What’s the one piece of paper you expect to represent your entire identity? No, not your birth certificate or Social Security card. It’s your resume, and the reason it’s so valuable is because it’s going to land you your dream job. Right?
Well… maybe not. Unfortunately, you’re not the only the only one who hopes this piece of paper is your ticket to a job.
In this competitive job market, openings receive resumes from hundreds of applicants. Some candidates send out hundreds of resumes and get just one interview. With all this competition, let’s jump into how you can really stand out in a sea of potential employees:
1. Think outside the resume box
Your resume is not the only way to get a job. So many applicants rely on their resumes alone to present themselves. Come up with another way to stand out from the crowd, or else you’re fighting an uphill battle alongside droves of other applicants.
Take Philippe Dubost, for example. This January, he built an online resume that resembled an Amazon product page. After promoting this creative resume online, it received 1.3 million unique visitors in three weeks (1,000,000 in just the first eight days) as well as 39,000 Facebook likes, 1,100 emails, 800 LinkedIn connection requests and 2,149 Twitter mentions.
Philippe is currently in the process of discussing job opportunities. Instead of fighting with tons of other candidates for one job, he’s the one candidate the companies are fighting to hire.
2. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes
Imagine you were in the position to hire someone with your same exact resume. What makes you the candidate so special? Communicate how you can add value to your ideal company or organization.
Sadly, this is the step most people miss when looking for a job. In today’s job market, companies want to know how you can grow their company from day one.
3. Market yourself where you want to be recruited
Yes, you read that right; today’s employees should actively be marketing themselves to the companies they want to work for. Finding a novel way to do this helps.
Alec Brownstein’s success story is a perfect example of this strategy. In 2010, Brownstein landed a job at Y&R New York, a well-known and respected advertising agency. He did it by using Google AdWords associated with top creative directors. When they Googled themselves, they saw his ad. He landed interviews with all five creative directors he targeted.
Brownstein spent a total of $6 and didn’t even have a resume. Instead, he came up with a great way to market himself to the companies he wanted to work for.
Even if you don’t have the skills to build a Google AdWords campaign or faux Amazon product page to market yourself, you can still learn from these applicants’ success. Your Web presence—whether you showcase your personality in your LinkedIn bio, your online resume or go so far as to launch a website—can be just as powerful as your resume, if not more so.
Get the attention of prospective employers. Being unique will set you apart. When you do something special, out of the box or different, you’re showing potential employers that you are someone who can problem-solve to get results.