When you are searching for a job, you need to stand out. And you will be fighting with really qualified people for the best jobs. Employers are in the driver’s seat, especially when it comes to candidates who are just out of university. They know you want experience, a leg up. And they know that you are desperate to get it.
This is why separating yourself from the crowd helps win you points with HR managers. First of all, it can brighten a hiring manager’s day to see something unique among an endless stream of basic résumés and cover letters. But more importantly, it can showcase how creative you are, how much you are willing to work, and it proves that you can go above and beyond the normal tasks.
Go big or go home
Here’s what I mean. The Internet was set aflame recently by Nina Mufleh, a young woman who made it her singular goal to get a job at AirBNB. The résumé she put together got a lot of attention. The CEO of AirBNB was intrigued. Here is the funny thing, though: AirBNB did not even hire her. Even with all the attention from top executives, they felt she was not the right candidate for a marketing position they had in mind.
But the takeaway is that Nina got noticed. And it got her interviews with Uber and LinkedIn, among other top tech companies. She ultimately decided to go with a smaller company called Upwork, but her path to success was paved by all the work she put into trying to get noticed by AirBNB.
Ape a famous design
Sabrina Saccoccio made her résumé stand out by re-creating a Facebook profile layout and filling it with her skills, experience and accomplishments. That is certainly one way to stand out.
Steve Pratt, a radio exec who got her résumé, couldn’t hire Sabrina because of an internal hiring freeze. But he posted the résumé on his blog in the hopes that someone could offer her a job.
And that is the most important lesson: When you go above and beyond to showcase your skills, the gatekeepers will notice. And they will do what they can to help you reach your goals.
You need a website
In addition to paper résumés (which have not completely gone out of style), you should be working on a personal website. The format of a website gives you a chance to showcase your personality in ways that are just not possible in a traditional résumé format. A website gives you a chance to show that you have web design skills, photo editing skills and writing ability – not an absolute must for every single job, but skills that are becoming more and more important in nearly every industry.
Showcasing your personality, in addition to your skills, can be what puts your over the edge. Fitting into company culture is just as important as having the right skills. Some workplaces value cohesion over experience and skills, preferring to cobble together amenable personality types and then teaching the skills that are needed for their positions. So don’t be afraid to pour yourself into your website as a means to show off who you are and what you can do.
Stand out in the right way
The bottom line is that you need to let those in positions of power know about you. Because they are busy running companies and doing business, you have to grab their attention somehow. What do you think is the best way get noticed in your job hunt?