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Creative Job Application: Tips And Ideas

Creative Job Application

Be unique. With a creative job application, you not only stand out from the crowd of other apps but this can immensely increase your chances of finding a dream job.

HR personnel only take a few minutes to select candidates. Some surveys even say that applicants have less than a minute to convince with the documents. 08/15 job applications hardly stand a chance. Neither phrases like "I hereby apply as ..."

The first impression counts. How the creative job application can help you, which forms and alternatives you have, and which simple tricks you can use to pimp your job application - we show you here ...

What is a creative job application?

The creative job application is a form of job application in which applicants consciously break with conventions. It differs from a typical job application, for example, in a personal language, an original design, striking colors, unique formats, packaging, or digital additions.

The creative job application aims to attract attention. It wants to surprise positively, set impulses, stay in the memory. On top of that, it should give a taste of the creativity and ingenuity of the applicant.

Each job application should be individually and originally written. However, the creative job application goes beyond this - but without neglecting the content. The substance must also be right and fit for the creative job application.

Checklist: the most important things in brief

  • With the creative job application, you can stand out positively from the mass of standard job applications. This job application is everything - just not according to scheme F.

  • The creative job application impresses with its original language, unique design, surprising content, and formats.

  • The design of the job application should match the target company and the desired job. Despite creativity, the layout must look professional and appropriate.

  • Despite many freedoms, the content also counts for creative job applications. It must meet the requirements of the position, and the information must be clear and be captured quickly.

For whom is the creative job application worthwhile?

To say it right at the beginning: The creative job application is not an end in itself. Noticing is a necessary but not a sufficient requirement. It is not about realizing yourself in the job application or showing what you can't think of.

It is precise because the creative job application is so extraordinary that it has to match the target industry and the job.

Accordingly, it is particularly suitable for professions and industries where creativity, sales talent, and persuasiveness are required, such as advertising agencies, graphic design, online marketing, public relations, media, event management, sales, gastronomy, and architecture. Anyone who can convince with their versatile talents in the job application will collect valuable plus points.

This makes the job application a kind of first work sample. This shows that you have given a lot of thought and effort in advance - be it with the original cover letter, the modern resume, or a special surprise effect.

It is noticeable, takes off, and makes you curious. And that's precisely what it's all about: The creative job application should catapult you past the first selection hurdle and directly into the interview. You want to get to know you personally.

However, not all HR decision-makers are equally happy about a creative job application. Especially in conservative industries and professional fields (banks, insurance companies, law, medicine, public service), you should rather resort to a conventional or classic job application. Too much creativity in the documents is an indication of a lack of seriousness and suitability.

So choose exactly when you use the creative job application and when you better stick with the classic form. The tone of the job advertisement usually provides a good orientation for this. If the profession's essence is to exude seriousness and commitment, you should document these characteristics in the documentation.

In addition: "Classic job application" does not automatically mean "boring job application". You can also prove an authentic personality, striking enthusiasm for the job, and uniqueness.


The creative job application can also be a successful form of speculative job application. With the ingenuity and effort shown, you not only secure increased attention but score with maximum individuality.

Ideas and tips for the original job application

To maximize your chances of success with an job application that is as professional as it is creative, we will show you numerous tips and tricks below, with which you can take HR staff out of the recruiting routine and set accents.

Individual design

When it comes to layout and design, you have the most options to break out of the standard job application corset and get creative. The following tips and tricks are intended to serve as suggestions and inspiration. The general rule is: don't be afraid to do something! Success is mostly with the brave ...

Surprise with colors

Job applications do not only have to be in black, white, and gray. It looks elegant, but it can also get boring quickly. If you play discreetly with colors, you can hit the mark.

For example, by discreetly placing the logo colors of the target company and thus subtly signaling identification. You can also adopt smaller corporate design elements. Such similarities arouse sympathy. But never become "colorful." One or a maximum of two spot colors are allowed. But nothing more.

Play with formats

You won't go wrong with the classic A4 portrait format - but that's not surprising or striking either.

For example, it is simple and original to create the documents in landscape or square format. A small change in format - and you are different from 99 percent of the other candidates. But be careful: With this idea, the annexes to the job application, such as awards and certificates, must also be adapted. The unusual format is, therefore, more suitable for short job applications.

Use modern icons

This trend is also becoming increasingly common in job applications, especially in the curriculum vitae: work with graphic elements such as lines, bullet points, or modern icons. Instead of writing about your hobby in the resume, you can represent it with appropriate symbols, for example.

You can also supplement the tabular CV with a kind of "mini short profile" and thus increase its clarity. For example, create a list of your strengths and social skills and a scale (1-5 or 1-10) of how pronounced they are:

Use modern icons in your resume

Creative cover letter

The cover letter is decisive for the first impression of the job application because it is always on top of the job application folder. To influence the quick pre-selection in your favor, you can score with creativity here:

Start with a bang

The opening sentence in the cover letter should be a blast. If you fall into the house with the door, you get straight to the point. Don't write: "I hereby apply ..." - HR personnel has read this too often.

You can be brave. Surveys have shown that more self-confidence is well received in the job application process. For example, like this:

Dear sir __________,

It is exactly 20 minutes by bike from my front door to the company headquarters. That means: While the other employees are still stuck in traffic, I could be the first colleague in the office in the morning

Rely on Cliffhanger

Another trick for the creative job application: Install so-called cliff hangers. These are sentences that astound the personnel manager and encourage them to continue reading or make them curious about further content. An example:

"If you would like to learn more about how I was able to reduce the costs by 15 percent, take a look at the detailed project report in the appendix."

Formulations such as "I would be happy to tell you personally which development I am planning for the first 6 months in your company" are suitable for the final sentence of the letter. They also lead to an invitation to an interview.

Score with weaknesses

Pretty much every job application is praise to yourself. Self-presentation and self-marketing are the core topics of the job application. Admit you can't do something? Absolutely! You can also score with honest weaknesses. Not only is this particularly authentic, but it also makes the rest more credible.

You do not disqualify yourself with weak points (after all, everybody has them) but show a realistic self-image and, above all, willingness to learn. For example, write:

"So far, unfortunately, I still lack experience in dealing with _______. However, I am convinced that I will quickly acquire these skills in your company and practice and thus create real added value for you."

The only exception: the weaknesses should not be characteristics that are essential for the position. A manager who claims to be "shy" disqualifies himself, as does the salesperson who cannot "present".

Creative Resume

Clarity is the top priority when it comes to your CV. It's about facts, not gimmicks. In between, however, there is still creative scope - in terms of formulations, design and elements:

Choose a horizontal timeline

Most resumes are vertical and "anti chronological", with the most current position first. This is what countless templates and sample examples look like.

It is not wrong. When it comes to creative job applications, you can also do it differently: horizontally and chronologically.

Those who are graphically talented can, for example, present their resumes in the form of an infographic with a horizontal timeline. For such visualizations, there are now some free graphics programs on the Internet. The services of Resume .up and Prezume transform your Resume into a horizontal timeline.

Surprise you with technical terms

Traditionally, the curriculum vitae is divided into the sections "Personal data", "Professional career", "Training", "Special knowledge," and "Interests and hobbies". However, there is no reason not to rename these sections creatively and thus to make them unique.

A cook could, for example, divide his Resume into the sections "ingredients", "starter", the main course "," dessert, "and" greetings from the kitchen ". Of course, the HR specialist must then immediately be clear about which stations are involved. But ultimately, you are relatively free to formulate the headings.

Add references

Paper is patient, and a lot can be said. Confirmation by a well-known third party works wonders. So why not give so-called references or letters of recommendation in the curriculum vitae or the attachments?

These can be included in the resume in the form of short Quotes. The detailed version can then be found as a reference letter in the appendix. Such advocates can be former superiors, customers, and renowned specialists. These just shouldn't exaggerate. Superlative and flat praising is not creative but somewhat clumsy.

Examples and forms of creative job application

Job application video

The job application video is no longer an innovation, but it remains the exception among the numerous job application documents. The significant advantage: if it is done well, you will be remembered.

Ultimately, the job application video is a cover letter in moving images and sound. Hardly anything is more annoying than a clip where you just stand and list one skill after the other. Make your job application video more entertaining and take advantage of the opportunities it offers. Don't just talk about your skills, but show them in the picture.

Let something of your personality and your passion show: What is your added value? Why do you want to work for this company?

At the same time, the skills and characteristics shown should match the desired job. The job application video is, therefore, suitable for creative areas and jobs with customer contact since it can show your charisma and open dealings.

There is also a definite recommendation for jobs where you are actually in front of the camera, in which case the clip is already a first work sample. For the same reason, the job application video is useful if you stand behind the camera and produce or edit content for social media. You can show what you can do and what skills an employer can expect from you in the job application video.

For example, a candidate integrated a so-called QR code in his CV instead of an job application photo. Anyone who scanned it with their smartphone came directly to the job application video of the applicant.

Job application homepage

Your job application homepage can be an ideal addition to your job application. You can not only store a more detailed CV but also shine with work samples (in the download area) or display your competence profile (animated).

However, the job application homepage does not replace the classic job application elements such as cover letter and CV. Instead, you put a link to your website there and thus draw attention to it.

However, it can also be a form of so-called passive job application. Means: By optimizing the content of your homepage for search engines ("SEO") and selecting the keywords according to your target industry and desired jobs, you provoke to be found by the respective HR decision-makers.

So you apply "indirectly," but you have to make advance payment and be patient.

It can still be worth it: one candidate, for example, wanted to get a job at the holiday rental agency AirBnB. To do this, she designed her website entirely in the Airbnb style. For this, she was celebrated online, millions of people saw your job application, and she was invited to an interview. The job didn't work out in the end. She now had dozens of alternative offers from other companies.

Guerrilla job application

Guerrilla job application is an extreme form of creative job application. It deliberately breaks with conventions and crosses borders.

Rumor has it that one entertainer, for example, always added a jar of honey and a brush to his job application. So that not he, but the personnel manager can smear honey around his mouth. Other candidates rented large advertising posters in the city center or at bus stops with an original  job application.

Whoever dares, however, does not always win. The risks of a guerrilla strategy are not small. If the shape does not match the personality, the branch or the method goes beyond the target, it quickly becomes embarrassing. Whoever chooses this creative form must pay more attention to the substance and the content. You have to remain persuasive. Otherwise, it is just a mess.

The best-known online guerrilla job applications include:

Play with vanity

One candidate wanted a job at the top 5 advertising agencies in New York. So he placed advertisements on Google on the names of the top 5 creative directors of the agencies. If they googled themselves, they would read first: "Googling yourself is a lot of fun - hiring me is even more fun". Effect: With a budget of only $ 50, He received four job interview invitations and two job offers.

Google song

Another candidate was determined to go to Google - one of the most sought-after employers in the United States. After a few unsuccessful attempts, he finally made a shrill music video with an adhesive mustache and boxer shorts. Google didn't hear him either. The clip went viral, and he was able to choose from many attractive job offers.

Lego strategy

To get an internship, one marketing student created your job application in Lego design: yourself as a figure; she also presented her strengths and talents with Lego features. This creative job application also went viral, and she was invited to numerous job interviews.

job application mind map

Pictures say more than 1000 words. And because HR personnel have little time and still want to recognize all vital information at a glance, you can accommodate this wish and, at the same time, demonstrate your creativity, for example, with a cover letter in the form of a clear mind map.

It shows everything a company needs to know about you - only summarized graphically and - as is typical for mind maps - weighted by branches. The following example show what such a mind map can look like in a creative job application:

Job application mind map

Job application flyer


The job application flyer is mainly used as a handout at job fairs to provide information about yourself to companies creatively. A concept that can also be applied to creative job applications.


Either replace the entire job application documents with such a flyer. Or you can include this as an additional handy information sheet. In this case, however, it should also add value and not simply repeat the same information.

Job application flyer sample

Funny job application


Not every HR manager has a sense of humor. Especially not when it comes to a serious occupation. However, wit, charm, charisma, and professionalism are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


A few years ago, a particularly funny job application appeared on the Internet, the authenticity of which was never clarified without a doubt. But the positive reactions to it already: 80 percent of the personnel managers we interviewed said immediately: "I would invite this young woman to an interview and get to know her."


So here is perhaps the funniest job application letter for an apprenticeship:


"Dear Sir or Madam,


If I were you, I would be annoyed if I had to read countless job applications every day, all of which start with "I hereby apply ...". Anyway, I wonder who can still afford to make a serious job application in today's situation on the training market, because 50 job applications and 50 rejections are not the answer. My mom always says: "Child, go get and bring coal ...!" Well, you have to understand them. After all, mom only wants the best for me.


The fact is, I'm looking for an apprenticeship as a tourism clerk, and I want to see you. I haven't wanted anything else for two years. I am still attending the 10th grade of the Sarasas Ektra School in Bangkok, which - God willing, and that is what he wants - I will graduate this year from the college entrance qualification.


I also have an IQ, but not in mathematics. But who wants to know how high the Cheops pyramid is to the millimeter (it is VERY high!)? On the other hand, I can use Excel to quickly calculate how many bags of rice fall over in China each year and use PowerPoint to create a fully animated presentation of the life of the common blowfly in the 13th century. And if necessary I can also sell a bridge to an Englishman. With a beautiful view of the Chaopraya.


If you have come here to read and have still not decided to invite me for an interview, you will be welcome to print out my job application and make a paper plane. Seriously, nowadays almost everyone who is looking for an apprenticeship writes an job application with the thought that he will be rejected anyway, at least I will be a paper plane.


On request, I will send you one of these tedious standard job applications (... I learned everything) and, of course, with a photo. Until I can start working for you in August, I have also done a lot of work. Finally, I also want to shine a little.


See you soon (hopefully). Now it's up to you. Oh god, what should I wear?


Best regards


Creative job application failed


Your particular job application should always keep something like a common thread and a recognizable concept with all creativity. Anyone who overshoots the target looks amateurish and unstructured rather than creative. You should, therefore, avoid the following mistakes and small bugs:




The form follows function! The design principle applies to every form of job application, including particularly creative ones. Clarity and structure must not suffer. The reader should continue to be able to grasp the content quickly and easily. If the HR manager has to search for a long time, the confusion only costs sympathy points.


❌ Job application photo


Play with the shape, but never with the motif. Whether portrait or landscape, large or small, color or black and white - you can experiment with it. But you ALWAYS remain serious and professional (dressed). Selfies, filters, snapshots - all taboo!


❌ File size


If you send your creative job application by e-mail or upload it in a form for the online job application, the attachment must not exceed 5 MB. Otherwise, the company's firewall is usually already blocking you.


❌ Exaggeration


A modern layout, an original design, eye-catching design - the dose makes the poison. If you overdo it, and the job application looks like a unicorn's rainbow glitter had toppled over it, you will notice. Your favorite colors are just as irrelevant in creative job applications as design preferences or nerdy ideas. The worm must taste good to the fish, not the angler.


We wish you every success with your job application!