When applying for a job, you don’t just want to get noticed. You want to stand out as one of the best candidates the company has ever seen. After all, competition is keen and for coveted positions, you need to go the extra mile to gain an edge over the other applicants. So how do you differentiate yourself from the rest in the crowd and win the attention of your future employers? Read on.
1. Use a professionally-shot profile picture
Save your selcas for your social media accounts and keep your LinkedIn profile picture professional, smart and decent. Before meeting you face-to-face, your online profile is the one your future employers will look at and yes, first impression counts.
You’ll definitely want to look like the reliable next staff they would hire. These days, you can conveniently head to any photo studio to get yours taken for a small fee. Otherwise, you can also DIY!
2. Send a creative package
Photo: Instagram / @andymorr.is
Almost every HR staff goes through hundreds of similar resumes every day thus you might want to think about how you can make yours more prominent. Apart from designing a visually attractive resume (printed on coloured paper, for example), you can go one step ahead and send a package to your prospective employer.
Some quirky but cute examples that worked well for some others include attaching a resume to a pizza box, creating a LEGO character for a job application at LEGO, and more. It’s important to do your research — send something that shows off your skills for that particular job you are applying for, instead of random stabs in the dark. Get inspired!
3. Amaze them with a curated portfolio
All talk and no action is a big no no. Take the time to do up some personal projects or put together some works that you’re proud of, and include that along with your resume and cover letter. This helps the recruiter or potential employer get a sense of your personal style and creative capabilities. You can even create mini powerpoint slides on the top five things you learned from your previous roles or simply anything that allows your skills to shine. Remember, you have the freedom to create and creativity has no limits.
4. Get a referral
If you know someone working in the company you’re interested in, try getting a referral. Having someone put in a good word for you is the best way to the hiring manager to give your resume a closer look and increase your chances of scoring an interview. You can easily check out the company and see who you’re connected with through LinkedIn. When asking for a referral, do it politely and in writing.
Try asking this way: “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?” or “Do you feel you could give me a referral?” If the person comes through, remember to attach the referral letter to your cover letter.