What About You is Unique?

This week I interviewed a man who was a Russian Naval Officer during the cold war. Through a long process he and his family are now citizens of the United States. I found myself drawn to him because of his interesting story, his accent, his politeness, his skills but most of all his unique perspective and experience. This was a first for me, and I would have to assume is a fairly rare event.

This man was very humble and it appeared as though he downplayed his exceptional past. “We Tend to Undervalue our Own Experience and Overvalue the Experience of Others”.  To me his experience made him uniquely qualified for my open position. If I was to compare him to other candidates, he would stand out because of his unique background.

What About You is Unique? You should look at it as an “unfair advantage”, and you should exploit this advantage as much as possible. Here are some things that could stand out when you are in an interview:

  • Where you were born
  • Where you grew up
  • Specific hardships you have endured (perspective)
  • Specific work history – employee and entrepreneurial
  • Accomplishments
  • Personality Type
  • Specialized Training
  • Successes and Failures

There are many others. It is up to you to identify your area of uniqueness that will catch the eye of an interviewer. You may be surprised at what stands out to a hiring manager. Perhaps it is the obscure that will move you to the top of the pile.

Remember, many applicants try to make the ordinary look remarkable. Perhaps what is best about you is something that you are overlooking. I encourage you to get some perspective from a trusted friend. We can’t all be a Russian Naval Officer, but we all can distinguish ourselves in some way.

If you are struggling to identify your own uniqueness, I encourage you to take a personality assessment. It will help you to focus on the way you are wired, and it may make some traits stand out that you have undervalued in the past.

If you have a suggestion for a category of uniqueness that should be on my list, leave a note in the comments below. I would be grateful for your insight. Join me on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to connect with you there. Thanks for reading!



About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!