It's nearly impossible to guarantee your resume gets the attention it deserves.
In fact, more than 40 percent of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds looking at a resume, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,100 HR professionals.
So in an effort to stand out, some job applicants have taken resume-writing to a whole new level. Here are six of the most creative resumes we've seen.
One job applicant researched her prospective boss, Sharon Napier, the CEO of Partners + Napier, and discovered that the executive liked basketball. To catch Napier's eye, the candidate attached her resume to a mini-basketball game.
A company representative told CNBC that Napier loved receiving the game. It must have helped get her foot in the door: They declined to share the applicant's name, since she is still interviewing for the position.
Jessica Nitti-Mahoney, a hair stylist in Denver, Colorado, created a bottle of hand lotion as a cover letter and marketing tool to attract potential customers.
At first, the bold move didn't pay off — salons that Jessica would interview at didn't always have the reaction she was looking for.
"Some salon owners gave me the stink eye," Nitti-Mahoney said. "I think they felt threatened by my personal branding."
"I just thought it was awesome," she said.
But now her boss at Salon Orea in Denver loves it. Nitti-Mahoney said that she hopes posting a photo of the bottle on Instagram will help attract more clients to the salon.
Emily Kuret, interaction designer for Fjord Toronto Studio, left a lasting impression with her now-boss Scott Weisbrod when she gave him a Lego figurine of herself. Kuret created the Lego piece and attached it to a flash drive, which contained her portfolio and resume.
"My mentor had suggested that I leave something behind after my interview, something that they will remember me by," Kuret told CNBC. "So I set out to find a USB that fit my personality."
"I didn't really worry about standing out too much," she said. "I was hoping that Scott would find it useful to have all of my files in one place, and wanted it to be a bit more exciting than just writing my name on the USB. A plain USB could easily get lost on his desk."
Weisbrod, group director of the company's Toronto Studio, still has the Lego figurine on his desk, he told CNBC.
"It left a lasting impression," Weisbrod said. "Because she was very qualified first and foremost, it was like: Wow, it's amazing she went the extra mile."
A freelance copywriter in New York named Greg Peterson made an Instagram collage explaining why he wanted to work at marketing agency Carrot.
The collage is complete with drawings and quips, and is tailored to the company. One section, for example, reads: "I want to join the Carrot team. ... I am confident I will bring my own flavor to the agency which will be entirely new and appreciated, like raclette cheese."
Screenshot of Greg Peterson's Instagram collage.
Lukas Yla, a marketing professional from Lithuania, recently moved to San Francisco and wanted to stand out in the crowded market, according to The Next Web.
So Yla pretended to be a Postmates deliveryman, hand-delivering boxes of donuts directly to the hiring manager of each company he was pursuing.
Inside the box of donuts was a clever cover letter, his resume and a link to his LinkedIn profile.
Unlike the other resumes listed, this one was made to create a public statement. In a commentary on success and the hard work it takes to achieve it, one Princeton University professor posted his CV of failures for the world to see. It includes degree programs he did not get into, awards he didn't win, and academic journals that rejected him.
"Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible," Princeton assistant professor of psychology and public affairs Johannes Haushofer wrote on the CV.
People "are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days," he wrote.
Haushofer credited the idea to an article by Melanie Stefan, who is a lecturer at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.
"This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective," the professor added.
Screenshot of Johannes Haushofer's CV of failures.
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