You can get any potential employer’s attention. And when I say any, I mean it. It requires creativity and persistence. Fortunately, as service members, you have these things.
The average civilian is lazy. They will do the bare minimum, especially when it comes to applying for jobs. As a service member, you’re not lazy. You know that the details matter. This is particularly important when everybody is doing the exact same thing when trying to get a job. Everybody works on a traditional resume, they apply only when the company has a job opening available, and they wait patiently for a response… You know how it is.
What if there was another way to do this? To walk in the opposite direction of the herd in order to get noticed and create a splash in the job process? Well there is. Here are a couple of tools that top business leaders and entrepreneurs argue are the best ways to get noticed in the competitive job market today.
- Create a personal website and make your resume digital. Register your domain name (i.e JohnSmith.com or if it’s taken add a middle initial or full name such as JohnFSmith.com). Add pictures, videos, personal projects you’re working on, etc. to make yourself stand out. Companies want to hire people, and will get more out of a website with pictures and videos than the hundreds of traditional resumes they see. They’ll appreciate you were creative and went outside the box and they’ll be able to connect with who you are.
- Send a personalized video via email to the hiring mangers of the companies you want to work for. Do your research on the company. Have a good reason why you want to work there and how you can add value to them. Send it via email. You can do that right now! There’s no need to wait. How many personalized videos have these companies received? Probably none. And it only takes you 60 seconds to film a video from your smart phone. Turn the camera around, smile, and be yourself.
- Find the top 20 people in your field of interest. Reach out. You might have to pick up the phone. Offer to work for them for free for 2 weeks, 1 month, etc. Offer value to them in some way. Visit their website, read their blog, look at their marketing, and analyze their products. With your skills, find something that you can improve in their business. Offer to improve it for free. Gain experience.
The amount of successful people that started their careers by working for leaders for free for influential people is staggering. The learning and networking involved are worth it. And you might just get a mentor or two out of this strategy.
Not only this, but if you’re unsure if you want to jump into a specific field, working for free is a great, low-risk tool. Finding out you don’t like it after 3 weeks of unpaid work isn’t a big deal. Spending $50,000 for two years of education and then realizing you don’t like it is actually a big deal.
- Offer how you can improve an area of a company during your interview. Research the organization and find some procedures, marketing campaigns, website design, etc. where they are lacking. Create 2 or 3 plans of action on how you can help improve it. Pitch it to them during the interview. They will appreciate your go-getter mentality.
- If you are currently in a job you don’t like, and think other employment is the cure, you might want to think again.
One marine that we know needed a job quickly. He got hired at a warehouse at minimum wage. He realized the ineffectiveness of how the warehouse was operated during his first week. He went to his boss and said “I know a better way to organize this warehouse to increase output. I will stay all night tonight for free and reorganize everything. If you don’t like it after one week, I will stay overnight for free again and move it all back.” By the end of the week he was promoted to warehouse manager, overlooking 10 workers and getting paid a lot more.
- After you have an interview, follow up with a thank you email. Then take out a pen and a piece of paper and write an actual thank you note. Stick it in an envelope and mail it out. How many handwritten notes do employers get? Not many. You’ll stand out.