You have to stand out in the hiring process. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that your resume cannot make you the one who stands out and breaks the mold in every job interview. You will not always be a unique snowflake. Sometimes you will seem like you are plastic and mass produced in China. Watch out for lead.
In many circumstances, you are one of the lucky applicants who were randomly pulled out of a floor-to-ceiling pile of qualified resumes to go on this job interview. The job interview is the chance you have to wow the employer and find a way to stand out, to associate your persona with your resume in such a way that they will think they are handling gold afterwards. But if everyone has done the same job just in a different place and time, would talking about it make you stand out?
Obviously in a job interview you have to talk about your previous jobs, but just like you are not entirely composed of the words on that single sheet of paper, the interview shouldn’t be either. You have family, friends, pets that you have a love-hate relationship with, and hobbies.
Keyword: hobbies. What you do in your free time can be the best way to make yourself stand out short of wearing a strobe light. It’s not as flashy, but it won’t cause people to crash on their way back from work.
Pick and choose hobbies that add value to your professional profile. Do not talk about the rush you get when you whittle spears out of broom handles; keep that in the closet along with everything you owned in the ‘90s.
Instead, tell your employer about your strict work-out and diet regimen during your job interview. Tell them also about the free online courses you are taking. These are the hobbies that cause employers to write a note next to your name. Why? Because who you are transfers over to how you work. It’s inevitable, and science has proven it. Employers don’t want the spear nut; they want the stand out, the early riser who runs around the city twice before the sun’s risen to post ads about their band’s upcoming charity concert for orphans.
That may be an extreme example, but it all comes down to a breakdown of qualities that will make you stand out. If you’re going to mention what you do in your spare time or your hobbies, make sure that the qualities that are associated with what you do are positively translatable to how you compose yourself in the workplace. Here’s a short list for reference:
- Thirsty for Knowledge
That should get you started. If you are not sure if what you do down in the hobby shop can relate to the workplace, take a survey. Ask the people around you, like your friends and family. They should be able to let you know if you are on the right path or not, and it’s much better to get it straight from a relative or friend than an employer after an interview.
Have your personal hobbies helped you land the job before in the past? Let us know about it in the comments section below!
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