The old resume formats where people list examples under job titles are a thing of the past. People are going to extremes to get their foot in the door in this competitive job market. Recently, I heard an anecdote about a guy who put his resume in an empty Tim Hortons coffee cup, FedExed it to his potential employer. He then called to follow up stating that he would fill the cup for the employer. I thought this was a crazy thing to do, but the rumour is he actually got the call back! There are simpler options like using Visual.ly to turn your resume into an infographic. People are also making resumes on presentation software like Prezi, called a Presume. You might think that an infographic or a Prezume is going a little too far and you might be right. Scott Bekrun believes it’s too flashy, writing, “It’s like wanting to make a movie and spending all your budget just on costumes.” Moreover, taking a creative approach to the replying to a job posting can be risky, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. “In this highly competitive job market, job seekers are using creative ways to break through the clutter and make a lasting impression on an employer,” says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s vice president of human resources. “It’s a judgment call. Stunts may catch an employer’s attention, but they can also backfire and cost you the job. Employers like creativity, but they also want to know that you’re serious about the opportunity.”So how do you get an employer to notice you while staying serious?1. Know your MarketIt's very important to know your market when trying a creative approach. That’s why lots of the stunts you might read about are answers to job posts for designers or innovators. What is the job you are applying for? How does your approach respond to the job posting?“If you’re planning to do something unconventional, first ask yourself, ‘Does this help to exemplify my skills and experience?’ If the answer is no, then don’t,” Haefner suggests. “Whatever you say or do in an interview should be relevant to the position at hand.”2. Keep it specificIn today’s job market, it’s important to have a resume that focuses on what the employer wants. Thus, “the objective statement has become obsolete,” says Tiffani Murray, an HR professional and resume writer at Atlanta-based Personality On a Page.Instead of an objective statement, lead with a section called by the name of the position you are applying for that is essentially a summary that outlines how your skills match this specific job.Don’t spam people with your resume. As tempting as it is, don’t send out your resume to as many employers as possible without changing a word in it. It’s very important to keep your resume (and cover letter) specific to the posting. Mirror the language of the job posting. In other words, use keywords you find in the job posting in your resume. This will circumvent the programs that employers are using that search for keywords in a resume and get your resume looked at by an actual human being. A great way to think of a job posting is as if it is a question from the employer. The employer is asking you “can you do this job? Give me specific examples that prove it.” Your resume should directly answer this question. Your cover letter should also explain where you saw the job posting and why you applied to it. Think of the cover letter and resume as the beginning of a conversation you are going to have with your potential employer. 3. Make it interactiveThe contemporary resume is potentially colourful (although not printed on coloured paper), and may have side bars and graphs.Some resumes are even interactive, and your resume should be. A great way to make your resume simple but stand out from the pack is to create hyperlinks in it that connect to files in the cloud or websites. What is a hyperlink? It’s a reference that the reader can source by clicking or hovering over the highlighted text. It’s basically just a link like this. But what should you link to? You can make links to the companies or educational institutions (like GenM) that appear on your resume for starters. Another great idea for adding links is to upload documents to Google drive or Dropbox. What kind of documents you include is up to you, it could be your transcripts, it could be a reference letter that you never did get a chance to use, it could be writing samples, or the portfolio you built at GenM. It’s also a great idea to use hyperlinks to your LinkedIn profile or profiles on other social media platforms. This is a great way to showcase your knowledge of these platforms. Remember to save your resume as a PDF so the format will remain intact.