It’s not easy to stand out...but there is a solution
Forbes.com blogger Jessica Hagy first caught our attention with the hit article “How to Be Interesting,” which attracted millions of Readers to answer the question. Hagy has since expanded her expertise into a full-length book, How to Be Interesting – (In 10 Simple Steps).
How to Be Interesting is now available at www.kobo.com and includes an exclusive addition, How to Be Interesting After You Graduate: A Digital Short. With a number of graduates entering the job market, we know it’s important to stand out. Check out Jessica Hagy’s guest blog post below to get tips on how stand out from the crowd.
So it seems there are at least 400 capable and qualified people applying to every job posting that doesn’t specifically involve kidney harvesting or prostitution (mental or physical). The odds are not in your favour, no matter how qualified you are or how high your GPA was.
And what the hell are you supposed to do about THAT? Well, frankly, you need to be interesting. This is mandatory.
If you’re not interesting, you’re not going to be remembered. If you’re not remembered, you’ll never be considered for a single interview, date, or party invite and you’ll always be picked last for kickball—that is, if anyone remembered to invite you to the game in the first place.
Have no fear: interesting is an equal-opportunity adjective.
Introverts. Extroverts. Brilliant minds. Dull tools rusting in the shed. Gorgeous specimens. Plain Janes and Jacks. Everybody can be interesting.
It’s not a massive undertaking, to be interesting. You don’t have to travel the world on an eat-pray-tolerate type of adventure. You just need to follow your curiosity more and do a few more curious things.
Remember: there are tens of thousands of high-school valedictorians minted every year, and they are guaranteed absolutely nothing for achieving such an honour.
Someone who does everything right and follows all the rules isn’t necessarily interesting. Contrast the valedictorian who did nothing but study for his entire adolescence with the B-average kid who once built his own drone using a remote controlled toy helicopter and a cheap digital camera.
Who are you more curious about? Who would you rather have around the office? Who would you rather interview? That’s right: the drone guy.
Do a little something other than what’s expected and use THAT to stand out from the other 399 candidates vying for the gig you want. Haven’t done anything interesting yet? Wow, that’s sad—but you’re not alone.
Take a weekend or two to play with ideas and tinker with whatever’s within reach. Then highlight your project, your quirk, or your unusual interest when you sell yourself.
Your diploma may prop open a door or two, but the interesting bits of your life will give you the keys to open many more. You can’t simply be capable in this job market. That isn’t enough these days. You have to be interesting. If that’s an adjective you can apply to yourself, you’ll spend less time applying to job posting after job posting—and spend more time doing (hopefully) interesting work.