Not sure how to make your resume and cover letter memorable? Here are some tips for selling yourself and making a great first impression.
Do your research
Learn all you can about the company you are applying to and lend some thought to how you intend to portray yourself. Understand what both you, and the company, are looking for.
Learn the basics about the business
Do basic research of their history, the website, and why they do what they do. Portraying this understanding, especially during the interview, will prove your initiative and interest in their company.
Research the brand identity
It is important to portray your compatibility with the business’ brand by using a similar approach to design in your application process.
For example, is the business focused more on whimsy design and grassroots vibes or is it focused on clean shapes and vibrant colors? If the recruiter envisions you assimilating easily to the business, there is a much higher chance you will be remembered and possibly hired.
Be confident in your personal brand
Your personal brand is how you are portrayed to others and it’s what makes you unique. This can include everything from your online presence to how you format your applications.
The application and interview process is all about you! Aside from the occasional “do you have any questions for us?” most questions will be inquiring all about your personality traits and experiences.
This may seem frightening at first but see it as an opportunity to showcase your personality.
You will most certainly be asked questions such as:
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
When answering such questions, always provide personalized responses supplemented with past experience. By reviewing practice questions beforehand, you will gain the confidence to eloquently express yourself.
To learn more about your personality and how you differ from others, try the Big Five Personality Test. This specific test will explore five domains of personality including openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Reflecting on yourself and what you can bring to the table will provide you guidance and inspiration for your application process.
Add a personalized touch
You want to visually communicate your intentions to your employer. This may be your only opportunity to make an impression when multiple people are qualified.
For example, if you are applying for a design job, prove you can make even a resume look beautiful. If you are applying for a managerial position showcase your organizational skills.
For the resume:
- Keep it short, 1 page
- Avoid confusion by including whitespace
- Simplicity and legibility is key: 12-point text with simple font
- Let your individuality shine by choosing an accent color
Remember: Be as concise as possible; no one wants to read irrelevant or generalized information.
In the cover letter:
- Visually pair the cover letter and resume
- Add some humor
- Make it very specific
- Since a cover letter is not always required, make it fun to read
Remember: Highlight what makes you the best fit. Sometimes what makes you the best fit is not your work experience but other things that add value like leadership roles, volunteering, and hobbies.
Now that you have the tools to make that first impression, you are already one step closer!
In the meantime, stay up to date on all things job search related by subscribing to our weekly blog down below!