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Defining yourself as something other than the “usual” is what it takes to shine the brightest. In today’s market you need to make it clear that you have more to offer than what is required stamped “on the box.” You need to be clear, you need to confident, you need to confirm what you really want in life.

Here are a few tips to help you in your effort to shine outside the box that competitors want to define you.

Top 4 Tips to Greatness

  1. Be Exclusive. Be Up to Date

The most important question you will ask yourself is: “How can I be different from the competition I face?” There is no exact science to guide you in doing that, but LinkedIn is a powerful platform from which to launch your first step. Do that by being up to date. Revise your resume and profile on LinkedIn and include all the details leading up to and including your current employment.

Always request recommendation letters from your previous employers, your clients, or your co-workers. Having a folder full of favorable recommendations will bear testimony to your work ethic, your commitment, and your level of skill. The whole world can see that on LinkedIn.

  1. Be Proactive

A traditional application process is simple: you apply for a job and wait for a week or two to be contacted. This is what everybody does, but you don’t want to do what everybody does. Instead, be proactive: request a top-level executive at your prospective company to meet with you and interview you over a cup of coffee.

The interview will be informal, but it will afford you the opportunity to get in touch with authority figures, insiders, opinion makers, and corporate leaders. Make a strong enough impression outside the box of “run of the mill” applicants and your light can shine!

  1. Engage your Network

We all know it’s not just what you know, but who you know that can make or break your success. You have a wealth of support among your friends, former co-workers, former employers …  tap that network! Ring all your important contacts or try to make new connections on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.

  1. Research

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” That powerful quote is from Colin Powell. Nothing is more important than to be fully prepared for your next interview.

Your panel of interviewers will be impressed by a candidate who did his/her “homework,” understands the corporate culture and goals, and has specific answers to the question of how to fit in. Be prepared, but don’t be overconfident or you risk coming across as arrogant.

Start by learning what the organization is all about, review their clients, their works, how they have contributed to society, etc. The more you know about what your prospective employer is all about, the higher your chances of making an excellent impression. Tailor your responses to reflect your appreciation and understanding of the organization, and suggest the ways you can enhance it.