Ok, you’ve tried everything – You’re emailed your resume out, you’ve used a resume distribution company, etc….. And no one is calling you back. Its ok, you’re not alone. For every 100 resumes you mail out, statistically you should get 10 interviews and one job offer. However, these are rough averages. To stack the decks in your favor and stand out from the others, below are the top seven tips for getting your resume to stand out.
1.) Use a different color paper for mailing your resumes. Chances are, you’re using a cream, white, or gray paper color. Yes? So is everyone else. Be creative, and use a non-resume paper. Be original, and stand out. With that said, should you use hot pink? No, remember you’re applying for a professional career – but do choose something less common than white, cream, or gray.
2.) Use a different size paper for your resume. Why you ask? Have you ever shuffled a stack of papers. Do you ever have one/a few pieces of paper that your shuffling are a different size than the others. They stand out right? Of course they do, they stand out from the rest – it’s simple, but it does make your resume stand out.
3.) Inside contact – If you’re interested in a specific company, get an inside contact. This means proactively trying to meet someone from the company, or a friend of a friend situation. People hire people they know – its comfortable. Therefore, do whatever it takes to get an inside contact.
4.) Certified Letter – Have you ever sent a certified letter? All it requires is going to the post office, and paying a few dollars to send it certified with confirmation. This means that the recipient of the letter must sign for it. And I’ll bet that they’ll sign – they’re curious, and want to know what it is. By sending it certified to the hiring manager, you’re insuring that your letter has reached its destination – it has reached the hiring manager. This is a huge plus, as usually the hiring manager’s mail is filtered through a number of gate keepers.
5.) Send your resume with a gift. Yes, a gift. Head over to the local florist, pizza place, etc – get creative. Pick out a nice bouquet or lunch, and deliver it to the office with your resume. If you do the pizza, here’s a tip – put your resume in a zip lock bag and tape it to the inside of the box.
6.) Deliver the resume in person. What do you have to lose? Walk into the office, and ask for the hiring manager (by name). Just say you need to discuss the current job opening with him. Sound crazy? It works – they will see you as being determined, proactive, and outgoing.
7.) The post-it note trick. In larger companies (and sometimes in medium/smaller companies) a secretary or an office assistant will open the resumes for the employees. This person is responsible for screening for junk mail and to weed out non-qualified candidates. Therefore, here is the trick. Take a regular Post-it note, and write something like “This one looks good! – J”, and attach it to your resume. Who is “J”? Who cares! The point is that the hiring manager will get a resume with a Post-it note on it, stating that it’s good. Therefore, they are more likely to pay close attention to the resume at the direction of another employee. By the time the person realizes its not a note from their mail screener, you’ve already gotten your resume reviewed – is it deceptive? – no, its effective and innovative advertising.