A moth trap can teach you how to stand out, be remembered, and be hired. The principles can be used in interviews, resumes, and networking.
The moth trap in our pantry is supposed to be much better than the average one. It has the same sticky glue and pheromones, but instead of just a white sheet of cardboard, it has black stripes on it. I don’t know if it really is better, but I paid a few dollars extra for it. If it is better, great. I made a great decision. If it is only as good as the cheaper trap, I still made a good decision. Either way the trap will catch the bugs before they lay eggs in our flour, cornmeal and popcorn. I get protection either way, and maybe I get a little better protection with the more expensive traps.
Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising. (Mark Twain)
In every interview you have to have something that sets you apart. It is nice if it is a huge difference, but that is not absolutely necessary. One of the reasons a college degree or certification in your field is valuable is because it sets you apart. People can remember how you are different and hopefully better. Other things that can set you apart are:
- Putting yourself through college
- Courses you have taken
- Projects you have lead
- Having lots of kids…. or having no kids
- Your volunteer work
- Your passions and hobbies
- Dressing sharper than is required
- Shoes that shine like the sun…. or suede tennis shoes
- Letters of recommendation
- Someone you know who already works there
- Long hair…. or a marine haircut
- Something amazing and relevant you did in high school
Remember why I bought the expensive moth trap…. it MIGHT be better. Anything you can do to show you just might be better than Mr. Bland will help.
For the moth traps, it was just a black stripe on cardboard. What is it that you can do, say, be, or show that makes you worth a few extra dollars?
Something to do today
Every time someone is hired at your current job, go find out what was different about that person. When you are told, “They were more qualified,” ask, “Were there any small details that seemed to confirm that they were better?” You may be surprised what little details separate first place from no place at all.