8 Ways To Blow The Hiring Manager’s Mind


Resumes suck

We all know they do. No one likes writing one or sending it in. And no one really likes looking over resume after resume. Trying to decide who is going to fit into the company culture and fill a role by judging someone based on words on a piece of paper? No, thank you.

Applying for a job is like all the worst parts of dating. You have to find someone available. Then, show your interest in them. They check out your profile or whatever. Then, judge you on it. All the while, you are sitting on the other side waiting in anticipation. Maybe they’ll respond and ask for a first date? Maybe they’ll say they’re not interested. Maybe they won’t reply at all or worse, maybe they’ll lead you on a bit and then completely ghost you.

And then you do this all over. And over. And over again.

How can you boil down everything you’ve done and everything you can offer a company to just a single page of paper? Don’t forget you have to do this without overloading the person reading the resume. And you have to stand out from the other piles of resumes the hiring manager has sitting on their desk or inbox right next to yours.

And cover letters aren’t any better. Basically, the same thing as a resume without the luxury of being able to use bullet points. Sure, you can expound a bit on your life story, but at the end of the day, a hiring manager doesn’t want to hear it. They want results.

What you need to do is get noticed.

8 Ways To Get Noticed By An Employer

  1. Throw some damn design in there – Just because resumes are supposed to be “professional” doesn’t mean they have to be lame. Sure, you can make a simple, clear, plain text resume on a word processor, but guess what? Everyone else is doing the same thing. Check out Canva. Make your resume stand out by adding some sleek design to it. Hey, who said you can’t even design your own personal logo and put it in there?
  2. Submit your portfolio instead – Design and marketing hiring managers aren’t looking for credentials as much as they’re looking for results. If you’ve got a badass logo design portfolio, it’ll speak worlds more than some fancy degree or how many on-campus clubs you participated in. Hiring managers at print magazines would go crazy for someone who can show them exactly what they’re looking for.
  3. Actually share your results – Piggybacking off #2, if you’re looking for a marketing position, share a case study that would be important to the role you’re applying for. If you ran a successful international product design campaign last summer, what made it successful? What went well and what could’ve been improved? Make sure you have approval to use a company’s experience as a case study before doing so.
  4. Show up – Yes, it’s damn scary to make yourself vulnerable. Which means that no one else is doing it. Show up to the employer’s building and personally hand a physical copy of your resume to the front desk. Put it in a manila envelope with the CEO or hiring manager’s name on it. This will make it look important and definitely get on their desk. Also, include a handwritten note just saying thank you for looking at this. I suggest doing this in addition to applying to the ad online. Most likely, the hiring manager will already have seen your resume once, so this gets them to look at it again. And a physical copy will make them consider it for longer than just hitting DELETE on the keyboard.
  5. Slide into their DM’s – Yes, for real. If you’re applying to a small design or marketing firm, there’s a good chance that the CEO is running their Instagram account. Slide into their DM’s as a way to set yourself apart and communicate some clear value you can provide. Don’t just say ‘hey’ – make a short video (one minute or less) that basically sums up your experience and the value you can add to their company. Also, be clear about what position you’re after and why you want to work for them. Keep it 60 seconds or less – it’ll take about the same amount of time that they’d spend looking through your resume, but with your face and voice attached. Do this in addition to applying to the ad online. This way you can say your name in the video, mention that you’ve applied online, and they can go back and take a deeper dive into your resume. Leveraging this could be huge if you’re applying to a communication arts design firm.
  6. Offer a Freemium – Yup, the business model tech startups know and love can be applied to getting a job, too. Find something your hopeful employer needs, then offer to solve that problem, or part of it, for free. Don’t overextend yourself here – you want to give them a taste of the milk, not the whole cow for free. If you do this, I suggest offering something that should take you less than 20 minutes to do, but will add a lot of value and position you as an expert. An easier way to accomplish the same thing would be to create something your target employer would be interested in. Then reuse it as an offer for other companies, too. If you’re applying to a  graphic design firm, you could make art design content in the form of an e-book about the hottest design trends coming up in the next season.
  7. Get the referral – Chances are that you know someone who knows someone (who even still knows someone else) that works at a company you’re applying to. You miss 100% of the balls you don’t swing at. Open up that contacts list and use them to your advantage. Is this wrong? Nope. Actually, a large percentage of people start at a new company through contacts they’ve previously made. This could be your own network or that of your friends or colleagues. People like to help people. So, let people know what position you’re looking for, and ask them if they can help you get an interview, or at least get your resume on the short pile.
  8. Shine like a freakin’ diamond – Be a design and marketing rockstar. Get noticed on a graphic design awards platform, like The Digital Shortlist, so that there’s no way they won’t notice. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Well, it applies here, too, before you even have the job. Rock Candy Media’s own platform The Digital Shortlist is simple to apply. Go ahead. I dare you.

Start Today

Stop putting off applying for that job. Yeah, resumes suck, but now you’ve got 8 different ways to get noticed by an employer. Use them! If you’re looking for a job at a marketing and design firm, apply to work at Rock Candy Media.

At RCM, we don’t just comb through resumes. We offer a copy and strategy test to vet potential candidates. I mean, hey, we are the Anti-Template. We judge our applicants by their results – we look for people who mean business.

Is that you?

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