It’s quite depressing to read the news these days when all we hear about are the high unemployment rates of college graduates. The financial recession inevitably causes these new grads to work minimum wage jobs, hence causing underemployment. At the same time, we are also experiencing rising graduation rates. As we get closer to the graduation season, it is without a doubt that college grads are competing fiercely with their peers in their quest for that perfect job. An ordinary resume with high academic achievement, and a variety of extracurricular activity is no longer the ticket that will get you an interview. The key to getting a job opportunity is learning out how to stand out from the crowd. Doteasy would like to share a few tips for those who are currently job hunting on how to impress your potential employer.
This first tip is quite obvious, but we believe it still deserves a mention. LinkedIn is the free online social networking website for professionals. Many LinkedIn users like to set up their accounts similar to their CV, but we would like to remind you that LinkedIn was built on the philosophy of social networking. In other words, it is a tool for you to build networks with your potential clients and employers, so you should make full use of it! Instead of copying and pasting the contents of your resume, tell your readers whom you have previously worked with, and what you’ve done to help previous clients to achieve certain goals. Leaving your contact information is also helpful. This should be sufficient. Remember, less is more!
Tip #2: Contact Information
Speaking of contact information, your telephone number and Email address are the most commonly used forms of communication for job searchers. Again, we would like to reiterate that your goal in job searching is to stand out from your fellow job seekers. So, spend some time to see if you can find a meaningful word which can make your phone number stand out (e.g. HSBC Tel: 1-866-688-HSBC (4722). While this may not be an easy task for some people, you can also take an alternative approach using your Email address. Before we go into more detail about Email addresses, we would like to emphasize an important point: professionalism is the key! This being said, avoid using an Email address containing your favourite cartoon character, or the name of the lead role in your favourite soap opera. On the contrary, you can achieve much more by using an email with your own personalized domain. An email with a personalized domain serves the following two purposes:
- It differentiates your online identity among your competitors, who most likely have ordinary Email addresses such as @hotmail.com and @gmail.com accounts.
- It leaves a strong impression with your potential employer as to how much you value your professional identity online.
By convincing your potential employer that you value your professionalism, it makes sense that it would lead your future employer to believe that you will demonstrate the best effort you can to achieve the same level of professionalism in the workplace. To learn more about the great features of having a domain email account, check out this blog post.
Depending on your desired business industry, having a social media account is valuable because it can showcase some of your best work to your future employer. Of course, this depends on the industry that you are specialized in. However, we find that this tactic is especially relevant for marketing positions. Assuming your social media accounts are mainly about current trends of your desired business industry news, making the accounts public enables you to portray yourself to an employer that you are always on top of the trends. Before you make your social media channels available for employer access, consider the following:
- How often do you tweet or create content about your specialization’s industry? If the answer is not very often, then don’t bother!
- Are there any embarrassing/silly pictures you have been tagged in? If the answer is yes, then you know what to do.
Tip #3: Making a Website
For certain job positions, a paper resume may not be sufficient (e.g. fashion designer, photographer, journalist, etc.). You require a platform to showcase your work, and that’s why you need a website.
There are many free website builders available online which offer sub-domain services (eg. Yourname.wordpress.com or yourname.blogspot.com). While you can build your website for free with these services, the tradeoff is the lack of control over the look and feel of your webpage. Also, with sub-domains, you are unable to create your own personal domain email accounts. Most importantly, your goal in creating a website is to communicate professionalism, and market yourself as an individual who practices this important skill. Imagine this: if you need to purchase a product from an online store, which store would you pick? The one with a customized domain name, or the one under Blogspot?
Creating a website with your own personalized domain name creates an online identity for you as well as portrays a professional image to anyone who visits your website. Check out this article from Journalism.co.uk as it features how personalized websites helped 5 journalists land their dream jobs.
We’ve made a live demo website that is tailor-made for freelance photographers. Check this out by clicking the iamge below.
Lack of coding experience? No need to worry!! We’ve created step-by-step video tutorial on how to build this website. So, all you need to publish your professional website showcasing your masterpieces is: roughly $50 for the first year (less than 15 cents a day) + 1 hour of your time. To sign up, simply give this link a click, choose a domain name (e.g. yourname.com) and subscribe to our Unlimited Hosting plan. Need help during customizing your website? Our tech support team is happy to assist you.
A typical portfolio website should contain:
- A home page with your name, a brief intro about your expertise, and preferably a snapshot of yourself
- A page with your work/volunteer experience as well as your academic background
- A portfolio showcase of your work (photos, online article, freelance project, YouTube Video channel etc.)
- Contact info
Step #4: Go a little bit further
Just before we dive into the details, check out this success story:
The fellow from this webpage was desperate looking for a job, and not just any job, but a job from Google. Like many, he tried all the traditional methods of looking for a job such as sending in resumes, and posting portfolios on LinkedIn. Needless to say, these efforts had not been very effective in getting Google’s attention. Wanting to take things into his own hands, he decided to not just make a website, but also created a video resume for his potential employer. He leveraged the use of domain names very cleverly by including “Google” as a part of the website URL, and the “.ME” domain extension when he made the website. He is a prime example of how to market yourself effectively to employers. Soon enough, a technology blog spotted his website, and slowly many other blogs and the media caught on. He eventually received a lot of media exposure on ABC News, TechCrunch, etc.
So, what’s the takeaway? Be creative, think outside the box, and start building your online portfolio today!