In a sea of resumes, it couldn’t be harder to stand out than it is right now. While your experience screams, “Hire me!” so does everyone else’s. In today’s job world, it’s a competition about who you know, and even then, the process of getting plucked out of 300 resumes can be an impossible task.
There are a number of ways you can brand yourself to stick out in a crowded stack of resumes. How do you get ahead? Get interactive.
“…The job search techniques of yesterday – send out résumés, search the want ads, and wait for a job to fall in your lap – won’t even get your foot in the door. What you need in order to get a job today, says Jim Kukral, is the courage to put yourself out there and get the attention of employers by trying something no one else is doing.” – RP News Wires
1. Keep a Blog
Blogging has become a popular new form of social media. While blogging has been in existence since the late 90’s, it has become more popular across the board as of late. While many businesses have taken to this medium as a form of social media, you can use it to boost your hiring potential. This shows that you have technical skills with your particular blogging platform and that you are dedicated to your personal growth.
• Focus on a topic you’re passionate about, even if it has nothing to do with the position you hope to get. This reflects your personal brand.
• Consider a number of options ranging from traditional written blog, to short form blogging, or photo blogging.
• Place this in your skills section and hyperlink your URL in.
2. Take Advantage of Google Plus
The social platform created by Google might be your best professional portfolio. With a variety of ways to express who you are, it serves as an excellent way to be your brand. Having a Google Plus account, and using it only for professional interactions, allows you to create the best reflection of yourself.
• Photos: The trouble with Facebook photos is the tagging ability. A survey by Reppler found that 11% of survey participants decided not to hire a candidate because of inappropriate photos. With Google Plus you can place a few simple photos to communicate who you are as a person and keep your St. Patty’s festivities out of the picture.
• Portfolio: Perhaps one of the best features is the portfolio section of your profile. Here you can place links to various places where you or your work has been featured. Whether it’s photographs, blog posts, interviews, etc, being recognized or published is always good.
• Other profiles: Use this link area to send potential employers to networks other than Facebook. Link your Tumblr account, your blog, etc.
3. Create a Video
Whether you’re a skilled videographer or not creating a video of some sort is a smart way to boost your chances of being remembered for the position. Your brand will come through better in video than on paper.
This phenomenon has gained popularity on sites like ResumeTube which allow you to promote yourself via resume video. Beyond.com says, “The use of video resumes is a growing trend used by job candidates to effectively market themselves to employers and stand out amongst other candidates who do not yet utilize this tool.”
If you can’t manage to create a video, utilize another medium such as Prezi. Whatever medium you prefer, remember to:
• Be creative: Don’t simply read your resume out loud, find creative ways to show them your resume. Mashable suggests using the video as a means of showing what you will achieve in the future, not necessarily what you already have. You can sing, act, be silly, whatever fits who you are.
• Make it short: While your video will be entertaining, the employer doesn’t have time to watch a ten minute video. Two minutes or less is ideal.
With the number of qualified candidates growing with each new graduating college class, it’s more important than ever that you stand out in your job hunt process. To do this, it’s smart to brand yourself – give your potential employer something to really remember you by. Be creative, have fun and get the job.
Jessica Sanders writes for lead generation resource, Resource Nation. She gives small business advice on topics such as social media and career advancement. Follow her on Twitter.
Image credit Beth Rankin