When you begin the search for your next assignment, you probably update your CV (if you aren’t, you should be!), contract search and start sending your details out to businesses.
These are all necessary steps to follow, but with competition high in the job market, you need that little bit extra to make you stand out from the pile of CVs.
Lesson #1: Show you understand the company
You may have come across this story already, but last week we tweeted about Nina Mufleh, who caught headlines in 2015 with her Nina4Airbnb website. She was eager to work for the travel company, but was struggling to land an interview. So she got creative.
She modelled her CV on their website, and used the platform to not only showcase her skills, but tell the company what they meant to her and how she could contribute. Her idea grabbed not only Airbnb’s attention, but the likes of LinkedIn, Uber and many other companies. Her efforts got her a job interview with Airbnb, but even though they didn’t have a role for her, she did bag herself a job with online workplace Upwork.
For some inspiration, take a look at her CV.
What we can learn
When you’re expressing your interest in a company, having an eye-catching CV is important so you stand out from the competition, but it isn’t everything. Nina had made several attempts to get an interview, but failed. Instead of giving up, she created something that set her apart from the competition and showed her understanding of the company. As you can see, these things are important, so don’t just focus on talking about yourself, show them how you are right for the assignment.
Lesson #2: Showcase your skills
Back in 2013, the news picked up a story about media production graduate, Adam Pacitti, who had spent his last £500 on a billboard, in his bid to attract the attention of employers. In fact, he built an entire “multi-platform viral advertising campaign”, including a website and video. He got several jobs offers and eventually accepted one at a digital agency.
What we can learn
First off, don’t go blowing your last bit of money on a billboard; it’s not a foolproof plan in getting your next contract!
However, taking the time to demonstrate your skills rather than simply writing about them is a great way to grab a company’s attention. You don’t have to do anything extravagant. Take designer Robby Leonardi, who built a interactive resume and Melissa Washin, a product designer who created a sewn fabric CV. They managed to show their skills before anyone even had the chance to read about them!
Lesson #3 Show you care who you’re talking to
It’s not just about what you’re sending, but who it is going to. Recently, a lawyer addressed their cover letter to the secretary, adding a little treat along with it.Their creative and unusual approach managed to grab the attention of the head of marketing at the firm, and they managed to bag themselves an interview.
What we can learn
Electronic submissions are the norm these days, but sending in a physical letter and a treat was a good way to be unique. To grab the attention of the person who will be the gatekeeper for your CV before it is passed along; take the time to research the company, so you can address them in any of your correspondence. This will show you have made the effort to look in to the company and their people.
At the end of the day there’s no foolproof plan in landing your next assignment, and we’re not saying the above methods will work for you. However, before you click send on your CV take another look. Does your CV properly represent you? Have you highlighted your skills? Have you done that extra bit of research to give you a bit of an edge? Are you sure that it’s even going to be read?