The challenge that job seekers face in today’s world is very similar to that of most sales/marketing types, namely:
- It can be very difficult for you to differentiate yourself
- You often have 30 seconds or less to make that first impression
- Invariably these and other reasons make it relatively difficult for the person you meet to truly remember you
Now if you meet someone in an interview process, that percentage should go up – but if you are not successful for that specific job…..regardless of the reason……..your impression is not likely to stick. That is unfortunate, given that most companies end up hiring similar or the same positions regularly or with some regularity and
that everyone knows someone……
Most job search advice includes some component related to dealing with this: the need to STAND OUT
What’s a person to do?
4 things you can do to make yourself more “rememberable”. Ironically, the good news is this is really not hard…principally due to the incredibly low levels of consistent delivery on the following items.
- “Flawless execution” => sweat the small stuff, no typos, be on time, bring a copy of your resume with you, etc. All the stuff you have heard a million times….with good reason! Fail on these and you may not have to worry about being remembered. I would call this the entry ticket. If I had a dollar every time candidates at every level were unsuccessful at achieving this….I would be long retired.
- “Remember the ***** people” => in this process, there are countless numbers of people that will touch you and perhaps help you: from the receptionist, to the recruiter (internal or external or both) to the managers assistant, et cetera. Sad that I need to say this – pay attention…..your interaction with them could spell the difference between your getting any job or not…..act accordingly and treat any and all of them with the appreciation and respect you would expect if you are helping someone — because in a variety of ways that is what they are doing for you, and they are not “little”.
- Follow through. Notice that I did not say follow up. While follow up is critical and should be done with what we like to call polite persistence. Begin by doing your research/homework: on the company, your interviewers, the industry; be prepared. And keep the energy afterwards — what I mean here is: if you offered/discussed anything during your interactions that you can send along to one of the players,
do so. Even better if there is something interesting or helpful that you can email/send that was discussed or interesting to your interviewer
- The Biggie – to put you over the Top: Give them a reason to “talk about you”….in a good way. In a way this is an extension of the point above but take it a step further. Put your thinking cap on here – it does not have to cost money or if it does, very much but the key is in context and..you..got..it……memorable.
An example is in the picture here: from a candidate that got networked to me…for no particular job. She actually hit a double header in my book – a cute, memorable comment on the gift card (although the card not needed)and a hand written note – mailed to me. Because of the ease and ubiquity of email, the handwritten anything is memorable. Also, the relevant note, in context (since we did not discuss any specific jobs) and cute correlation to the gift card. I kept it, showed it to my colleagues…and am talking about it again, here. You don’t think out of the scores of people I meet with – you can see I remember her?
So, think about what you feel comfortable doing, get out your pen and make it happen. You can relate your effort to the person you are sending to, but doing anything like this – including sending an article or making an unsolicited introduction based on your conversations – will serve to differentiate you. Good luck.