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Looking for a Job? Here’s How to Stand Out From the Crowd

It’s a bit easier to find available opportunities than it was a few years ago. However, you're still competing against a multitude of other candidates, and even getting an interview can be extremely challenging. How can you be sure to stand out so you can get your foot in the door -- and hopefully land that job of your dreams?

It’s a bit easier to find available opportunities than it was a few years ago. However, you’re still competing against a multitude of other candidates, and even getting an interview can be extremely challenging. How can you be sure to stand out so you can get your foot in the door — and hopefully land that job of your dreams?

(Photo Credit: thinboyfatter/Flickr)

As it turns out, getting a little creative with how you send your resume — and then approach the interview — can make all the difference to whether you’re noticed or even remembered by recruiters. Recruiters can receive over 100 resumes for an open position, meaning it’s up to you to ensure that yours stands out from the crowd. Here are a few ways to do it:

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1. Send a Message in a Bottle. A few years ago, I was working for a popular startup in Seattle that was hiring for almost every position — and with perks like unlimited PTO and an in-house chef (yes, you read that right) the recruiters were swamped. One day, a recruiter received a flowers in a vase with a lovely note asking us to consider her for a position. The trick? Her resume was inside the vase. Our recruiter was so impressed with the lengths the applicant went to impress our team that the recruiter shared the delivery with the entire staff via email. Needless to say, the applicant was invited in for an interview.

2. Send Your Portfolio. Literally. Are you a creative type? Whether you’re an artist, designer, or writer, you likely have years of work to show you’re really, really good at what you do. A resume just doesn’t do you justice, and you know it. Even if you must email a resume, definitely send your portfolio to your potential boss with a note that the recruiters have your resume on file. Be sure it’s polished, pretty, and potentially even tied up with ribbon. The goal here is to show you can do the job — and do it better than any potential candidate can just say they can.

3. Go to Lunch. In a recent article in Forbes, Kathryn Dill suggests a few creative tactics that can help job seekers stand out. These include sending a deli tray with a resume to ask for a lunch meeting with the hiring manager. It’s a tactic that no one else will likely think of, and the creativity will likely earn you an invite — either for lunch or for an interview. 

Of course, these are just creative ways to get in the door. Once you’ve scored an interview, it’s up to you to be sure you have a strong, confident presence and that you can back up the level of creativity that got you there. 

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think these tactics are clever or gimmicky? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.