Getting Your Boot in the Door – Resume Tips and Tricks
I often hear people referencing the marketing industry as a revolving door for employees and positions. People move up, move on and move locations for new work opportunities all the time. While it is always hard to see someone go, it’s exciting to fill the position and meet new and talented people in our industry.
Just as we identify what sets our clients apart from their competition, it is important to set yourself apart from others, showing a potential employer why you are the best fit for the job. Speaking from experience, Look has seen a variety of different cover letter, resume and video styles, all trying to compete for the one position available. Unfortunately, the reality is that if you have a generic or boring introduction, chances are you are not standing out and someone else is getting the job.
Here are some tips and tricks for showcasing how amazingly talented and professional you really are:
- Content – content is king, but too much of it can be overbearing. Only include content that is relevant to the job posting and experience needed to be successful, and leave out the “fluffy” stuff. While it is nice to know that you enjoy traveling, your potential employer is more interested in what you can do for them professionally and why they should consider hiring you over the next person in line. Since you only have two pages to wow them, find a way to showcase what makes you different and how your background and experience can benefit them in the long-term.
- Example: if you have had any unique experiences, make sure to add them in. For example, if you traveled or studied out-of-country, share your experience. Just as important is how involved you are in your community. Future employers are interested to know that you give back and get involved in professional development or extra-curricular activities on your own time.
- Spelling and Grammar – it’s no secret that the majority of us probably slacked off in English. However, a resume is not the place to do that. You are only given one opportunity to make a memorable first impression, and if your cover letter is littered in spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, no one is getting to the resume. It is important to always get a second opinion or proofing of your cover letter and resume, and where appropriate, other materials you need to submit for a job. If you don’t have access to someone, there are tools like Grammarly that can help proof your work and give you spelling and grammar suggestions.
- Presentation – just as important as spelling and grammar is the presentation of your finished work. If you are using a generic template, chances are you won’t stand out against anyone else. Depending on which position you are applying for, find a clever way to present yourself that sets you apart from all other applicants and puts you top-of-mind in the employers “yes” pile. At Look, we’ve seen all kinds of presentation styles, from shoe and orange boxes, music and talking videos, and anything in between. We are in the creative industry after all…
- Example: Don’t be afraid of colour and formatting that will help you stand out. Add in emoticons next to the different sections to help the reader know which section they are referencing. Adding simple visual icons is a great way to elevate your resume. In addition to the layout and formatting, the delivery is also important. If you get the chance, personally drop off a resume and cover letter at the location you are applying to. Take it a step further and come up with a witty way to be remembered, like bringing in your shoe and saying “now that I have my foot in the door, here is my resume and cover letter”. Anything that can help set you apart will be memorable and show your dedication to the employer.
- Understand the Job Posting – more times than we would like to admit, we have seen people apply for a job that has nothing to do with their background, experience or expertise. Again, since you only have one opportunity for a great first impression, make sure you understand what you are applying for and evaluate if you are the right fit for the job before sending in your information.
While it will always be up to you to land the job, these tips and tricks are helpful ways to stand out and score an interview. Try something new, think outside the box and always remember to be yourself.