Everyone knows that this is a competitive job market in a really rough economy. More and more people are achieving advanced degrees, obtaining certifications and gaining valuable work experience, all of which are raising the bar. It's no longer just about having a good GPA, holding positions and having experience. We talked previously about how important it is becoming for hiring managers and HR professionals to think about cultural fit when hiring someone new. Therefore, it is important that once you land an interview, you stand out from the crowd when it comes to personality.
We are not suggesting that you go in to the interview and do magic tricks, tell jokes or stand on your head. We're merely suggeting that, while mainining an appropriate level of professionalism, you let your personality shine through and offer something unique to the table.
I was recently talking with someone who used to work for one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. One year they hired several new people to fill mid to senior-level positions. As the Director of Marketing, she was in charge of conducting the second round of on-site interviews. To this day, almost twenty-five years later, she still remembers the candidates that she recommended for the position. Why? They were honest, personal and unique. They were themselves; they told short, relevant, personal stories that illustrated positive answers to her questions. She said that they gave answers that sounded real, natural, and were unique. The answers they gave showed that they could think on their feet and outside of the box, and that they were passionate.
Here is your call to action: Think about the most interesting and unique aspects of yourself. This could include a rare talent, hobbies, awards, places you've been, experiences you've had, any number of things. Make a list of these notions and think about how they are relevant to the types of jobs you are applying for. How have they shaped you to make you a better fit for these jobs? If you can answer that question, and come up with a few sentencnes about how each of these (or even just some) have prepared you for this position, then you will be ready to stand out in your interview.
Make notes for yourself so that you can talk about them at a relevant time during the interview and leave a lasting impression.
Coming Attraction: As you can see, this post is titled as a "Part I" and yes, Part II will be coming to you tomorrow. Stephen Murphy of Get Busy Media, a small business marketing resource, will be talking to you about how to use the digital age to your advantage in order to stand out in the applicant pool.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.