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When Are Creative Job Applications Too Creative?

You may have heard by now about Leah the Lego figurine. Leah is the perfect Account Service Intern, complete with a blue suit and sensible shoes. She made her debut applying for positions at advertising agencies. It's an attention-getting idea; and the first step in getting a job is getting noticed. But will it work?

leah lego

(Photo Credit: Pastlightspeed/imgur)

Redditor Pastlightspeed says she wanted to stand out to employers, so she made a Lego set of herself. Jezebel was taken with her creativity and ingenuity, and reported that Leah the Lego figurine has had at least one telephone interview, so it may be working.

Slate, on the other hand, thinks this may be sign of difficult times. The fact that someone went so far as to make a Lego version of herself in the hopes of finding a job may be a sign that having the best qualifications is still not enough; the job market is too tough. It is depressing to think that so many qualified applicants continue to go unhired.

Leah the Lego figurine's application does include that she knows the value of a fresh pot of coffee, which is not necessarily a job skill. However, as Slate points out there are worse examples of desperate job seekers selling themselves short; for example, one recent cover letter they mention says that the candidate has "no qualms about fetching coffee, shining shoes or picking up laundry, and will work for next to nothing." Work for next to nothing? Ouch.

The Middle Ground

So, what's a job seeker to do? Think outside of the box and show up at the company's door as a singing telegram with a "hire me" pitch? Or maybe send the hiring manager a cake and pop out of it? The alternative seems to be crafting a traditional resume that gets filed in the wastebasket because it didn't stand out.

Forbes has some advice for the rest of us. If you want to stand out from the crowd without going out on a limb, craft a skill-set specific resume for each and every position you apply for. It may be time consuming, but it beats tap dancing for the hiring manager, or agreeing to pick up his dry cleaning on your own time.

As eye-catching as they are, avoid fancy fonts and curlicues all over the resume. Focus on the information, and get the most important information at the top. Forget the objective section because many employers skip over that part, anyway. Instead, get the vital information that makes you the best job applicant near the top, so they will read it before they set it down and go on to the next resume in a pile of one thousand.

And, for the record, I hope Leah the Lego figurine lands her dream job.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think it is a good idea to be extremely creative with a job application, or is a more serious approach more appropriate? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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