Much of the time, your resume is the only way you have to introduce yourself to a potential employer, so it better be good. Scratch that – it better be excellent. Here are five truly excellent resumes to inspire you.

Nina Mufleh had one goal: a job with Airbnb. So, she took the business’s website as her inspiration and built her online resume/job pitch to match. While she didn’t end up with the company, she did get their attention (and landed another job that was an even better fit).


Your takeaway: You’ve probably heard it before – your resume should be updated for and tailored to every single job you apply for. Use keywords featured in the job description and on the organization’s website (after all, there’s a good chance the first “person” to see your resume will be screening software). Prove that you don’t just want a job, but this job.


I don’t know if Robby Leonardi’s video game-style resume got him a job (I imagine it must have), but it did get him a lot of attention – and a Webby award nomination.


Your takeaway: Leonardi’s resume is fun, it’s visually appealing, and it showcases exactly the talents and skills he’s looking to get hired for. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a video game designer – focus on your strengths, and don’t just describe your skills; find a way to show them off.


Jacob Frey and Markus Kranzler made their short film The Present as their graduating project while studying animation. The film has gone on to win over 50 awards worldwide, and its creators now work for Disney and Pixar.

Your takeaway: Sometimes your best “resume” is to let your work speak for itself (this is especially true for creators of all kinds). Get your work out into the world, and find it the attention it deserves. Check out Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work for inspiration.


For graphic designers, a resume absolutely must showcase their design skills and aesthetic. Sara Duncan’s resume is a perfect example: simple, clean, but with enough personality to make it shine.


Your takeaway: Your resume doesn’t need to be full of bells and whistles – a simple paper resume can have a huge impact, especially when it’s designed to convey your own style and essence. You definitely don’t need to be a designer to have a stylish resume. Check out services like Canva, which feature beautiful, easy to use resume templates. A note: don’t forget about the words! Beautiful visuals can go a long way, but make sure your writing is up to par, too.


Princeton prof Johannes Haushofer’s “CV of Failures” has been making the rounds lately, and it is truly inspiring. (My favourite is a line added after its initial release: “Meta-Failures 2016: This darn CV of Failures has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work.”)


Your takeaway: Authenticity and vulnerability can be incredibly powerful. While it’s unlikely you’d want to send this kind of resume in with an actual job application (although that might actually work), what stands out is the idea that people connect with other people they relate to. Be real, be human, and remember that we’re all in this together. You probably won’t get every job you apply for, and that’s okay. We all fail, even fancy Ivy League professors.


See also:

How to tailor your resume to any job posting
How to optimize your resume for the 10-second skim
Should you put a picture on your resume?
What to include on your resume to get an IT job


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