As an almost graduate, I began my endless interview loop yesterday morning with a phone interview, which I had never done before. After stressing about it all night, I began to think about what we, as social media connoisseurs who often get caught up in ourselves, can do to stand out among the crowd. My thoughts led to a list (surprise, surprise—lists make me happy, what can I say).
1. Sell yourself. My dad was reviewing my portfolio the other day, and he had a great point when he said:
“Nicole, everyone that looks at this or who interviews you is going to be thinking, ‘what’s in it for me’? You need to be able to field those questions before they come.” Although my dad is from what seems like the stone age, he has a great point, (he also happens to be one of the most business-savvy people I know). Sell yourself, but remember that you need to do this while also answering the question of what is in it for them.
2. Know the requirements. Before any job that I apply for, I look over the qualifications and requirements, and I contour my resume to highlight how I fit their needs. This also goes into the “what’s in it for them” idea, but here it is important to dig deeper. The requirements for a job should be your talking points. Use them as guidelines for your cover letter, and if you land the interview, use them as talking points to highlight why you are the best candidate for this specific position.
3. Be interested in them. One of my professors once gave me a name to contact for a potential job, and the only piece of advice she gave me was to flatter him. Not in a creepy weird way, but in a professional manner—know the work that they have done, and be able to comment on it. Whether it is on a personal level or a company level, showing an interest in whom you are talking to goes a long way. After all, who doesn’t like a good compliment every now and then?!
4. “Bee” yourself. Every time someone says this to me I am reminded of the moment in Aladdin when the genie turns into a bumblebee and tells Aladdin to “bee” himself. My goodness, Disney is inventive. All joking aside, this was one of the most important lessons of our childhood, and it still carries into our lives today. Remember, public relations/marketing/advertising executives know how to read people. If you are attempting to build up a persona in order to please them, they can tell. The best thing to do is to let your passion for the position shine through and let your true talents be the basis for your conversation and connection with that person. Don’t learn this the hard way like Aladdin did.