In a tough job market with fierce competition, standing out can be really tough, but those who make a point to think outside the box during their job hunt will find it easier getting their names in front of and remembered by hiring managers. Thinking outside of the box and being creative doesn’t mean you should become gimmicky; you need to stay professional, but deviate slightly from the status quo of job searching. Here are some ideas to help inspire you to think outside the box during your job search:
Your Networking Strategy
With all the focus on social media these days, many forget the impact of good, ol’ fashioned face-to-face networking! Yes, send that LinkedIn invitation, but think of ways to actually put yourself in front of professionals to make an in-person connection. Join industry organizations and attend conferences and networking events. Take it one step further if there is a company you’re highly interested in working for that’s not hiring right now, reach out directly and set up an informational interview. That way, when a position opens up, they’re more likely to remember who you are and know for certain you’re genuinely interested in becoming a part of their team.
Although Monster, CareerBuilder and Indeed are great tools, consider branching out beyond them and other job boards to supplement your job search efforts. Check out companies on Facebook and Twitter to learn if there are any openings and call your connections directly to see if they know of opportunities. Relying solely on the job boards will limit your reach and might cause you to miss opportunities that are not widely advertised.
Your Resume and Cover Letter
The standard resume and cover letter templates do their job – they communicate who you are as a candidate and highlight your accomplishments. Many industries, especially more creative fields, allow some wiggle room and creative freedom with resumes and cover letters. Create a new eye-catching template or add color to your resume. Rethink your cover letter by turning it into a brochure. At the end of the day, your resume and cover letter still need to be clear, concise and readable, so don’t go too overboard! Also ask opinions of other people within your industry to make certain a create resume and cover letter would help you stand out for the right reasons.
Employers value those who think outside the box, and doing so during your search will help you become more memorable and appealing to hiring managers.
Have a creative job search idea? We would love to hear it! Please share in the comments below.