Are you a fan of TED Talks, the videos that showcase “Ideas Worth Spreading”? I love them. In under 20 minutes you can watch some really smart people talk about key ideas.
One of my favorite TED Talks is by marketing guru, Seth Godin speaking about “Sliced Bread and Other Marketing Delights.” In this video, Godin notes how marketing has changed: Interrupting people to get their attention doesn’t work any longer, because we just don’t care. We have too many choices, too little time. What worked for the “TV Industrial Complex” — mass marketing that brought average products to average people — is no longer viable. The key is to reach people who care with things that are remarkable.
This concept applies to one’s job search as well. Broadcasting (mass mailing) our resumes to potential employers is ineffective. Employers don’t care. They have too many choices, not enough time.
We need to be remarkable to those that care.
We need to figure out what people (employers) want and give it to them. And we need to be remarkable, because being very good is just average.
Are you remarkable? Can you identify your professional value and articulate it in such a way as to be remarkable for an employer who cares?
Often, when clients get frustrated with their job search, one of the first things they want to do is develop a resume like the one they had before. One that looks like everyone else’s. One that is average. The second thing they do is to quit networking — quit looking for people who care. Instead, they only apply to posted positions on job boards or company websites. This is not being remarkable. It’s being average. Employers don’t care about average; they don’t have time for average.
Remarkable is getting in front of the people who make decisions in the companies you’re interested in working for. Remarkable is listening to what their problems are and developing solutions for them. Remarkable is that you are the solution.
Is being remarkable easy? Of course not. If it was is wouldn’t be remarkable, it would be average. So this is hard work. It requires clarity and focus: How am I remarkable? Why am I remarkable? It requires diligence and strategy: Who cares that I’m remarkable? How do I reach them?
So be remarkable. Find out who cares. Figure out what they want and give it to them.
Over to you: How are you remarkable? Can you tell how to those people who care?
This post originally appeared in the Portland Press Herald on March 9, 2015.