Do you feel like you have landed in the job search black hole? Sometimes trying new job search methods can lead to unexpected positive results. TheLadders suggests these three innovative ways to grab your recruiter’s attention from the start.

1. Try a “Pain Letter” instead of a Cover Letter.
A Pain Letter is a simple alternative to the standard cover letter. Instead of writing about your skills and experience, in a Pain Letter you focus on a specific challenge that you know the company is facing, and explain what you would do to solve the problem.

A Pain Letter tells a hiring manager that you have done your research, you are a problem solver, and you have a vision for how you can play a role in the company.

2. Get yourself a personal reference to directly email the recruiter.
Sometimes sending a reference letter to a generic HR email will fail you. Instead, directly email with the recruiter by connecting with them on LinkedIn, or through a mutual friend or colleague.

In your email be considerate in the way you make an introduction, but also be intentional. Emphasize how specifically you can add value to their company through the role you are applying for.

3. Don’t jump on the traditional resume bandwagon– consider a portfolio instead.
Being cute and gimmicky on your resume typically doesn’t go over that well. Most hiring managers are not amused by attention-grabbers on what should be a straightforward document. For most, visuals can be highly distracting from what really matters on your resume.

However, if your design talents are highly relevant to the position you’re applying for, consider creating a portfolio of your work. This is a great opportunity to stand out from the competition by displaying tangible examples of what you can bring to the table.

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