You may be resisting the idea of submitting a black-and-white, by-the-book, cookie cutter resume that’s probably identical to every other resume in the candidate pool, and you may also be dreading a conventional interview session— a hollow exchange of scripted questions and answers that reveal nothing about who you really are. If you’re looking for an alternative way to grab your reviewer’s attention, you’re on the right track. Sometimes we reach our goals by fitting in, but the during the job search, it’s usually better to stand out (especially if your qualifications aren’t much different from everyone else’s). Here are a few moves that can surprise your potential employers and grab the attention you’re looking for.
Deliver your Resume in Person
Of course, you’ll need to follow the application instructions that appear on the job post. But you can also try a simple move that will definitely be remembered; stop by the HR office or the front desk of your target employer and drop off a hard copy of your resume with your own hands. Don’t just leave it behind and scuttle away. Ask to meet with an HR pro or make arrangements beforehand to say hello to the hiring manager face to face.
Submit an Online Version of Your Formal Resume
Since you’ll probably be submitting your resume digitally, include a link in your contact section. When employers click on this link, it should take them to an online version of your resume posted on your website or blog. While your formal resume should adhere to clear guidelines (no photos, no images, no more than one page, etc), your online resume can ignore these rules. Include a video message, graphs and charts detailing your accomplishments, and a portfolio of your finished work.
Use Your Network
Sometimes who you know matters far more than what you know. Examine your professional network carefully for any potential links that may connect you to the hiring manager for your target position. And if you find a potential lead, reach out to that person and ask for an introduction or recommendation. Get yourself ahead of the pack by finding a side entrance. A little name name-dropping (in moderation) can only help you.
Don’t Cross Boundaries
While you look for ways to impress your target hiring manager and get noticed, keep a close eye on legal and ethical boundaries. For example, feel free to send a polite thank you note after your interview, but never send gifts or flowers to the manager’s home or office (including food). Follow up respectfully with emails and phone messages, but never more than once per week. And don’t contact the person through personal numbers, email accounts, or social media sites. Stay respectful.
For more on how to separate yourself from the crowd and land the job you’re looking for, reach out to the experts at SCP.