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5 Ideas for Job Seekers Who Think Outside the Box

Hannah Morgan

Have you submitted your résumé to hundreds of jobs and gotten no response? Maybe you've tried networking and are disappointed in the lack of leads that ensued. There is nothing more frustrating than the rejection and indifference experienced during a job search. The following ideas may just do the trick, help you stand out and get the attention you want. These are geared toward job seekers who are ready, willing and able to put in the extra effort to secure a job and who are not afraid to try new strategies to stand out and be memorable.

1. Show your creativity: Create an infographic résumé. Infographics are popular marketing tools and offer another way to present your experience. Design skills are not necessarily required. For example, if you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can convert it into an infographic using no-cost online tools such as Re.vu, ResumUP or one offered by Visual.ly and Kelly Services, Inc. If you want to create an infographic using other data, check out Piktochart or Easel.ly. An infographic résumé is a newer concept and you may want to see examples to generate ideas of what to include before you embark on your own. Search Google images or Pinterest, and keep in mind that an infographic isn't a substitute for a text résumé. Most recruiters prefer to see the traditional format. You can, however, use your infographic during networking meetings or as a follow-up after a meeting. Don't forget to embed your infographic résumé in your LinkedIn profile's summary section to catch attention.

2. Don't wait for the interview: Shoot a video. Do you feel you could prove you're qualified for a job if you could get the interview? You can use video to explain your qualifications and interest in the job. Very few job seekers are using this media, which makes it a unique and memorable way to capture the employer's attention. Your video should explain why you are a good fit for the job and why you want to work for that employer. It doesn't have to be long. In fact, most marketers recommend keeping videos under three minutes. Companies such as Zappos invite applicants to submit a video along with the application material. Video may not be for everyone, but if you aren't afraid of getting in front of the camera and have some basic editing experience, then this format may give you an advantage.

3. Provide proof you can do the job: Build a presentation. You can present your qualifications visually through slides. The presentation doesn't replace your résumé, so you will want to submit it as supporting documentation, just as you would with an infographic. A presentation may give you the added space and flexibility to showcase your samples of work, customer testimonials or other recognition. When creating your presentation, keep in mind that images are more powerful than words. Don't cram your slides with bullet points and words, instead use pictures, logos or other visuals to represent concepts. If you want to experiment with different presentation software, you may enjoy Prezi, Google's presentation software or even a paid service like PowToon.

4. Make the most of your informational meeting: Share your marketing plan. If your networking isn't as productive as you would like, perhaps sharing a personal marketing plan would generate better results. Your marketing plan should clearly spell out what you want to do, the skills and qualifications you wish to highlight and the demographics of the right company for you. The real value in your personal marketing plan is in listing the names of companies that fit your criteria. This will help the person you're speaking with understand what you're looking for and they may even know someone who works for one of your target companies.

5. Stay in touch with your network: Publish a newsletter. Create a newsletter and use it to stay in touch with the people you met networking. Your newsletter isn't about you and you won't write about your job search. It is about what you know or what you've learned. Write about current trends in your field or provide solutions to problems you know your target industry faces. To get ideas for topics to write about, sign up for industry newsletters and read industry articles from SmartBrief. Marketing today is about providing solutions, not throwing your advertisements out there. When you write your thank you note, invite people you networked with to subscribe to your newsletter and include a sign up link. Use a free email marketing software, such as MailChimp, or a low-cost provider like AWeber or Constant Contact, to give your newsletter professionalism and meet email opt-in requirements.

Always Use A Referral

Studies have shown the best way to secure an interview and receive a job offer is to have an employee inside the company refer you. When this isn't possible, seize every opportunity and show the extra effort to catch the employer's attention by providing evidence that you're the right candidate for their job. Or, at the very least, show that you aren't afraid of hard work and taking risks.

Hannah Morgan writes and speaks on career topics and job search trends on her blog Career Sherpa. She co-authored "Social Networking for Business Success," and has developed and delivered programs to help job seekers understand how to look for work better.

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