You see a job posting, do research on the company and decide to apply. You fill out the run-of-the-mill application process and attach your resume.
Then you wait.
Maybe you resume didn’t get a second look. Maybe your resume was better-than-average, but simply got overlooked due to the hundreds of other resumes that the hiring manager had to go through. It’s never pleasant thinking about all the what-ifs after your resume is out of your hands, and the anxiety is only compounded when you applying to a dream job. What can you do to stand out from the crowd?
That is a solution, albeit one that takes extra hard work and a dose of creativity. Here are 4 unconventional way of landing the interview that you want.
1. Go beyond the White Paper
Professionals in the creative industry shouldn’t be confined to a black and white resume. Your resume should be treated as part of your portfolio – something that showcases your skills and creativity. In fact, many marketing and communications professionals create ad campaigns with taglines on how their skills match the open position.
This approach obviously isn’t the right fit for every company or position, but creating a graphic resume can be a great way to make your resume stand out—literally—from the sea of others out there.
2. Create a Tailored Proposal
Your resume shows the value that you’ve brought to other companies—but what employers really want to know is the value you’ll bring to their company. So try answering that question upfront. Create a presentation that’s all about their specific needs and your ideas to solve them.
A candidate applying for a high-level marketing position reportedly managed to land an interview by sending in three campaign ideas, complete with ad mock-ups, target segments, and a financial forecast. The company was impressed with his research, attention to detail, and willingness to start solving problems, so much so that they promptly gave him the job!
These types of tailored presentations aren’t just for creative fields, either. If you’re applying for a sales job, send the company a new sales pitch with a forecast for the ROI. If you’re in accounting or operations, take a look at the company’s financials (if they’re publicly held) or the financials of a competitor, and build out a plan to help them reduce their overhead costs or improve their leverage. Wherever your expertise lies, impress them with a specific idea that you could bring to their organization.
3. Put Yourself on Camera
There’s only so much an employer can learn about you on paper, so another strategy to consider is to showcase your abilities with a website or a video. If you do not have the skill to create a video resume, or simply a video that gives employers a visual representation of you, you can engage a service to do this for you. Using a different medium like video lets you show off many sides of you and your talents, and also helps potential employers see how your personality will be a great fit for their organization.
4. Create Your Own Campaign
Finally, some candidates take creativity to a whole new level, submitting their job applications or “resumes” in a completely nontraditional format. One marketing candidate decided to hire a boss, and launched a website with her requirements for a position, organization, and manager. Conventional? No, but her efforts resulted in 26 “applications,” 10 interviews, and a dream job offer.
In all these techniques, the key to success is going for quality over quantity. You just can’t create 20 awesome, highly tailored personal videos. So target a few select jobs you think would be a perfect fit, and focus your efforts there. By going above and beyond in that handful of job applications you really care about, you’ll be swarmed with call-ups in no time.