One of the more interesting tactics I have heard implemented in pursuit of a ‘dream job’ was when a woman sent in her resume to a company, along with a barbie doll with only one arm. In her cover letter she wrote, “I’d give my left arm for this job”. Had I been in that HR department I might have thought it was a little bit creepy… but it worked! She got their attention, and landed the position.
While I understand professionalism is obviously necessary when job (or client) hunting, I also think its absolutely critical to stand out from the masses, especially with the competition out there today. Being unique is key to standing out in their inbox, or on top of a pile of resumes. Gimmicky resumes may not work the majority of the time – but being original and finding ways to effectively showcase your genuine originality are critical.
If you’re actually physically mailing in a resume — what are some thoughts on how you can stand out? Obviously, paper is key. So many of your competitors will send in their resume and cover letter using plain old white paper. How about a splash of color? In the cover letter – get real, don’t drone on and sound like the rest of the letters they need to sort through. Tell them specifically, “Here are 5 reasons why I’m perfect for this job.” Show your personality, ingenuity and intelligence! But – be authentic. Enthusiastic, but authentic. Don’t lay it on too thick and at the same time use that valuable space to highlight what is perfect about the position and what is perfect about you.
Have links to your social media profiles, like linkedin and twitter (if what you tweet about is related to the industry you’re applying for).
Definitely have an online presence. Work at optimizing your name in search. Write articles in your niche, blog, tweet, get on facebook — but do it smartly. Always think about the client that will look you up, or stumble upon you. How do you want to come across? If I was looking for a partner in social media and seo, for example, I’d definitely be looking for someone who immersed themselves in the industry. I’d be looking for the majority of their tweets to relate to our field interspersed with original thoughts, triumphs and general excitement about the work.
Have an online portfolio, or testimonials to direct them to. Acquire your own domain name (johndoe.com) and build a website/blog that highlights your skills, portfolio, client testimonials and personality. Check out some of these examples of fabulous resume/portfolio sites:
Cabedge – I love the landing page on their site which to me speaks of confidence. The design is minimal, bold and pleasant without cramming showcasing all of their skills onto the homepage itself. It’s also direct and concise, speaking immediately to their potential client.
Gwen Bell – When you visit Gwen’s website you immediately get the feeling that this person knows what they’re doing, is comfortable in their own skin and you’re intrigued. She’s both professional and amiable – inviting you to get to know her while her call to action is immediately present for potential clients.
New Marketing Labs – It’s important to identify with your visitor immediately. I love how New Marketing Labs achieves that right from the get go. They talk to the clients needs and invite them to take action. Tastefully, below the call to action they highlight the caliber of clients they have worked for – and that they want to attract. It’s key to identify who it is that you want to work with, and what exactly it is you want to do for them.
We’ve all had the frustration of working for clients with whom we don’t resonate with creatively, so why not get to know them before a contract is signed and see of your ideas are going to be appreciated, or disregarded. Always remember that you’re interviewing them, too! The goal is to get your dream client, not the next client. So the next time you’re approaching a prospective client — get creative and don’t be afraid to share ideas. Get specific about the strengths and weaknesses you perceived to be in their business model (on the level in which it relates to the position at hand), and what steps you personally would take to bring their business to the next level.
Leverage your connections. When attempting to land a client, check to see if you have any secondary connections to that client in LinkedIn that could send a recommendation or introduce you.
By far the most impressive, ludicrously simple experiment I’ve seen in attracting your dream job was Alex Brownstein’s ingenious ploy to attract the attention of key Google employees by optimizing landing pages with their names and running a google adwords campaign:
For more helpful tips to help you reveal your own inspiration to attract the perfect client check out these resources: