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3 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd

3 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd

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Every weekday at 3pm, I head over to the elementary school to pick up my son. Every weekday, the gaggle of children come streaming out of their classrooms and head for the carpool line. And, every weekday, I struggle to identify which kid is actually MY son.

Related: 4 Ways To Give Your Brand A Little Swagger

Now, before you all vote me worst Mom in the world, I must explain. My son attends a school that requires uniforms. Therefore, all the children are dressed the same, which creates a challenge for even the best of mothers.

Let me break things down for you. My son is Caucasian with short brown hair. Of all the children in the elementary school, I can say that about 50% are male. Of this population, about 95% are Caucasian. And, of this population, about 90% have short brown hair. Therefore, it is very challenging to differentiate my son from all the other Caucasian males with short brown hair wearing the same uniform.

My best bet is to look for the little, unique things about my son that draw him out from the crowd. For example, he carries a black and red patterned backpack. Check. He walks with a bit of swagger. Check. He is quite social and consistently heads straight for the benches by the gymnasium doors to say goodbye to his buddies. Check. Therefore, every weekday, I follow my checklist and I am usually very successful at locating my son.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, after hearing similar stories from other moms, I realized that it’s not uncommon to struggle with differentiation. And, if moms struggle with this, just imagine what recruiters go through when they attempt to differentiate candidates they don’t even know! They must feel overwhelmed when receiving gaggles of resumes all “wearing the same uniform.”

How do they spot the right candidates? What helps those candidates stand out and attract attention? Most likely, recruiters use checklist, too. And, if you want to make it onto their checklist, here are some strategies to get you there.

1. Build Professional Relationships

This used to be called networking. However, the real strategy is building genuine, professional relationships that include giving, taking, collaborating and sharing. These are the relationships that will launch you into success, create strong referrals for open positions and make you stand out from the crowd.

2. Wear Your Super Power

Not literally, but figuratively. Think about a time you overwhelmingly felt in your element; a time when you had swagger; a time you felt a flowing cape attached to your shoulders as you stood with confidence. Then, ask yourself the following questions. What was the situation? Where were you and what was happening?

Once you answer these questions, you can identify your super power and those situations when you are most likely to be “wearing it.” Wearing your super power comes from the inside and projects outward. It is a feeling that launches you into a higher level of success. Wearing your super power will most definitely make you stand out from the crowd.

3. Tell A Compelling Story

As Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And, telling a compelling story is a great way to invoke feelings that help make you memorable.

So, share the stories that have made you who you are professionally. What are some of the defining moments in your life? What are the accomplishments that have helped build your unique skills and value? Tell these stories and they will help make you memorable.

What stories can you tell? Do you have other ideas on how to stand out from the crowd?

This post was originally published at an earlier date.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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Elizabeth Dexter-Wilson Elizabeth Dexter-Wilson is a job search coach as well as a higher education professional development consultant. Her mission is to help her clients find their professional mojo through purpose and passion and to help other professionals build strong services through innovative and cutting edge programming. She brings her expertise in career coaching, branding, professional etiquette, image consulting, social media and blogging. A self proclaimed “career geek”, Liz has over 18 years’ experience in higher education coaching University and College students as they transition from student to professional. Prior to her coaching and higher education experience, Liz worked in social services. She holds a Master of Science degree in College Student Affairs from Purdue University and is also certified in Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consulting through the Protocol School of Washington. When Liz is not coaching and blogging, she enjoys jewelry making, sewing, reading, watching sports and attempting to surf, play tennis and golf.