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Your Resume is not a Sheet of Paper

May 20th, 2011

When you’re applying for a job – in any field, but especially in the highly competitive field of marketing/advertising/interactive – be sure you go beyond simply sending in a resume when you’re applying for a job. These days, with the job market being highly competitive both for available positions and talent, it’s more important than ever that you really pay attention to how you present yourself as a candidate for a job.

Here are a few tips that can help you make a good impression on whoever is making hiring decisions and stand out from the basic resume-submitting applicants that you will be measured against.

  • Read the complete job description for any position you are applying for, and clearly indicate which position you are interested in when applying.
  • Do your own research on the firm you are applying with. Learn something about them and the work they are doing. Have a basic understanding of their business and what people do there.
  • Research people in the company and especially who you might meet or be interviewed by. Get a sense of their background, and be familiar with their work.
  • Tell your story in relation to the job position. Describe how and why you are a great candidate. Find what there is about the position and your interest or skills that make a great match, and describe that relationship to your potential employer.
  • Be interested ¬†and passionate. Nothing is less attractive than a potential hire that doesn’t seem to care whether they get hired or not.
  • Make sure that when you get “Googled” – which you WILL – that the information returned is what you’d like to have seen by others. It’s almost guaranteed that part of the hiring process is searching for your name online. If a personal blog or website with current information that matches everything else you’re telling as part of your story, you look like a more serious professional than if it’s out of date or just a bunch of photos of when you partied too hard in college. And if you don’t have a blog or site, make sure that you have your LinkedIn profile up to date at the very least. Which leads to…
  • Have a current and up to date LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is, in many ways, the new resume. Just about everything you can put on a resume can be added to LinkedIn. The additional benefit is that you can be seen in context with the rest of your colleagues. Plus – it’s a lot easier to keep LinkedIn up to date than a paper resume.
  • Lastly, be excited. Taking a new job is an exciting opportunity for everyone. Help your potential employer be excited to hire you by being excited to work for them.

There’s a good article on the99percent.com about the resume being dead. Lots of great resources on that site. Enjoy reading.

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