Getting employers' attention in today's job market is no easy task!
When organizations get dozens, even hundreds, of applicants for each job opening, it's hard to get noticed even if you're a perfect fit.
Being unique in some way, doing something attention-grabbing, or getting creative is one way to rise to the top. Taking the idea too far, however, can hurt more than it helps.
Someone putting their picture with a "Hire Me!" appeal on a billboard will get a very different reaction from potential employers if they are pursuing a position as a Funeral Director rather than a job in advertising.
Many fields are characterized by certain levels of professionalism and decorum. When someone does something so far outside the norm it will certainly get noticed and grab people's attention. However, it is also likely to create more of a negative impression than a positive one.
Pursuing a role in a more creative environment may call for more drastic stunts. It's important to have a good understanding of the limits in your profession.
Setting yourself apart in ways that emphasize the most important qualities they want to see is imperative. That will vary depending on the type of role you pursue. Certainly functional and technical skills for the role matter greatly. However, other factors are equally important. An organization isn't just looking for job skills.
They are also looking for:
Sense of Urgency
Strong Work Ethic
Ability to Work Well with Others
Distinguishing yourself in those areas, as well as technical and functional competence for a role, will make the difference.
Research the field, the industry, and the company you are trying to pursue, and find ways that would make the most positive impact. Be creative based on what unique characteristics you have to offer to a potential employer.
Perhaps it's -
Be creative, appropriate, professional, and a cut above any other applicant they will hear from.
You may get attention, but probably not the kind of attention you want, by:
If those actions are inappropriate for the employer and industry, they will more likely be fodder for jokes around the company rather than a job offer for you.
Think outside the box to find ways to stand out from the crowd in your job search. But, don't be so far outside the box that you are not taken seriously!
Harry Urschel has over 25 years experience as an independent recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives. He can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org