This is a guest post by Kayla Ihrig for Contributor Platform.
In a competitive career field, to be qualified for a job is less than half the battle. There are thousands of graduates in your career field fighting for a job, so it’s important to be memorable. In order to stick out among other applicants before, during and after your interview, there are three things you will need:
1. A head-turning resume
For a single position, up to hundreds of resumes will be filing into an interviewer’s inbox. Stick out instead of being skimmed over. A resume that makes an interviewer stop and stare goes way beyond your work history and awards – it’s in the design.
Creatively designing your resume doesn’t mean you should abandon all qualities of a normal resume. You should still have clear categories in a logical order, with your name and information easily visible. Consider adding a personal logo, using a vertical format or adding a color scheme. Turn to Pinterest for inspiration.
My first non-traditional resume was simple with an orange logo in the top right corner with blue dividing lines. During one interview for a marketing internship, someone stopped in the interviewer’s office. Noticing my resume on her desk, he said, “That’s yours? We were passing it around the office yesterday. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
I was offered the job at the end of my interview.
2. A diverse portfolio
Portfolios aren’t just for artists. If the position you’re interviewing for has writing, design or marketing qualifications, you should take work samples. Showing off your strengths to a potential employer will make your more memorable than a candidate who just answered questions and left.
What to include: writing samples (especially published pieces), marketing pieces (brochures, posters, logos) and any other work you’re proud of. What not to include: work that has no relevance to the job. It’s important to show off your strengths, but if you’re displaying a piece that doesn’t have an obvious applicability to the job, point it out when showing the piece.
3. Something to remember you by
Now that you’ve blown the interviewer away before and during your interview, keep them thinking about you after you leave.
If you’re confident that the interview went well, offer the interviewer letters of recommendation on the spot. They’ll be impressed by your preparedness and will likely read them that day, instead of getting them via email days later. If they received a digital copy of your resume, offer them a hard copy as well. Also offer hard copies of your most relevant writing samples. They may say no, but taking the initiative and being prepared can never hurt.
About the Author:
Kayla Ihrig is a college student native to western Pennsylvania studying journalism at Indiana University of Indiana (IUP). She’s refining her skills in communications, public relations and graphic design by interning and working freelancing before being thrust into the working world in May of 2015. She enjoys attending leadership conferences all over the country and sedulously reading through every post from Entrepreneur. Connect with Kayla Ihrig on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.