Since we were children, we’ve been taught to be humble.
Even at work, we’ve been taught to ask about others rather than talk about ourselves.
Religion calls talking about ourselves as pride and many religions consider it a sin.
It’s no wonder we have a tough time making ourselves look interesting when searching for a job. Our training in humbleness extended to our resume, as we’ve been taught to brand ourselves as qualified … rather than extraordinary.
Even the core of our body of knowledge of job search, taught to us by our college/grad school placement office, taught us to look just like everyone else. Our college placement office had a different goal than we did – their goal was to brand the school to employers, as a provider of a consistent quality of entry level worker. That’s why they taught us a standard resume format and refused to accept resumes that deviated from their standard format. Our colleges taught us to write a resume that would make us look the same as everyone else, because they were branding themselves as producing a consistent product … us.
But that doesn’t help your job search … it didn’t then and it especially doesn’t now. What we learned as children and from our college placement offices has taught us to be humble, not brag about ourselves and to describe ourselves as being the same as everyone else. We’ve been taught to describe ourselves as the opposite of interesting. We’ve been taught to present ourselves as boring.
So how can you unlearn what we were all taught?
Here are 4 ways to be the most interesting person in the world
- Recognition: Before you can describe yourself as interesting, you need to recognize the things that make you interesting, that make you different from other candidates. You likely have a number of work-related aspects that you’re great at – things you do better than just about anyone else. You likely have a number of non-work related things that make you interesting – what you like to do in your free time that you’re really good at.
- Stop Being Humble: Your resume and interviews are no place to be humble. Your goal shouldn’t be to appear the same as other candidates, it shouldn’t be to show you’re qualified. Instead, your goal in resume writing and interviews should be to tell employers how different you are – that you’re an interesting and a superior candidate.
- Stop Being Afraid: This goes back to our childhood, where we were scolded or punished for talking about ourselves – we were taught that it’s impolite. In regular conversation, bragging about ourselves is impolite. But when you’re searching for a job, the rules change. In job search, it’s critical to talk about yourself by showing how you’re the solution to an employer’s specific problems. You need to talk about yourself, demonstrating how you’re unique, a superior candidate and interesting.
- Stay Away From Being The Same: You’re not the same as everyone else. So don’t describe yourself as the same as others, when you’re job searching. Seek out the things that make you different and bring them up in your resume and interviews.
The rules are different for job search. If you can’t talk about yourself, how can you convince an employer that you’re the person for the job.
So ignore what you were taught as a child, what you learned in Sunday School and what your college placement office taught you.
Discover what makes you different, unique and superior – and talk about it.
Phil Rosenberg is President of http://www.reCareered.com, a leading job search information website and gives complimentary job search webinars at http://ResumeWebinar.com. Phil also runs the Career Central group, one of Linkedin’s largest groups for job seekers and has built one of the 20 largest personal networks on Linkedin globally.