As previously mentioned, developing your creative style is good for your personal life but did you know it’s beneficial for your professional life?
Hiring practices and the economy in general have changed significantly. When I was finishing up high school looking for a part-time job, I was taught what to do and not to do when applying for a job. I was taught to do what everyone else did because this was considered to be more “professional.” I have retained a total of zero of the principles that were originally taught to me.
Why is this? There are too many candidates for recruiters to deal with! Not only that, but organizations are trying to cut costs wherever they can. One major way to cut costs is to reduce the number of employees. Only the best are taken in and retained in an organization. These people are often the creatives who stand out.
There are still so many people I know out there who choose not to differentiate themselves from others. With the competition out there, following the tired old application practices will not get you very far. You should be showcasing your creativity.
Because a resume is one of the first points of contact (save for networking), let us focus on some basic tips.
- Design is important. If you don't want to read your plain and boring resume, recruiters won’t want to either. Plus, you want to stand out as much as possible. A plain white background and an unappealing font does not show me that you will bring something new and exciting to my organization if I am a recruiter.
- Your resume should spark interest. Recruiters typically look at resumes for 30 seconds. Only convey what is relevant and what you think makes you stand out – don’t give away the farm!
- Talk is cheap – unique experience is key. People have so many buzzwords in their resumes that it’s ridiculous. Yes we know you’re “hardworking” and have “leadership skills,” but how are you going to prove that? People stand out when they say what they did because nowadays everyone has “social-media experience” but not everyone spearheaded a big social media initiative.
Another big fear that we have in a world of social media is to be found by recruiters. When we were younger we had a fear that people from the internet would find us in real life. Now that we’re older, we are afraid that people in real life will find us on the internet.
It is actually beneficial to have an online presence. It means you have established your own authentic personal brand and it is just another platform to showcase how unique and creative you can be.
Taking a look at yourself and trying to figure out what makes you unique is the perfect creative exercise because it also gives you points to work on. Take an hour every now and again to ponder this. The game has changed, stay ahead!