The last few months have been a good time for job seekers in the U.S. Statistics show there are more job openings than unemployed people throughout the country, a historical rarity. This means that there are plenty of opportunities out there, as well as possible leverage for existing employees, to raise their pay. Another interesting figure is that recently, the voluntary quit rate hit a high it hadn’t seen in 17 years, suggesting a lot of confidence that those greener pastures are out there.
With this in mind, there are more chances than ever for people to find their “dream job,” whether that dream revolves around a location, vocation, or income bracket. However, it’s essential for would-be workers to use every means possible to get their foot in the door. Just because there are many jobs available doesn’t mean there are many of your dream jobs available.
Why You Need To Be Creative In The Job Market
When it comes to working towards getting your dream job, depending on your niche, you may be dealing with a lot of competition, and in some cases, your skill and experience may not be enough to match up. For example, a common practice when looking to fill a position is to favor people who have been referred to the company over those who have submitted an application. While this may seem unfair, one needs to look at this from the employer’s perspective. Any new hire that comes on and doesn’t work out represents a failed investment of money, time, and effort for training and such. As a result, wouldn’t you want to try to minimize this risk?
This is why employers love referrals and often encourage their current employees to provide them. By bringing on someone that a trusted employee can vouch for, it’s more likely that the employee will be a good fit. With the deck potentially stacked against you in this regard, it makes sense why you may feel the need to try to go that extra mile to appeal to an employer.
Applying Creativity To The Application Process
Creativity is a trait that a lot of employers value. Even if you aren’t in a creative field, there are always going to be unique problems and issues that a creative mind is most likely to find solutions for. As a result, when trying to apply for a job, it’s key to try to demonstrate that creativity wherever possible, as well as use your creativity to demonstrate other key traits that the employer may be looking for.
To start, let’s revisit the referral issue. You’re not going to be able to have a long-time friend or relative at every company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a connection before submitting your application. In some cases, your dream job may mean working with a certain company. In this case, it pays to be proactive. Spend time interacting with people who work within the company and try to start a professional relationship. This can be as simple as interacting with social media content that they put out. If you build this up, when you see a potential job interview opening up, you can ask your new connection if it’s possible for them to refer you for the position.
Another creative way you want to try to improve your chances is by bolstering your online profile on sites like LinkedIn, especially if you are working with a recruiter. One key thing to do is solicit a few recommendations from your professional circle and be specific about it. Tell the person specifically what traits or skills you want them to showcase in their recommendation and give them some examples of things they can mention.
We should also talk about portfolio pages. For people in creative fields, a portfolio page is essential in order to showcase your skills, but you want to be smart with how you curate the materials you put on the page. Ideally, you should not only be putting your best work out there but also a good variety of work, including some options from off-the-beaten-path if possible. Why take this step? A lot of the time, hiring managers are going through hundreds of potential applicants, and having interesting work in your portfolio can help you stand out from a sea of other people with similar qualifications. One way to do this is by adding a video to your portfolio. The content doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but this instantly shows that you have some degree of tech-savvy and communications skills—which carry over just about anywhere.
Tips For Nailing Your Job Interview
Putting together a unique “hook” for conversation in your portfolio or resume is a great way to make your job interview memorable—for all the right reasons. We’ve all heard a few horror stories about job applicants who end up doing the opposite, but there are some ways that you can infuse creativity into your job interview without alienating your potential employers.
In general, before trying to apply anything to a job interview, you want to get an idea of what the company culture is like. For example, showcasing your graphic design skills on your resume may be something that one company would love while another wouldn’t. The basic idea is to add a personal, but appropriate, touch to your interaction.
One particular way that you can try to stand out is to try to add some sort of added value or recommendation during the interview. The key to do this is making sure that you don’t come off as arrogant, but as someone who really wants to help. Again, knowing what the company and your role are about is key here. For example, if you’re applying as a web developer and discover a minor glitch on a company website, take a quick moment in the interview to mention what you see and offer a solution. This shows three things:
1. You’ve done research into the company.
2. You care enough to offer a solution for free.
3. You have the expertise to offer a working solution.
Understanding The Advertising Job World
Even compared to other fields, advertising can be quite competitive to break into. The good news is that in many ways, the job application process is uniquely tailored to showing off your skills. After all, advertising is all about getting a customer to buy into a product or service, so what better way to showcase your ability by effectively selling yourself as an employee?
In general, much of the advice that we’ve talked about applies when talking about breaking into advertising. Ideally, you’re going to want to have an idea of the type of ad agency you want to work for and tailor your portfolio to the type of content and areas that they service. One final piece of specific advice is that you want to connect your creative skill to tangible results. Show how your content has helped the profit margins of past clients.
In addition, it’s important to understand that advertising jobs don’t run in a vacuum. A freelancer is going to have a very different schedule than someone at a smaller ad agency, which, in turn, will be a very different experience than at a larger agency. If you are an advertising job seeker looking for a place to work, consider Glint Advertising. We’re looking for professionals who are interested in learning and willing to take on new challenges to create effective content and problem solve for clients. Reach out to us today to learn what opportunities are available.