Since you began looking for work, people have been telling you there are certain job search rules you must follow. How long your resume must be. What to post online. How a cover must look.
Well, I’m here to tell you: Break job search rules. That’s right, break all of ’em!
In today’s job market, disruption is the way to get attention and be memorable.
You must think like a marketer and act as a consultant in all phases of your job search. You don’t have to cause an earthquake, type in capital letters, or tweet a beautiful picture. But you must demonstrate that you understand the problem and that you are the viable solution.
I know what you’re thinking: “I can’t even get an employer to notice me, let alone read my personal marketing materials and ideas.” And that is true. So here are five ways to disrupt the expectations of employers, even before the job interview is scheduled.
Use Quality Art on Social Media Profiles
A design from simple to elaborate will catch everyone’s attention. Tools like Canva and Pic Monkey make it possible to customize your art for each platform,Even on LinkedIn, an attractive cover can make an alluring statement about your personal brand.
Create a Personal Logo
Design a logo of your own. Or have it designed for you. Place it on all of your social media accounts, personal marketing materials and landing pages. I wouldn’t suggest replacing your professional photo, but use the logo as part of your cover art and business cards. If you use Blab or Periscope, make sure your logo helps you secure consistent exposure. A beautiful design is a conversation starter. And today, everything that leads to meaningful discussion helps.
Use Emoticons on Your LinkedIn Page
You may think it’s silly to use visuals and symbols on the world’s largest professional network, but the use of emoticons is entirely disruptive in a small way. Here is a screen capture example of my LinkedIn summary:
Very subtle use of the stars and the finger but memorable since few job seekers use emoticons. Want to learn more about how to use emoticons? Linked has articles on how to use keyboard shortcuts to bring up emoticons and some symbols to spice up your profile.
Write a Short 150-word Post on LinkedIn, Medium, Facebook or Your Blog
There is no better way to display your subject matter expertise that to post a blog on LinkedIn, Medium, Facebook, Buzzfeed or your personal blog. It doesn’t have to be long. 150 words or so, if you write consistently, will catch the attention of employers.
Want to really stand out? Want to really break the job search rules?
You don’t have to tell stories using solely words! If you have yet to read a Buzzfeed blog post using a smart combination of gifs and brief paragraphs, then treat yourself by reading this post. Depending on your career path and industry, this style is effective for those with the right mix of art and commentary.
Use Snapchat to Tell Your Story (and Tell How You Solve Problems)
We can argue whether employers and recruiters are using Snapchat to hunt for talent. But honestly, I know some are using every platform. They go where the people are!
The idea of using Snapchat, if you’re building an employable brand, is simple: To show personality! After all, companies can’t train you to be a great personality. They can’t mandate you be creative or unique. They have to hire people who already demonstrate these traits. Get it?
Break the job search rules! Use these actionable — and relatively easy — ways to stand out. In what has become a sea of sameness, what have you got to lose?
About the Author: Mark Anthony Dyson is a career consultant, host & producer of “The Voice of Job Seekers podcast, and Founder of the blog by the same name. Download our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, and many other podcatchers. We are helping the unemployed, underemployed, and under-appreciated job seekers find and create a voice through this platform. Follow Mark on Twitter!