitches herself and her skills via a PowerPoint presentation.


Available at Great on the Job


Careers - 5 Creative Ways to Showcase Your Resume Online

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