Hundreds of thousands of job applicants are being confronted with the same issue as they continue their job search(es).  They meet minimum qualifications for nearly every job applied, but the phone still doesn’t ring. Phone calls placed to recruiters and HR Managers result in little to no information regarding the status of submitted resumes. Frustration continues to build, and soon, applicants may begin to feel desperate.  This is not the time for desperate measures, however – avoiding over-the-top attention grabbing techniques is your best bet.

There are hundreds out there, vying for the same position and some may be more qualified than you. Of course, maybe they are not. Maybe you have more to offer – and feel you would be able to better demonstrate that in an in-person interview as opposed to documenting it in resume format. The key to landing the interview is standing out among a sea of applicants, and best way to stand out is to put forth examples of your hard work. Be on your way to standing out among a sea of applicants by trying some of the following:

Treat your job search like a full time job.  Get an early start to your day, and spend it researching the market, tailoring your resume and cover letter to specific openings, gathering references and filling out online applications.  If you give each application the attention it deserves and spend your time wisely, you will feel much more productive.

Volunteer your time doing something worthwhile. So many applicants have gaps in their resumes that they’re unable to explain. Avoid this by filling your time off with volunteer activities that showcase your skills and work ethic.  If the organization or activity you’re volunteering for relates to your career field, even better!

Create an error-free representation of yourself. A resume that’s typo-free and has no grammatical errors is a great way to catch the undivided attention of recruiters and hiring managers who are skimming several applications per day.  If your resume has errors, you will display yourself as an employee who makes errors. Spelling and grammar mistakes are easy to correct; if necessary, share with a friend who can edit your work before you submit it. A resume without an obvious error is a rare find in the recruiting industry!

Stay professional and avoid gimmicky techniques when attempting to attract recruiters’ attention. Some brave job seekers have gone out of their way to create methods of attracting attention to themselves that is less than flattering.  While some schemes may actually attract some employers’ attention, it may not be the type of attention – or employer – you’re aiming for. In Toledo, Ohio, a man purchased adspace on a digital roadside billboard to display his wife’s photo, contact information, and the phrase, “Please hire my wife”.  It’s not clear whether she has found a job yet, but this is undeniably a desperate measure that potentially does more harm than good.

Draft a well written cover letter geared specifically toward the company and position you’re applying to, and include what you can offer given your past work experience and skill set. Give specific examples. Be respectful. And, once again, make sure it is well written, free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Start with a rough draft, revise it, let a friend edit it, then polish a final draft before submitting.