By Colin Hussey, Corporate business manager, Serif.
It’s tough out there! Both job seekers and those involved in the recruitment process are up against it at the moment. Just for the record, 3,000 people a day are being laid off and currently UK unemployment stands at around 2.4 million (Office of National Statistics)
With competition for jobs so tough and those in the recruitment chair having to wade through mountains of CVs and résumés to find the best people to interview, candidates need to ensure their ‘job-seeking toolkit’ is well-stocked and creates a dynamic first (and last) impression.
To help job seekers stand out from the pack, here are a few tips from design and creative software company, Serif to help them create their own personal brand:
1. Catch the recruiter’s eye with a personal logo
A well-written cover letter can make your application instantly stand out from the rest when emblazoned with a personal logo. As with any brand, a personal logo should represent a candidate’s own characteristics. Today logos can be created quickly and easily using a desktop publishing (DTP) software program, often by slightly modifying an existing template.
2. Add omphf to your résumé with colour and graphics
Once the cover letter grabs the recruiter’s attention, elevate a traditional text-laden résumé to a new level by incorporating finely tuned color pallettes or accent graphics, but don’t be tempted to go overboard! Add that extra bit of professionalism to a résumé by turning the document into HTML format or a PDF in a single click.
3. Continue the conversation with a personal website
Once a recruiter’s interest is sparked, their first move will be to search for the candidate on the web. Make an impact by extending your personal brand online, with an interactive website.
You don’t have to understand complicated HTML code or programming languages or even have any web design skills when you use a simple web design package like WebPlus that offers tons of website templates to chose from.
With a little thought and creative input, you can create professional-quality, attractive and informative sites that also integrate web 2.0 elements, like a blog, links to your Twitter feed or Facebook page and even embedded video.
4. Leave a lasting impression with a portfolio and business card
Great qualifications, a perfect résumé and a great online presence can help get the interview, but then the focus shifts to maintaining a personal brand during and afterwards. Candidates could offer samples of their relevant past experience (for example, a portfolio showing sample projects or writing) in a full-colour, seamless presentation and leave behind a personal business card with all relevant contact information including your website address.
5. Brand your replies and thank-yous
Following a job interview, a candidate should send a hand-written ‘thank you’ note to the interviewer/s. Stay fresh in their memory by mentioning a point of conversation from the interview and being sure to include your now-recognisable personal brand logo on any follow-up correspondence.
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