Today’s post comes from Jerry Hunter of Job Hunting University,
This is a very interesting time to be job hunting because we’re faced with constantly changing technologies & tools.
It seems that every few months, a new and better job hunting strategy arises because of some development in social media, mobile technology or the internet in general.
And as a job hunt guru, I make it my business to stay abreast of the changing trends and emerging strategies.
Back in 2008, I remember desperately pleading with job seekers to create a LinkedIn profile. And now, six years later, I am desperately pleading with job seekers to hire a freelance graphic designer.
Really? A Graphic Designer?
Yes, a graphic designer.
Times are changing and job seekers must face the truth: it’s no longer just about applying to jobs online and sending out basic resumes.
Being successful on a job hunt today requires creating content relating to your expertise, finding ways to stand out from the competition, and taking full control of your online brand identity.
And using a skilled graphic designer will make life easier as you tackle those tasks. Don’t shy away – it’s not as pricey or difficult as you think. We’ll cover those details later in this post.
But first, here are three important job hunt strategies on which a graphic designer can assist:
Strategy #1: Create a Visually Compelling Resume
Every week, I review hundreds of resumes. And I’m always amazed at how far people go to make their resume stand out and look unique. Vibrant colors, custom fonts, watermarks, profile pictures, graphs, charts, bolded text and everything else that pushes Microsoft Word to its limits. This approach is becoming the norm: we all want a resume that stands out!
Did you know that on average, a job posting gets 100+ applications? You need to find a way to catch the attention of hiring managers and stand out. To do that, you need to go beyond the borders of a boring black and white resume.
The most noticed resumes are the ones that have a unique template and are aesthetically pleasing to view. Check out the set of before-after resumes below.
Which would you rather read?
Clearly the resumes on the right are more impressionable than the simple black and white text resumes on the left.
Drop the amateur game and hire a professional to transform your resume into a something that will catch the attention of any hiring manager. Sure, you can hire a resume writer to build you a world class CV, but you might rather write it yourself and go the graphic designer route (for a much lower cost) to enhance its appearance.
Finding a freelance graphic designer is simple, watch the video below to learn how.
Here are the sites I mentioned in the video above to find a freelancer at affordable prices: Elance & Guru.
Strategy #2: Build Your Personal Website
Careertopia covered this topic previously, asking “Did you know there’s one thing you could do right now that would give you a leg up over 93% of the professionals you’re competing with for jobs, promotions, and opportunities?”
Starting a personal website is a phenomenal way to separate yourself from the competition and stand out from the millions of candidates looking for a job. Such a website allows you to display your work, your accomplishments, and what you’re looking for in your next gig.
And a graphic designer can help make your site visually compelling & showcase you in all your glory. For examples of appealing websites that generated powerful results, check out this prior post.
Again, setting up a personal website is easier that you think. Careertopia sells an ebook with step-by-step instructions; even with limited technical skills, you could have the shell of your site set up in a weekend.
You provide content and direction, and your designer can provide attention-getting graphics that reflect you and your job hunting goals. Many designers also know how to help you register a domain with your name, make the site mobile friendly, and integrate it with social media. That way, you’ve built something you can be proud to show potential employers.
Strategy #3: Start a Blog
Are you thinking “what’s the point of having a blog?” It’s for the same reason as the first two strategies: to make you stand out and separate yourself from the competition.
If you’re already planning on creating a personal website, you’ll want a blog integrated into it. And that’s another simple step that’s covered in The Ultimate Guide I mentioned above.
But if you have no intent to go the personal website route, you should at least consider starting a blog to increase your visibility. Blogging allows you to knowledgeably reveal your industry expertise, and allows you to inject a little personality into your online presence.
All you need to get started is a few paragraphs about your professional experiences plus a free WordPress or Blogger account is all you need to get started. But after you realize how a blog is a great way to personify passion and expertise (both of which hiring managers are looking for!) you’ll want to step up your game and hire a professional graphic designer.
I recommend a blog with a custom url, that’s mobile friendly, free of third party advertising and that looks stunning. I hired a graphic designer from Elance to build my blog at Job Hunting University. Take a look at it.
Here’s a quick, 1 minute video to explain how to best use a blog to help you find a job.
As personal websites, blogs and social media become norms for job hunting in the future, people will slowly realize that these are invaluable tools to find a job. Investing in these tools by hiring a professional graphic designer will likely become the norm, even though it may feel like a think-outside-of-the-box approach today.
If you’re hesitant, or don’t have the budget to hire a graphic designer, you can still use the strategies discussed here.
I’ll leave you with some free/cheap alternatives that can significantly improve your job hunt. If you enjoyed this article and learned something, please share it on your social media of choice; it really helps us spread the word.
Alternative 1: Head over to GraphicRiver and type in “resume” in the search bar. You can buy a great resume template that you can edit yourself for as low as $4. Each resume template indicates what type of file is delivered, so make sure you have the software to use your template of choice before buying.
Alternative 2: Learn PhotoShop basics by watching YouTube videos for free and download a free 30-day trial of PhotoShop to play with. I learned PhotoShop via video classes on Lynda.com and it was definitely worth the time investment. Being able to do some basic image editing and graphic creation will open up a lot of possibility for you with the strategies discussed in this post.
Alternative: There are website builders for as low as $10 a month that make it incredibly easy to build a great looking site.
Check out any of these web site builders to make a beautiful personal website and save some money on the front end: wix.com, weebly.com, webs.com, imcreator.com, wix.com, jimdo.com, squarespace.com
Alternative: Start a free blog using WordPress or Blogger, but settle for the un-customized version, using whatever standard graphics they offer. While the basics of these freebies won’t be as visually compelling as some of the examples we provided here, you’ll still be expanding your online presence, and that certainly won’t hurt your job hunt efforts!
I’d love to hear about your success with these strategies – be sure to comment below, or send us an email about your experiences & results.