When marketing ourselves, making a good impression will hinge on doing just a little more.
Outrunning a Bear
It is said (by obviously sharp people) that to avoid getting mauled by a bear, we don't have to outrun it; we just have to be faster than the other slowest person. It is also said that in order to avoid getting hacked, we just have to make it a little bit harder to hack us versus the next guy.
Marketing ourselves and thus making a good, useful impression is similar, I think. You have to make a little more effort and be just a little better, and we will stand out and make an impression.
Getting Noticed at Every Step
Let's say there's a position at a company that we'd like to work at doing a job we'd like to do, so we submit an application. From there starts a process that will have several important steps before we're hired into the job. The major steps are important, and we want to make an impression in each.
Resume If it's just a little better, sharper, clearer, more succinct, bolder, specific to the job, it's more likely to get noticed. Take time and make a great, specific resume.
Portfolio If it's just a little easier to find, well-presented, obviously-updated, related to the job, filled-out, and given care, it's more likely to get noticed. Take time and get it in shape and clearly linked to us and our resume before applying.
Homework If we take just a little more time, add a little polish, include our own flair, anticipate the next step, and create professional-level work in a homework assignment for a job interview, we're more likely to be seen as a serious contender. If we value the job opportunity, take the time to invest in it.
Interview If we are a little more enthusiastic, precise in our words, confident in our demeanor, clear in our thinking, and collaborative in the conversation, we're more likely to make a good impression. Give the interview experience a bit of our extra energy and engagement.
Make it an Easy Comparison
In doing just a little bit more, we're allowing our recruiter, hiring manager, or fan to press the easy button. They will have an easier time making a comparison to the competition, and the impression we made will carry us when it counts.
Just do a little more.