Upon finishing my first school year at university I faced a scenario which many students are much too familiar with. After my own mistake of starting to job hunt very late, I found myself sending resume after resume with very few of them actually resulting in an interview. Every career mentor will tell you to find a way to stand out to an employer, but I was clueless on how to actually achieve this.
How to Stand Out
I was tired of sending out my resume to employers who repeatedly turned me down, I decided to take a different route. I posted an Ad on Kijiji that described my experience, my skills, and me as a person. Please note I am not the first person to do this. Many people before me have done this already but there are many more who have never even considered it. I’ll have a picture of my advertisement below so you can see what I did. My goal was to get the right employer to find ME based on what they saw in my ad.
This is what my ad looked like:
Opportunities started to roll in
Taking a different route really did pay off. I was starting to get emails almost on a daily basis. The most interesting thing was that I was asked to come in for an interview with many different recruiters even after I was already employed. This shows the true power of Kijiji – I didn’t even have to do anything past a certain point!
Below are a couple samples of the replies I would receive:
Some tips for success
- Don’t join the other “amazing, hardworking, talented, and brilliant individuals with many broad skills” who put up their ads on Kijiji with enough typos in their bio for me to literally shed a tear. Do some self-reflection and envision what you can see yourself offering to an employer. Remember, posting your most valuable talents will allow you to be the one who decides what kind of job you will be working at.
- Side point: If you’re having trouble narrowing your skillset down to something tangible that employers are looking for answer this question: What would you be doing if money was no issue?
- Don’t copy what I made mine, I wrote it a long time ago. However, if I were to go back I would make my advertisement sound something like this:
“Hello, my name is Patrick Trochaniak and I am a passionate business student at Wilfrid Laurier University with an interest in entrepreneurship, marketing, and web development.
In particular, I am always improving my social media marketing skills. After more than doubling the number of people who like Startup Laurier’s Facebook page (from 750 to 1500+), it’s safe to say I know something about engaging an audience. You can visit my website at patrick.trochaniak.com to learn a little bit more about me. If you believe that I fit the culture of your company, please contact me and I would be glad to meet in person.