The social media revolution has made the process of trying to find a job a lot easier. That’s a good thing, right? Sure, it is – but the catch is that it’s easier for everybody else, too. That means there’s likely to be some stiff competition for each open position. And the prize – that dream job – doesn’t always go to the person who’s the best qualified. It very often goes to the person who’s the best qualified and the most memorable. But all memorable candidates aren’t created equal. Just ask the guy who entered the interview room by doing backflips. You don’t want to stand out for making everyone uncomfortable with your antics; you want to stand out by highlighting your creativity and motivation. Here are 10 great unconventional ways to get the job:
#1 Lights, camera, action!
Paper resumes are so yesterday. The cool kids are making video resumes. But that doesn’t mean holding your smart phone in front of your face while you recite your job history. If you’re going to use video, go all the way. Wear professional clothes, clean the junk off the kitchen counter, turn off the TV in the background, and make sure the lighting is right. Figure out a way to use props that highlight your skills, like a virtual portfolio. Keep it short, too – 90 seconds at the most.
#2 Going graphic
Quirky, unconventional tactics work best when they’re appropriate for the job. For graphic designers, for example, a resume is a perfect opportunity to highlight their skills, like these resumes found on Instagram.
#3 Thinking big – and then thinking bigger
You know how it is when you have a really awesome, life-altering idea? Sure, you do. But some people don’t stop there. When they have that life-altering idea, they keep pushing. Like the woman who started a website for her job search. That’s great…but then she took it even further and rented a billboard advertising her job search and her web site. It garnered so much attention that she ended up abandoning the job search in favor of starting her own company.
#4 Making something out of nothing
Another tactic that has worked well for some job hunters is to give the employer a taste of what they can do…and to do it with no budget and no support. One candidate used his kids’ toys to make a funny video about the public relations industry and put it on YouTube. It got so much attention – including shout-outs in the media – that he was able to send the clip to prospective employers with the tagline, “If I can get this much publicity from kids’ toys and no budget, imagine what I could do for your clients.”
#5 Taking out a “help available” ad
No, we’re not talking about an ad in the Sunday paper. We’re thinking more along the lines of sponsored posts on Facebook or sponsored tweets on Twitter. Or how about taking out an ad on LinkedIn? Employers scour LinkedIn looking for candidates, so why not make sure they notice you by taking out a paid ad?
#6 Offering a teaser
Few things get an employer’s attention more than bringing a creative, relevant solution to a problem. It’s like a free sample at the grocery store – your prospective employer gets a taste of what you’re capable of. And they also get a hands-on demonstration of your commitment and initiative.
#7 Being persistent
There’s a fine line between being persistent and being a stalker. But coming down on the right side of that line can work to your advantage, as one job hunter discovered when he climbed up on top of a building to ask for a job from the guy repairing the roof.
#8 Enlisting your friends
Your friends can help you make your resume go viral. Craft an email that includes things like your resume, links to your portfolio, etc. Ask your friends to pass it on to all of their contacts, and offer a reward – like a dinner out – to the person who helps you land a job.
#9 Pitching in and helping
One candidate garnered kudos by helping the hiring manager’s frazzled assistant make copies. Better yet, if your interview is interrupted by someone needing to discuss a problem, don’t just sit there mutely. Speak up and show that you have talent, ideas, and initiative.
#10 Reinforcing your uniqueness with your follow-up
In this age of text messaging and email, a hand-written thank-you note stands out. But why stop there? How about a video thank-you note? Or use something you learned during the interview to customize your thank-you. One candidate, after noticing that the hiring manager’s office walls were covered with post-it notes, hand-delivered a poster board covered with post-it notes, each one highlighting one of his skills or abilities.
No matter how talented you are, you’re not going to get the job if nobody remembers you. But neither will you get the job if your interviewers feel like you’re being silly and wasting their time. Come up with a unique way to stand out, but make sure you choose something that highlights the reasons the company should hire you.
Image source: Flickr