Recently we posted a new job ad for an addition to the team here at Napoleon Creative. While most people just sent us an email, one application stood out by a mile. It was the most extreme CV I’ve ever seen.

It arrived in a wooden box. Inside were two bottles of wine, with each had a bespoke label, with the name of the applicant, our company name and a picture of Napoleon on the front. On the back of the bottle, the label explained why the candidate was perfect for the job. Inside was a paper CV, plus a poem.

Was this extreme CV too much?

I have to say the whole office was amazed by this application. It must have taken time and money. Certainly it showed chutzpah. It stood out. But at the end of the day, was the candidate right for us? Sadly, when I read through the CV I didn’t find the skills or experience that it matched what we were looking for. My colleague who was helping with the recruitment felt the same.

People said I should interview the candidate, after all, they had shown they were willing to go the extra mile. I felt guilty, they had spent a large amount of money to impress me. Sure I should give them an interview, it was the least I could do. However, I genuinely felt that there were other candidates who had impressed me far more with their words and CV. I didn’t want to sway my judgement because money had been spent; they had not ‘bought’ my attention.

I also toyed with the idea of sending the wine back, which I have not as yet done. As yet, I  haven’t opened the bottles, they’re loitering behind me on the shelf.

As I say in my book about writing CVs and submitting applications, be careful of gimmicks. An extreme CV won’t always impress. In this case, it was a question of going over the top to impress.

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Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with twenty year's experience. His book on writing CVs for the creative industries has helped Film and TV Crew win more work.


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