In times of job shortages and economic crisis it has become very tough to find a new job. Sometimes not even a solid education guarantees an adequate position. Good contacts are one way to yield a great job. However, a little bit of extra courage and creativity will also go a long way to getting noticed.
To be different, remembered, and invited to a job interview takes courage and a bit of luck. An interview then is the chance to convince your future employer personally. This article provides a few ideas about how to get noticed in the first place.
Note that details and traditions may vary depending on geographical location or job industry. Please do your homework and research requirements when you’re searching for a job online.
1. Job Search Pages & Networking
First of all, you will want to find the right employer or make them find you. Traditionally, employees hunt for jobs and hand in their applications. The internet, however, makes it a lot easier for employers to find and contact potential candidates. That’s why social networking can be more than wasting your time.
LinkedIn is one of many dedicated career networks. If you have other social networking profiles running use them as much as you can. Simply get the word out that you’re looking for a job and link to your online rÃ©sumÃ© (point 3).
Here are some networking resources to find a job online:
- About.com – How To Use Social Networking To Boost Your Career
- The Riley Guide – Networking to Enhance Your Job Search
- Quint Careers – The Art of Career and Job-Search Networking
The truth is, networking takes time, especially if you are just starting. So while the network is developing, you should actively search for jobs online. Here are pointers to get you started:
- Top 10 Most Effective Job Search Websites by Ryan
- 4 Tricks To Get Better Results From Job Search Engines by John
- 8 Sites For Beating The Job Hunting Blues by Charnita
2. Cover Letter
The cover letter is your written plea to the employer to consider you. Creating a good cover letter may well be the most difficult step. You must craft it carefully to leave a good impression and spark interest.
Here are some points to consider:
If you mail your application in paper form or send the cover letter as PDF, make sure you use appropriate page size and letter formatting.
Spelling & Grammar
This is essential throughout your application material. You do not want to leave a negative impression! Use a spell checker and have a friend check for grammar and readability.
Your cover letter shall not be a novel, rather a short story that fits on a single page. Your local standards may also dictate the formatting, i.e. amount of paragraphs.
Try not to use standard formulations. Be fresh and don’t bore the reader with too many details. Take the company’s point of view. Don’t talk about why you want to work there, but review the job description or advert, do an online research of the company, and then think about why you are right for them or why they will want to hire you. These arguments will be your selling point. The same way of thinking should be applied to your CV / Resume.
Let these resources guide you:
- Wikipedia – Cover Letter
- About.com – Cover Letter Samples
- CareerOwl – Cover Letter goals, details, tips, and more (browse through left-hand menu)
3. Personalized RÃ©sumÃ©
Many people don’t realize that a rÃ©sumÃ© is something they have to re-create, update, and personalize for every single job they apply to.
The perfect rÃ©sumÃ© is unique. Not only because you are unique, but because you took the time to adjust it to the unique job at hand. Just as with your cover letter, you must ask yourself what the employer is looking for, and then compile your work and life experience in a way that demonstrates you are their wo/man.
Here are some resources for inspiration:
- The Resume Shop – Creating RÃ©sumÃ©s Work for You and 24 Hot Tips on RÃ©sumÃ© Writing (Browse the links at the bottom of the first article for even more resources.)
- Sample Resume
Karl has summarized 3 Useful Websites for Free Downloadable Resume Templates.
4. Online RÃ©sumÃ©
To increase your chances of being discovered by a potential employer, put your rÃ©sumÃ© online. Most sites provide templates for you to fill in. While they do not allow you to personalize your CV for every job, they expose you.
We have reviewed several rÃ©sumÃ© hosting websites:
- Top 5 Free Resume Hosting Websites by Mahendra
- 3 Less-Known Free Online Resume Builders by Ann
- Top 3 Websites To Build A Free Resume Online by Tina
- Build An Impressive Free Resume Online In 15 Minutes With JobSpice by Jessica
- How To Make A Portfolio of Your Online Work With Protopage by Ryan
5. Creative RÃ©sumÃ©
A creative rÃ©sumÃ© is a solid attention grabber. It could be a rÃ©sumÃ© in comic format, a brochure, a flash animation, or a presentation. In any case, it’s something that’s definitely out of the average.
Don’t say you cannot do such a rÃ©sumÃ© in your field. If you’re struggling to find a job, you really have nothing to lose. No, be bold and hand in two rÃ©sumÃ©s. Start with an old-fashioned one, then follow up with a creative rÃ©sumÃ© and see which one receives a response.
Care for some examples?
- Webdesigner depot – 30 Artistic and Creative RÃ©sumÃ©s
- Work awesome – 25 Examples of Super Creative Resume Design
- Hongkiat – 45 Creative Resumes to Seize Attention
- How to Make a Visual Resume with PowerPoint in 3 Steps & Stand Out from the Crowd by Jessica Drew
Once you have scored a job interview, check out John’s article on 5 Sites With Job Interview Tips To Help You Ace Your Interview.
Did you ever land a great job? What was your secret weapon? Or what do you struggle with most when applying for jobs?
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