The sweet spot between wallflower and blaring shouter.
Your audience's attention has never been more scarce.
You already know this, right?
Hiring managers are out-of-their-minds busy with their day-to-day workloads. They are pulled in 165 directions, every day.
Fighting fires is a common way to describe how many managers do business. Every. Single. Day.
And this doesn't even factor in the obvious reality that, thanks in large part to technology and the Internet, information is abundant. Thus, the attention spans of humans is very, very short.
Given this, it just goes without saying that you can't afford to be the quiet, passive wallflower anymore.
You just can't.
But you also can't be a blaring shouter. The era of intrusive marketing and "HEY! Look at me, me, me, me!" attention-getting is over. This isn't to say marketers and job seekers (which, by the way, are actually the exact same thing) don't still use the blaring shout method. But those who make this their primary method are making a significant mistake. And will more than likely pay accordingly.
Think about the way in which you make buying decisions today.
Do you buy a mattress because some loudmouth comes on the radio and yells details of THE SALE OF THE CENTURY at you? Do you appreciate being full-on ambushed by the mall kiosk employee as you attempt to pass by unnoticed? I'm guessing no.
This isn't how we buy anymore.
We buy stuff today from people and places we trust. People and places who are personally relevant to us. We buy stuff from from people and places who understand that we're incredibly busy and taxed. And who go out of their way to engage us in thoughtful, strategic ways and then make the transaction both easy and satisfying.
As a job seeker, you are a marketer.
Your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, Facebook status updates (related to your search), personal blogs, etc.? Are all marketing tools.
The magic happens when you find ways to leverage these tools in thoughtful, strategic ways and make it easy and satisfying for the hiring manager to pay attention to you.