I bought a new book last week.
The book was Dr Phil’s ‘Life Code’ and to be honest, I haven’t been able to put it down.
While a lot of the book is resonating with me one section that specifically hit home is about being noticed.
Here is a part of the section I’m talking about.
“There is absolutely, unequivocally no way that you are going to win in this world without being noticed, accepted, admired, complimented, sought after and appreciated. Every strategy you embrace and every action plan you execute should be designed to distinguish you in a positive way.”
Dr Phil McGraw
I think this is a very powerful statement. Let’s break it down for a moment.
For starters I think it’s important to focus on the last few words in this statement – distinguish you in a positive way.
One look at some popular reality television shows will illustrate that people can be good at getting attention of sorts. The problem is it’s negative attention. When a guy or girl strips down to wearing basically nothing, drinks too much, throws up on camera and then snogs someone they barely like or know it gets them noticed (at least in the realm of reality TV) but for all the wrong reasons. They are noticed and remembered in a negative light.
Unfortunately for women standing out is often associated with shedding clothing and showing skin. Talented male musicians don’t perform concerts in their underwear while I shudder to think how many talented female singers I have seen recently take to the stage wearing an ensemble that looks like a bra and knickers and not much else.
For this post I want to focus on getting noticed for all of the right reasons in one specific area.
I am currently looking for a job.
In a highly competitive and slow job market it’s important that I stand out. After all I’m trying to get people to notice my job application in a sea of hundreds of other applications.
Reading the above statement in the book made me realize that I am not standing out as much as I need to.
Instead I think in some cases I am blending in with everyone else. I suspect I am fading into the background a little too much. While blending in is an excellent safety strategy for when I travel overseas by myself, it’s not a great tactic for getting a job.
Contrary to popular belief your skills may not be enough to get you noticed, a lot of people’s skills look similar on paper.
Naturally once you are in the role and working you can dazzle your employer with your skills and experience but that doesn’t help you in the beginning. Sometimes our biggest hurdle can be getting noticed in the first place.
So how do we stand out and get noticed? One strategy is to highlight your uniqueness and concentrate on what sets you apart from other people. This isn’t about being fake or pretending you have something that you don’t, it’s more about building on the talents you already have and highlighting them to the max.
To be honest I don’t have all the answers yet. I sat down on the weekend and thought through some of the things I could work on to get noticed in the job market.
Here are some of my initial thoughts.
Work on your outward appearance and style
I wear a suit to an interview but let’s face it so does everyone else when applying for an office job.
While I take great care to look professional in interviews, I probably come across as quite conservative. While many companies love conservative, I probably blend in a little too much.
The employer might not remember me when I walk out the door which equals the person they do remember getting the job. I need to make myself more memorable via my clothing, style and appearance.
Rewrite your cover letter to highlight your unique talents
I often wonder if people even read cover letters but nevertheless I have decided to give mine a revamp.
At the moment I have a well written cover letter but again it’s a little generic. Time to mix that up a bit and see if a letter showcasing my more unique attributes, experiences and talents will get me noticed.
Closely align yourself to what the employer is looking for
Naturally I do this already but it could do with some minor tweaking to illustrate just how closely I match what the employer is looking for. This is definitely a case of give them what they want.
Use what you got
I tend to keeping my writing life separate from my life as an administrator (as least on my resume). I think it’s time to change that. Because many companies can be quite conservative I have been playing down or not discussing the skills and experience I accumulated working for myself.
I think it’s time to incorporate both sides of my working personality to highlight what benefits they could have to a future employer.
Being more proactive in my search
This is more a job tip than anything. Mostly I have been applying for jobs on one of the major Australian websites. It is a excellent website but when the market is slow (like it is now prior to a major Federal election) it’s not quite enough.
Having more options can’t hurt. Sometimes it helps to get the quantity factor in place to come up with the quality job.
Strategies for change don’t always have to be a big sweeping ‘change your whole life’ kind of deal. Sometimes they can be subtle small changes that make a huge difference.
Will these small strategy changes work? Time will tell. I will have to keep you updated on that one.
There are other areas of my life that I want to focus on standing out and being noticed more as well – blogging and dating both spring to mind but they definitely warrant individual posts of their own at a later date.
So what about you?
Are you happy with how you are being noticed and standing out or could you be blending a little too much into the background?
In what area of your life would you like to stand out more and what strategy can you implement to make that happen?
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I have a feeling I will be referring to ‘Life Code’ in future posts, I am certainly learning a lot. If you would like to pick up your own copy, you can click either of the below links.