When it comes to job hunting, it pays to think innovatively. After all, you want to stand out and get noticed. But while there may be plenty of colourful ways to grab attention when applying for jobs in creative industries such as marketing or graphic design, what about opportunities in other sectors?
Fresh thinking isn’t restricted to ideas such as making a Lego CV. There are plenty of other ways to be creative in your job search. Here are four tips that work in any profession.
Call before you apply
It’s not always easy for employers to gauge an applicant’s enthusiasm for the role. Submitting a great CV and cover letter is certainly a good start, but they won’t know the difference between an application that took five minutes or five hours to perfect.
So how can you emphasise your commitment to getting the role?
Research the company and find contact details for the person who would be your manager. If you can’t find them specifically, you should at least be able to find someone in the HR department to speak with you.
Give them a call and ask if you can have a quick chat about the role and their expectations for applicants. You can also use this as an opportunity to mention a few reasons why you’d be a good fit.
Network, network, network
Networking is an essential part of any job search, but you can’t wait for the opportunities to come to you. Snatch every chance you get to network with those in your industry, whether it’s at a conference or convention, a speaking engagement, or even just meeting for coffee.
There are also plenty of digital resources you can use to meet new people in your profession. Meetup is an excellent resource, with professional groups from many industries listing events. You can always find lists of RICS events on our website as well.
An important thing to remember at these events is that personal assistants and receptionists can be the most valuable contacts to make, as they are most likely to know about upcoming vacancies before they’re advertised.
Show you value the same things
It’s important to know as much as you possibly can about a company before you apply for a role. More than what the company does, look at who they are and how they portray themselves. See what achievements they highlight on their website and read up on their company values.
Try to tailor your CV and cover letter to show that you share those values. This can mean demonstrating that you care about your community or the environment, showing off your volunteer work or even just using suitable keywords in your personal statement.
Living a company’s values will help align you with them and shows that you’ve actually done some in-depth research. It’s also a great talking point when you inevitably get asked in the interview why you want to work for that company.
Find a mentor
The most valuable thing you can learn from the person who has your dream job is how they got the role in the first place.
Talking to someone who has a role you want or a similar one is a great way to get advice on how you can reach their level. Finding a good mentor can boost your career prospects significantly as they can provide a clear strategy for you to follow to achieve your goals. With proper support you’ll learn which skills to develop, what events to attend and even which projects to work on.
Taking this approach will help open doors in the future, as well as giving you an advantage over the competition.