I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but it’s a pretty competitive time of year for jobseekers, right now.
That’s because the world and his wife walked back into work after the Christmas break and thought “yep, I’ve had enough, I need a new job.”
It’s the “new year, new me” affect.
That’s great for me (a recruiter) but not so great for you! So how are you planning to stand out?
This week, I’ve pulled together some slightly more creative ideas on how to jazz up your resume and make a real impact on recruiters, this year.
1. Use the power of social media.
(This one’s not for secret job-seekers)
If you’re not leveraging social media for your job hunt, you’re missing a trick.
And I’m not just talking about checking out the job adverts on LinkedIn.
You could (and should) also…
- Post updates on Facebook and LinkedIn. Friends, family, co-workers or connections, you never know who might have a relevant job vacancy for you!
- Tweet it. If you use the right #hashtags, you’ll reach more people.
- Get friends and family to share your updates too (extending that reach).
And make sure ALL of your social media profiles are up to scratch.
You (really) don’t want to sabotage your search with drunken (or half naked) pictures, swearing and many statuses!
2. Create an infographic resume
Take it from me; recruiters will receive thousands of resumes every day and they all look pretty much the same.
A great way to make yours more memorable is to turn it into an infographic.
They are visually pleasing, creative and pretty simple to do using the following sites…
Of course, it’s important to think strategically when you’re creating your infographic resume.
It will need to look good, but it will also need to convey all relevant information almost immediately, so…
- Take advantage of being able to use images, graphs and colours.
- Big and bold statistics work really well (rather than long lists).
- Don’t go wild; simple works much better than cluttered and confusing.
Check out this article to find out more: How To Create and Share an Infographic Resume
NB: One (very important) thing to remember is the fact that Applicant Tracking Systems won’t be able to read visual content, so all of those relevant keywords within your resume won’t get picked up. If you’re applying via an ATS, it would be best to keep your resume as a word document.
3. Send something extra special
If you want to get really creative, you could send a hard copy of your resume, along with something that makes it truly unforgettable.
- A box of chocolates
- Some personalised cupcakes
- A take-away
(I’m aware that these are all food-related, but that’s because FOOD sells.)
A friend of mine once sent a potential employer a (well-written) letter, along with a teabag and a KitKat. The letter told them to “take a break” and read her resume.
She got the job.
4. Create a Video Resume
What’s your on-screen presence like? (If it’s bad, then skip this one!)
If you think you can pull it off (and I mean really pull it off…) why not create a quirky video resume?
Honestly the possibilities are kind of endless with this one; you could…
- Keep it simple; introduce yourself and your skills straight into the camera.
- Create a cartoon; showing off your creativity.
- Write a song; if you’re particularly musical.
Just make sure that you’re getting all the relevant information across and that you don’t end up looking like an idiot (a lot of these types of videos do come across a bit arrogant).
5. Do some other crazy stunt
As you’ve probably noticed, the ideas have been getting more and more outrageous (and difficult) as you work your way through this blog.
But if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right!
- One candidate got her husband to dress up as the mad hatter and personally deliver her resume.
- Another spent his last £500 on a billboard, pleading for someone to hire him.
- And one smooth mover sent a shoe to a potential employer to get their “foot through the door.”
Ok these are all a bit wild, but at least you’ll be memorable… right?
Are these stunts really worth the hassle? And will they get you a job?
If I’m 100% honest, I tend to see two attitudes from my clients…
- Some absolutely adore creative resumes.
- And some who find them frustrating, unnecessary and a bit too “in your face.”
So unfortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer.
The best advice I can give you is to do your research, prior to every application.
What kind of company are you applying for? What kind of culture do they have? And what kind of person is the recruiter?
You should be able to get an idea of these things from their website, marketing collateral (brochures etc.) and social media.
For example, if you’re applying to an ultra-innovative and creative tech company, they might love an infographic or video, but a more traditional, corporate and formal firm might not.
A quick heads-up.
If you do decide to go “creative” with your job application, make sure you follow through at interview (and throughout the process).
The recruiter will have high expectations for you and if there’s a huge disconnect between your resume and your real personality, they’re bound to be a bit disappointed!
Always be yourself.
You don’t have to be ultra-creative to find a great job. But it could help. And if you’re going to do it, do it right…
- Take time on it (don’t cobble together an infographic that looks naff).
- Be authentic (you don’t want your recruiter to be disappointed when they meet you).
- Research the company before sending it across.
Want more top tips on finding a fantastic new job this year? Check out our Candidate Tips – here.