With the U.S. unemployment rate lower than it’s been in nearly a decade, there are plenty of companies beefing up staff and offering opportunities to qualified workers. Thing is, there are still lots of qualified workers pounding the pavement, so if you’re going to rise above the pack and land your dream job, you still need to make yourself stand out.
How do you do it? In a U.S. News & World Report post titled “4 Creative Ways to Get Employers’ Attention,” Career Valet president Marcelle Yeager discusses some methods you don’t often read about on career-advice sites. While Yeager cautions that many experts frown on these types of tactics, and that some companies still require old-school resumes and cover letters, she says these approaches have the potential to make your application pop.
Yeager’s first outside-the-box tip isn’t that crazy: “write a biography.” Many companies have staff bios posted on their websites, and by penning something that’s similar in tone and style to what’s online, you’ll show potential employers that you’re a good cultural fit. Just make sure you keep it short.
Brevity is also a beautiful thing when it comes to Yeager’s next method: “shoot a video.” As she says, videos are especially useful if you’re applying for a job where you’ll be dealing with clients or working as some type of instructor. In addition to being brief, videos should be creative — no sitting in front of a camera and talking — and tailored specifically for the opportunity at hand.
Similarly, you might want to submit a presentation — especially if you’re applying to be a teacher or consultant. As Yeager says, presentations might come in handy if you’re required to submit a writing sample, and you don’t feel that anything you’ve written in the past is quite right. Again, the key is to keep it short and memorable. Pro tip from Yeager: Use the company’s colors, just to show you’re really paying attention.
Lastly, Yeager suggests supplementing your regular resume with an infographic version. These can take a long time to create, so they’re not the type of thing you want to send with every application, but they’re a way to tell your story and sell yourself in a way other candidates probably aren’t. As Yeager says, infographic resumes don’t replace regular ones, and they shouldn’t be so flashy that employers can’t figure out what you’re trying to say.