Job hunting is a full-time job. You’re prowling job boards, stalking your favorite websites, following every brand you love on Twitter and searching non-stop for the career or your dreams – or at least, a foot in the door. And after you send off your résumé, it’s time to sit back, relax and wait with fingers crossed, right?
Before you even hit “send,” there are eight huge things you can do to ensure that your résumé sits miles above the competition, and gets you noticed for a first interview.
In case you haven’t already noticed, it’s all about what you do behind the scenes that matters most when your résumé comes face-to-face with a hiring manager.
Here’s what you can do to improve your chances, make yourself stand out as a professional and have a little fun.
1. List your accomplishments instead of your duties.
Employers want to know what makes you so good at your job and why you’d make a great addition to their team, not that you can fill in an Excel spreadsheet while simultaneously pouring coffee for the CEO (even if that is a pretty damn cool skill).
Consider rephrasing your job “tasks” on your résumé to instead reference your accomplishments while you worked there.
Sure, it’s great to see that you are skilled in Photoshop, but knowing that your design skills lead to 20,000 more page views per article is a much more marketable trait.
2. A balanced social media presence.
Like the rest of the world, you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn — so why not let that shine when you’re sending out your résumé to companies?
The hiring process isn’t as cut and dry as it used to be. No longer can a piece of paper and three recommendations get you the job of your dreams; now, you’ve got to work much harder for it and be present across the board.
So before you hit “send” on that application, take the time to add links or at least make mention of your presence on social media – and even before you do that, make sure that your accounts are somewhat professional. Keep in mind your audience (potential employers) and delete the things you wouldn’t want them to see.
3. Be different.
If it hasn’t already happened to you, chances are it’ll happen to you somewhere along the lines of your professional career: You’ll be qualified for the role, and you won’t even make it to the initial interview.
Why? Because HR professionals, recruiters and headhunters aren’t looking for the same ol’ same. They’re looking for people who bring a lot of creativity, fun and enthusiasm to the plate. Plus, job descriptions are no longer cut and dry like they once were.
So have a little fun with your résumé and your cover letter. Let your personality and excitement shine through.
If you’re eager about a role and think you’d be great at it, make that known. Something that sets you apart may be the reason you get noticed in the first place.
4. Create a website that’s functional and fun.
No offense, but anyone can create a boring and basic website, so if you’re going to do the legwork, why not go the whole way?
Don’t just attach your name to something so you can say you’ve got a website; work toward making it something you’re proud of – something that’ll last much longer than your 15-minute job interview.
Your website is an extension of your brand, so fill it with details and the stuff you love, like pastels, skateboarding, water conservation and pretty mid-century couches.
You don’t have to write 15 articles every day, or even blog 20 things at a time, but you do need to make sure it’s current and still true to you.
Need a place to start? Squarespace provides fresh, modern and fun website templates and unique tools that are fully customizable and aren’t as dated as other web providers.
You’ll stand out immediately and won’t spend hours racking your brain trying to change your header colors.
5. Ditch the standard résumé format.
Here’s the deal: Employers still want to see all of the information on your résumé (because it’s the determining factor on whether or not they’ll want to meet you for the role), but that doesn’t mean you have to use the same exhaustive format as everyone else.
Have a little fun with your experience! But remember to make it easy to read, understandable and coherent. Highlight what sets you apart and also what makes you a fun, capable and skilled potential employee.
6. Have a few sample résumés.
I know that means more work for you, but trust me, it’s worth it. If you’re applying to jobs in vastly different fields, the same skillsets that make you desirable in the medical field won’t exactly sync up with the food service profession.
To make the process of creating more than one résumé a little less daunting, make a list of all the skills relevant to each position you’re applying for.
You’ll have some overlap, which is fine, but at least you won’t put unnecessary skills in front of the wrong employer. Keep easy-to-read labels on each doc so they’re easily accessible and ready to go as needed.
7. Remember to update your profile every few months.
Updating your résumé every time you’re ready to apply for a new position is almost as awful as filling out the application, so making the case for updating your résumé regularly shouldn’t be all that hard to understand.
Some people recommend updating your online and in-paper profiles once a quarter. But if you want to keep things simple, update your résumé as new duties and responsibilities come your way.
The “upgrades” will be fresh in your mind so you won’t forget about them or overlook them, and you’ll be able to replace your more current responsibilities with the outdated tasks.
It’ll be less work for you in the long run — plus, you never know when the listing for a role you’re crazy about is going to pop up. Time — and jobs — waits for no man.
8. Make connections everywhere you go.
When you attend industry events, concerts, games and listening parties, you’re not just there for the event anymore.
Every opportunity you get is a chance to meet someone who could potentially put you in touch with the hiring manager for the job of your dreams.
Keep that in mind and don’t get so super wasted you can’t stand up and need to be carried out on the shoulders of a security guard. First impressions, no matter where they are or how unintentional they are, matter.
*Original Article by Kylie McConville: http://elitedaily.com/money/8-things-can-job-hunting-thatll-get-noticed-faster/672923/