You’ve submitted your resume to hundreds of jobs and gotten no response. Or maybe you’ve tried networking and are disappointed in the lack of leads that ensued.
This is why I want to give a greater sense of control and power in your job search.
These ideas are designed to help you stand out and get the attention you want. But here’s a warning. These will only work if you are ready, willing and able to put in the extra effort and are not afraid to try new strategies… and be memorable.
1. Show your creativity
Create an infographic or visual resume. Infographics are popular marketing tools and offer another way to present your experience. Design skills are not necessarily required. For example, if you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can convert it into an infographic using no-cost online tools or use one of these 4 infographic resume templates.
Keep in mind that an infographic isn’t a substitute for a text resume. Most recruiters prefer to see the traditional format. You can, however, use your infographic during networking meetings or as a follow-up after a meeting.
Looking for examples to generate ideas of what to include before you create your own? I’ve collected examples on Pinterest (here’s a board with over 300 examples). Don’t forget to embed your infographic resume in your LinkedIn profile’s summary section to catch attention.
Learn more about infographic resumes here.
2. Don’t wait for the interview
Shoot a video. Do you feel you could prove you’re qualified for a job if you could get the interview? You can use video to explain your qualifications and interest in the job. Very few job seekers are using this media, which makes it a unique and memorable way to capture the employer’s attention.
Your video should explain why you are a good fit for the job and why you want to work for that employer. It doesn’t have to be very long. In fact, most marketers recommend keeping videos under three minutes.
Video may not be for everyone, but if you aren’t afraid of getting in front of the camera and have some basic editing experience, then this format may give you an advantage.
You can also create a video from photos/images, converting a PowerPoint, or use a screencast to capture an online tutorial.
Be sure to upload your video to YouTube as well (for an extra bump in SEO).
3. Build A Presentation
You can present your qualifications visually through slides. Submit it as supporting documentation, just as you would with an infographic. A presentation may give you the added space and flexibility to showcase your samples of work, customer testimonials or other recognition.
Here are some examples of presentation resumes. Get extra exposure by uploading yours into SlideShare.
When creating your presentation, keep in mind that images are more powerful than words. Don’t cram your slides with bullet points and words, instead use pictures, logos or other visuals to represent concepts. If you want to experiment with different presentation software, you may enjoy Prezi or Google’s presentation software.
4. Make the most of your informational meeting
If your networking isn’t as productive as you would like, perhaps sharing a personal marketing plan would generate better results. Your marketing plan should clearly spell out what you want to do, the skills and qualifications you wish to highlight and the demographics of the right company for you.
The real value of your personal marketing plan is in listing the names of companies that fit your criteria. This will help the person you’re speaking with understand what you’re looking for and they may even know someone who works for one of your target companies. Learn more about personal marketing plans here.
5. Stay in touch with your network
Publish a newsletter. Create a newsletter and use it to stay in touch with the people you met networking. Your newsletter isn’t about you and you won’t write about your job search. It is about what you know or what you’ve learned. Write about current trends in your field or provide solutions to problems you know your target industry faces. To get ideas for topics to write about, sign up for industry newsletters and read industry articles from SmartBrief.
Marketing today is about providing solutions, not throwing your advertisements out there.
Use a free email marketing software, such as MailChimp, or a low-cost provider like AWeber or Constant Contact, to give your newsletter professionalism and meet email opt-in requirements.
Always Use A Referral
Studies have shown the best way to secure an interview and receive a job offer is to have an employee inside the company refer you. Here is more help on getting referred for a job.
When this isn’t possible, seize every opportunity and show the extra effort to catch the employer’s attention by providing evidence that you’re the right candidate for their job. Or, at the very least, show that you aren’t afraid of hard work and taking risks.
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Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.