It’s incredibly easy to stand out as a student looking for that first job. Like ridiculously easy!
Because every other college student is following the generic advice they get from the career center, online, and from other people who are also following generic, basic advice.
Imagine the majority of students as small pigeons. They all look very similar, and there’ nothing different that makes them more noticeable.
Now imagine yourself as a bright red cardinal bird or a colourful parakeet. Immediately, you can tell that you’re different, that you aren’t a part of that flock of pigeons.
Do you want to be a pigeon or do you want to be colourful?
You’re nearing the end of your studies (if you haven’t finished already) and you’ve got your CV all in order. Now it’s time to standout and not get lost in the crowd like the millions of pigeons out there. Here’s how.
1. Add a design/color to your resume.
Whoever told you that you can’t have color on your resume is a complete liar! Color is not unprofessional. People used to think that black suits were professional and navy or grey suits would get you an automatic rejection. Now when you go to career fairs or interviews, you see a variety of colors. The same goes for resumes. No employer is going to throw out your resume because it is nice looking, in fact, it can help make you standout.
2. Build a basic personal website
By having a personal website, you have the power to promote whatever message you want to share about yourself. With platforms such as LinkedIn, you have certain fields that you can fill in. But on your own website, you have the freedom to showcase your personality in a way that best suits you.
Avoid replicating your LinkedIn profile (most common mistake for student personal websites!). Use this as an opportunity for others to learn about you as a person, your interests, passions, and what makes you unique.
3. Create a business card
Most students don’t have a business card. It’s simple as that. If you attend a career fair, you’ll see plenty of resumes, but no business cards. When I was in my first year studying, I designed a basic business card with my picture on it and gave it out to employers at a career fair. Two years later, I talked with the same companies and they still bring up the business card I used.
4. Be active on LinkedIn
Don’t just have a killer profile but get active. You have the potential to reach hundreds, to thousands, to millions of people. All it takes is one simple post on LinkedIn. And the funny part is, over time, recruiters will slowly become part of those numbers and be the ones who notice what you post.
But the other part of posting, is don’t just post professional content, but don’t make it unprofessional either. Post things that are interesting to you and show off who you are and what you’re passionate about.
5. Change up your outfits
Before you even shake a recruiter’s hand, they see what you are wearing. They see your clothes, your hair, and your posture. And because of that, this is your first opportunity to stand out. Wear something unique. Wear colors that aren’t boring. Wear a bow-tie instead of a tie. Wear something that is not commonly worn by job seekers, but still isn’t unprofessional.
The key to getting the job you want, is simply to stand out. Be memorable.