Thursday, January 17, 2013

Let's Be Honest, You're a Little Weird.

Has anyone ever called you weird? quirky? odd? unique? 

You might be worried that if employers or clients knew how weird you were, you wouldn't get the job or land the business deal. 

However, MAYBE it could help you!
Even if they don't fit into your resume, you can talk about the hobbies, habits, or experiences that make you unique. Remember writing college entrance essays? The school counselor advised everyone to write about something that set them apart from the masses of applicants. A cover letter on a job application may give you the opening to do the same. 

Do you have an unnatural love of running? Draw parallels between your physical endurance on the pavement and mental endurance in the work place. 

Do you have a Pez Dispenser collection organized chronologically by when they were released? What a great example of your organizational skills. 

If you're in an interview, take advantage of an opportunity to tell a story about yourself so the potential employer or client will remember you as, "the girl who went shark diving and enjoyed it so much they had to send some one down to convince her to get out of the 65 degree water!"

Warning: You want to take your oddity and make it memorable but not seem so weird that you're unemployable. Think about what makes you unique and do research about the company and the position to see how it is applicable. If the position requires a high level of organization, go ahead and make a joke about your color coordinated closet that moves from sleeveless, to short-sleeve, to long-sleeve to sweaters. 

DON'T attempt this to do this on the spot. HAVE A STRATEGY PLANNED. 
Similar to your "elevator pitch" decide ahead of time what three things you most want to convey. Plan the stories, or narratives, that reinforce the traits you've determined they're looking for based on research done ahead of time. Be brief with anecdotes and entertaining. 

QUESTION! What makes you unique? How can it be applied in a business setting?


  1. So what does a closet organized by work v. casual and then by color say? Nevermind. Don't answer that.

    1. It means you're employably meticulous :)
      Thanks for the comment Christine

    2. Mike Wagner would say the trick is to be different AND relevant!

    3. Enjoyed this Ted Talk with Mike Wagner. Get strange!

      TEDxDesMoines - Mike Wagner - The Positive Power of Being Strange

    4. Thus begins my endless search for relevance.