How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part I

Here I’d like to share with you a few strategies that caught my eye and that may help you stand out not only in your job search but also in selling yourself in life more generally. Don’t forget that you can also use visual resumes.

  • Part I: Using a job search website targeted to a specific company
  • Part II: Using a targeted blog and building community
  • Part III: Using Slideshare and a targeted social media campaign

Using a job search website targeted to a specific company

I thought I was doing my best during my job search to customise every piece of content I was sending out to specific companies. And maybe I was, within the time constraints, putting reasonable effort into this. Yet I could have definitely done more and my problem lay in a lack of proper focus.

I should have learned from this guy:

Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer, created a website focused specifically on getting him a position at 37signals.

Jasonscreenshot How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part I

What Jason did:

  • Avoided generic job applications. He targeted a specific company and tailored all of his content towards showing how he would be perfect for this one company and for this one job.
  • Researched everything about the company. Their past projects, what others are saying about them, company culture, their products as well as people within the company.
  • Explained why he wants the job and also why he’d be perfect for it.
  • Showed examples of his previous work projects and also included his resume.
  • He was proactive and gave insight into what his work for this specific company would look like. He did this by including a redesign of one of their web pages and showing his creative process. This way, the company wouldn’t be hiring “a rabbit in a hat” but someone whose quality of work they were able to judge beforehand.
  • Showed his personality and interests.

Ultimately, he made himself their most interesting and innovative applicant and clearly stood out from the crowd. And the result? You guessed it: he was hired!

Do you have any examples of creative job search using new web technologies?

How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part II

This is Part II of a three-part series on how you can be creative and stand out in your job search and more generally when selling yourself anywhere else.

Read other articles in this series:

Using a targeted blog and building community

In the previous post, we talked about setting up a website with your online pitch and portfolio targeting a specific company you would like to work for.

Yet even this approach results in a somewhat static website, lacking essential interactivity. Wouldn’t it be great if you could continually update the posted information and give the hiring company an insight into your thoughts as time goes by?

Jamie Varon did this through her TwitterShouldHireMe.com campaign

What Jamie did:

  • She created a blog with an eye-catching URL that also included the keywords of the company she was targeting.
  • She used other social media tools to promote her blog and to build community around her search (her posts on Twitter received over 400 retweets).
  • She included information about how others could get involved, either through posting a banner or through bookmarking her blog on other sites.
  • She updated her blog regularly providing more and more information about herself and why she wanted the job. This way she could also respond to the feedback she was getting from the online community that built around her.

Did Twitter hire Jamie? As of now, not. But this campaign did get her noticed and Twitter did invite her in for a lunch/interview. The important part is that this campaign certainly raised Jamie’s profile and led to job offers from other companies that liked her inventiveness and creativity. So it was definitely worth it.

Are you using a blog to promote your personal brand? Would you like to? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part III

3359997143 835b86bdcd How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part III

This is Part III of a three-part series on how you can be creative and stand out in your job search and more generally when selling yourself anywhere else.

Read other articles in this series:

Using Slideshare and a targeted social media campaign

We’ve looked at using a website as well as a blog and community-building techniques to promote yourself in your job search. But what about a truly comprehensive campaign using multiple social media tools?

It’s difficult to look for a job in a city far away from your current location. When Laura Gainor found out that she and her husband had to relocate to Milwaukee, she decided to be proactive and use Slideshare and other social media tools to target a position at a specific company.

What Laura did:

  • She researched potential companies of interest in the Milwaukee area through web and twitter search and started following their employees and brands on Twitter.
  • Reacted very quickly to a tweet about an open position posted by Comet Branding on Twitter.
  • Started a comprehensive social media campaign #LauraGainorToMilwaukee – using Foursquare, SquarePik, Youtube and Slideshare.
  • Caught the company’s attention through a creative photo campaign in the actual location. Laura made sure the company’s representatives were tagged in every tweet she used in the campaign and were thus informed constantly about her efforts.
  • By targeting a specific company, she could truly tailor all of her interactionstowards gaining the specific position.
  • She put together a visual resume and showcased both her campaign as well as skills and experience.

Laura got the job! With a bit of effort and lots of creativity, she was able to differentiate herself from all the other applicants for this post and show that she would really fit into the team.

What do you think about Laura’s approach?