How do you present a positive and creative memorable impression that will give you an advantage in the challenging market? Here are a few novel ideas.

Job rivalry is intense in today’s economy. So how do you present a positive, memorable impression that will give you an advantage in the challenging market? Here are some creative techniques to find jobs and build on the image you present before, during, and after the interview. However, consider that conservative companies may not appreciate your ingenuity, so be selective about what you do with which companies.

Make Your Opportunities

Scour the obituaries for positions that have become open due to an employee’s death, but never say how you heard about the vacancy. Then, research the company’s preferred methods for applying and applying for the open position.

Another avenue is to volunteer for a community agency in a closely related industry or position to enlarge your network of contacts and prove what you can do. Networking is one of the most effective methods for gaining employment. Write essays on your zone of expertise and submit them to article distribution services to increase your exposure in your field. Include them on your LinkedIn group forums and your website, or create a blog.

Another way to create opportunities is to advertise yourself resourcefully to local employers. Your resume posting on and competes with a record number of job seekers. Create a large decal printed professionally to post on the back car window or doors as a sign titled “HIRE ME” and list your job title, significant achievements, phone number, and email. Always look professional or “business casual” when driving that vehicle, and keep it washed outside and clean inside.

Another way to alert local employers to your value is to buy billboard space near a city with a high potential for openings in your industry and post a brief version of your resume on it. At the top, title it “(Your job title) FOR HIRE.” It may be easier to remember a website address than a phone number for people who drive. If you have one, include it.

Initial Employer Contact

Send your résumé and cover letter in a bright red envelope. Red exudes importance without being unprofessional and stands out from the usual white stack of resumes. Next, create a resume “mind map”. Examples can be found on the JobMob website. Resume mind maps intrigue the reader and gives employers a reprieve from standard wordy resumes. You may also create a one-page collage portfolio (awards, certifications, notable achievements, samples of your work, etc.) to send with resumes.

Portfolios prove that you can do what you say you can do. Usually introduced to the employer at the interview, you will show off your proof sooner which could keep you from being screened out before the interview process. Alternatively, you may opt to create a CD portfolio to send with resumes, especially if you’re seeking to work in an arts-related field. Another option is to have your portfolio published into an appropriately colourful, professional book by your local publishing company and present it during interviews.

Creative Company Follow-up

There are countless creative ways to follow up with employers. These are just a few. In your cover letter, notify the reader that you will be delivering morning coffee and the newspaper to them on a specific day and request to know their coffee preferences. If you don’t learn their preferences, still bring quality coffee and the newspaper on the day you specified.

Alternatively, you may send morning doughnuts to the human resources department compliments of you, with a note saying to the effect of “Pig out. Hire me.”

After applying or interviewing, if the hiring manager is a female, send a lovely plant from a florist with the card reading, “Hire me to grow your company”, and don’t forget to include your name. Then, follow up with the hiring manager by phone at the same time of day, saying, “Hi, it’s (your name). Just calling to see if you’re having a great day and are ready to hire me on board.”

Create a post-interview follow-up letter titled “Top 10 Reasons You Should Hire Me” and make a bulleted list of your best accomplishments and achievements that prove your value. After applying or interviewing, another creative approach involves showing up dressed and ready to work with your portfolio in the morning. Ask for the hiring manager, and wait in the waiting area for 30 minutes before leaving. You could even take the “Try it before you buy it” approach and suggest that they try you out for free (or as an unpaid “intern”) for a week before deciding whether to hire you permanently.

Use creative tactics with caution because if used in improper situations, you could harm yourself. Gauge the demeanour of the people who interview you to determine whether innovative post-interview tactics may be well-received. Stand out from the crowd only in good ways. With that said, the sky is the limit. Use your imagination.