How to Stand Out From the Crowd: A Simple Tip

One of the most frequent questions we get from soon-to-be or new graduates about their transition into their careers is “how do I stand out”? While that is a big question, and answering it is at the heart of our work with our clients, here is a very simple tip that helps you make a great first impression.

Imagine the world of a recruiter. They are talking with people on the phone, or leaving messages for them all day long. I spoke with one the other day and he was lamenting the current trend to not have personal messages on our phones. He said. “I have those techo/patronizing/completely annoying/ automatic voices that everyone is defaulting to these days in my head all day long!”. Given that this is the current trend – whether you are dealing with a recruiter, a hiring manager or a potential networking connection – you can stand out clearly by just having a strong, upbeat, friendly, but professional, personal message on your phone. It might take you 15 minutes of practice – and then it is there and it differentiates you every single time someone calls you.

And…you have to do it right. You don’t have to (in fact you really don’t want to) do it like a used car salesperson and it probably has to change from whatever you used in college – but it isn’t hard to do and here are the steps.

  1. Sound friendly – project energy
  2. Tell them your name so they know that they have actually reached who they want to reach
  3. Tell them you are sorry you are unavailable, ask them to leave their name and number and a brief message and promise to get back to them as soon as possible (and then do that!)
  4. Thank them
  5. Extra credit – tell them you hope they are having a great day!

So it can go something like this….and don’t forget the warmth/energy

Hi this is Susan Hay – sorry that I am not available right now but if you leave me your name and number and a short message I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for calling, I look forward to talking with you and – hope you are having a great day. Contact us to find out about our process. We’d love to help you become an irresistible job candidate!