What you may not realize, though, is that there are some easy (and not so easy) ways to differentiate yourself from 99% of all other candidates – and make the hiring manager sit up and take notice.
What follows is an overview of 7 ways, with varying degrees of difficulty, to make a recruiter say “Wow!” when seeing your application…
Turn Your Resume into a Website
The vast majority of job seekers create their resume in the same, standard format. While this may be good for putting the relevant information across, it is, as they say, actions that speak louder than words.
By creating your very own website to house your resume, you will show your creativity, determination and willingness to go that extra mile. A website allows you to format the information in a much more stylish way. You might also consider using things such a video introduction or a photo gallery highlighting some of the things you talk about on your resume (that trek up Kilimanjaro for example).
You can even use the website to publish personalised cover letters that only the hiring manager has the link to.
Become a Blogger
Whether as an addition to the resume website idea above, or as a standalone project, keeping an industry related blog can seriously impress a recruiter. It shows the passion that you have for the sector you work in and it allows you to demonstrate your intimate knowledge and understanding of it.
Just be careful what you say on your blog; controversial ideas and statements might be acceptable when you are writing a personal or hobby blog, but when it comes to landing a job, you will only shoot yourself in the foot by being too outrageous.
Follow the Hiring Manager
Before you ask, no, I am not suggesting that you resort to stalking! What you can do, however, is to find out whether the person in charge of hiring is active on social media or whether they maintain a blog of their own.
Either way, by engaging with them through these channels on a regular basis, you can give yourself an air of familiarity when you finally come to them looking for a job. Not only will they recognise your name, they will have already built up a, hopefully positive, image of you in their head.
Again, you are able to show your hard work ethic and your ability to think outside the box because, rest assured, very few job candidates ever attempt this strategy.
Advertise at the Company In Question
Sticking with the online theme for a little longer, here is a simple guerrilla tactic that can be used to really astound and impress a company you’d like to work for. It uses the second most popular website on the internet – Facebook.
I’m sure you are familiar with the advertising that now appears in your News Feed and throughout the social platform, but have you ever stopped to think how this could be turned to your advantage?
Some savvy candidates have actually started advertising themselves and their CV directly to people who work at one of their target companies. The Facebook advertising system allows this level of granularity and it is super cost effective.
You can use a photo of yourself with a short, sharp headline explaining that you’d like to work at their company too. Link this to your resume website, a downloadable PDF CV, or your LinkedIn profile and wait to hear from them. Chances are that your ad will be seen by many of the workers and could even become a topic of conversation around the water cooler – ideal if you want to get noticed.
This tactic is along the lines of sending speculative applications – you have to do more than just say you are looking for a job; you need to explain why they should hire you at this particular time.
Mimic The Company’s Styling and Branding
If the advanced resume options discussed above are not something that you are comfortable doing, there are other ways to spruce up your unexciting document. A clever approach that will get the hiring manager to crack a wry smile is to use the company’s branding right back at them.
For example, take the exact colours of their logo and use them for horizontal bars that separate the different sections on your resume. Then take their slogan and put a spin on it to sell yourself.
UPS, for example, ask “what can Brown do for you?” but you could adapt this and ask “what can Christine do for you?” at the end of your resume.
Or imagine that you were applying for a job at Energizer; you might highlight your perseverance and enthusiasm by suggesting “I keep going, and going, and going” to mirror the slogan for their batteries.
Show Them How You Operate In the Interview
If you use the techniques above to reach the interview stage, you’ll probably be wondering how you can most impress the person(s) sitting on the opposite side of the table.
Other than building a rapport with the interviewer, you will want to make them visualise how you might fit into the company and demonstrate the ways in which you will contribute.
An effective way to achieve this is to bring some work ideas with you. If you are in sales, for instance, you might bring along the names of some clients that would be first on your call list should you get the job. Similarly, a project manager candidate might talk about a great piece of software that will ensure effective and efficient allocation and reporting of tasks.
Think about how you might be able to exhibit your talents to the hiring manager so that they put your name right to the top of their list.
Get Creative With Your Subject Line
The simplest method to wow a recruiter is to come up with a truly original subject line to use when emailing your application across. Most people will just use ‘Joe Bloggs – Resume’ or ‘Application for so-and-so job’ which suggest that little thought has gone into them.
By grabbing the attention of the hiring manager from the second they see your email, you will put a big fat tick in their minds when they are short listing candidates.
Try to make it as relevant to the position or company as you can; maybe you could use the technique with their slogan as mentioned above or just imagine yourself writing a headline for a newspaper that needs to make someone stop and want to read the rest of the story (or resume in your case). You could even try writing in the style of a lonely hearts column. Here are a few examples:
- “Me in 3 words: creative, driven, fun. Here’s my resume to prove it.”
- “Built for the road ahead – that’s me to a tee” (for a job at Ford)
- “Hard working number cruncher seeks books to balance” (for an accountancy role)
Combine and Conquer
There is nothing to stop you utilizing more than one of these suggestions at the same time to give the greatest impact. Many can be brought together into one, coherent message that shows off your suitability for the position in question.
Compare this to the approach taken by nearly everyone else in the job market, and you’ll realize just how much it will make you stand out from the crowd. It takes time and effort to achieve, but the results speak for themselves!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Ms. Career Girl!
About the Author: Abbi Gabasa is the Managing Editor of MsCareerGirl.com and owner of UpraisedLiving.com. Having the background of a Marketing and Public Relations Manager with years of professional experience in various industries has given her an insightful perspective on careers, lifestyles, relationships, and attitudes which she humorously applies in helping people through her writing.