upstart thoughts on talent and leadership

It Helps To Stand Out

In ! Jen, Branding, Candidate Tips on Monday, March 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

Remember in high school, how counselors and college recruiters told us the unusual would get attention? That universities could fill their incoming freshman class with valedictorians, National Merit Scholars, and football quarterback MVP-honor students, but that the kid who came up with the weird tulip hybrid, might get special dispensation for his lower-than-normally-required GPA?

The same holds true for getting that first interview in job hunting. Keep the unusual things on your resume. But not the weirdly-so unusual things; keep it appropriate for the field in which you work.

I once talked with a woman who had been a personal assistant to a prominent member of the Kennedy family. This person was just looking to network, but when a mutual friend put us in contact with one another, I was anxious to talk with her, and who wouldn’t be? “Don’t ever remove that job from your resume!” I told her. “Oh, I would never!” For it had opened up that first door several times, and that’s all you need, really. After that, you must win it on your own merits. And for this particular person, she was so incredibly bright, intelligent and charming, any recruiter worth their salt would quickly get past the Kennedy curiosity and want to learn more about the candidate herself.

If you’ve been unemployed for a while and coming up against zero response in your job hunt activity, take a pause. You’re probably looking like scads of other greatly-qualified candidates. Experiment with what you’re doing and try a different approach.

Maybe it’s time to apply here?

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