We talk a lot about surviving the interview, as if that’s the biggest hurdle to getting a new job. But what about getting the interview in the first place? William Arruda, a “personal branding guru,” gave his top 10 tips to Forbes magazine on how to get your foot in the door so you can make it to the interview stage.
1. Use Video
The old cover letter and C.V. combo just doesn’t cut it anymore. Stand out by breaking out of the text-based communication mode. Make a YouTube video bio or leadership profile, or send a personalized thank you video instead of the standard thank you email.
2. Be Visual
Make your resume pop with color and company logos. Paint a picture where everyone else is just typing things in black and white. It will make your application stand out and show more of your personality.
3. Stalk ‘em
According to Arruda, it’s okay to keep tabs your potential employers, particularly on LinkedIn. He even recommends using the Corporate Alumni feature to “identify potential contacts and reach out to learn as much as you can—the stuff they don’t share on their company profile.”
4. Stay in the Loop
Follow your ideal company on social media and LinkedIn. Arruda adds, “Use tools like Newsle to stay up to speed on what the executives and your hiring managers are doing.”
5. Look Good on Google
Just like it’s okay to stalk them, remember that your new employer will be Googling you. Make sure what comes up is the best of your online presence. “Exploit this opportunity to the max and leap ahead of the competition with a compelling headline, summary that tells your story and professional headshot,” Arruda says.
6. Get a Website
Have your own domain name and website, even if it’s basic. That will give recruiters a place to find all your relevant information without having to do too much digging. Put the link on all your profiles, your email signature, and your business cards.
7. Stay Current
Before the interview, check whether your company has been in the news recently. If they just launched a product or merged with another company, you’d do well to arm yourself with the most current intel. It shows you pay attention and that you care.
8. Make DIY Business Cards
Even if you have a company card, consider making your own. With companies like Upwork, you can design and print personalized cards without breaking the bank. There’s no better way to showcase your own personal style and brand.
9. No Ghosting
The follow-up is key. Remind your interviewers of your skills and charm—and this time, try sending a video message instead of the standard email!
10. Stay Connected
Even if you don’t get the job, you can claim your interviewers as future contacts. Consider every rejection a fruitful networking opportunity and stay positive by building relationships and taking a more long-term strategy.
Arruda’s bottom line is this: “Dissect the stages of the interview process and decide how you will make your mark at each touch point.” If you do that, you’ll be sure to stand out. Even if you don’t get this particular job, chances are you’ll have made a great impression and will be well on your way to an even better opportunity.