Career Success Advice: Be Unconventional, Stand Out from the Crowd

I always advise my career success coach clients that it’s important to brand yourself as a unique individual.  This begins with your resume.  The best resumes are highly targeted for the job you are pursuing.  The days of a generic resume that lists your work history are gone.  In today’s competitive world you have brand yourself as someone who is unique if you want to land the job of your dreams.

Hanna Phan did just that.  She wanted a job with a company called Sliderocket.  They are a presentation company.  Only their presentations exist in the cloud, so they are more easily shared.  Hanna created what she called a presume.  She used Sliderocket technology to present her case for getting a job there.

I think this is pretty cool.  I asked Hanna to share her story here.  Check it out…

A few months ago, I started my job search and went down the usual route:

• I set up my profile in as many job sites as possible.
• I scoured craigslist and LinkedIn.
• I tailored my resume, spell checked it twice, and emailed away.
• I interviewed with recruiting agencies to get to the top of the resume pile.

The result? I received a number of phone calls and interviews, but not a single call back. It was discouraging. I felt vulnerable and defeated but another part of me didn’t want just another job. Each time I thought of punching in and out, busying myself with status meetings, ending my day just to start all over again – well, it just made me tired.

The bottom line – I didn’t want to be another rat in the wheel. And if that was the case, well then, I realized I needed to go about my job search with a completely different approach.

Inspired by a podcast and Seth Godin’s blog post the first thing I did was to trash my resume. The problem with a resume is that it doesn’t scream, “This is ME! I’m creative, energetic, full of life” etc. and there’s no visual way to express what you want to say to someone through a piece of paper. Gone was the resume. So, off I went to explore other ways to tell my story – the story of why I wanted to work for a certain company – that certain someone, with a truly creative resume.

Then, the light bulb went off – I needed to approach this job search in the same way I would court someone. With a love letter.  A visual one. I needed to convince them that I was worth the wait. That I could make it through a pile of applicants.

So now that I had nailed down my approach – the search began to find the right company….

I didn’t look long before my creative resume helped me find my dream job with SlideRocket. SlideRocket completed me. They offered an outlet to showcase my creative communication skills, express my passion, and ultimately put their presentation program to the test. I decided I would use SlideRocket’s technology in combination with a viral campaign, to get myself noticed – by the CEO no less!

So I created my most engaging Présumé (a presentation resume) ever, using SlideRocket’s technology and tweeted (on my birthday) to the CEO:

@chuckdietrich @sliderocket I want to work with you! Find my application here:

An hour later, after Chuck literally walked off a plane, he replied:

@hannaphan @sliderocket AMAZING Preso! Let’s talk.

No sooner had Chuck tweeted me back, and I was on the phone with the CMO. They even featured my presume on the SlideRocket gallery and newsletter, and now I discovered I have a “Phan Club” at VMWare

I landed my dream job without a resume, but instead, with a creative resume called a Présumé.

I’d love to hear your stories of unconventional ways you found your next big gig. Tweet me up @hannaphan or send me an email to my new home: hanna at

As I’ve said, this is a pretty cool story.  Hanna found a company for which she wanted to work.  She used their technology to show them why she was a great candidate.  And voila! she got the job.  If you check out her presume, you’ll notice that she never even listed her job or experience or education.  She concentrated on why she wanted the job and why she is a good fit for it.  This is what it takes to get the job of your dreams these days.  The next time you find a job you really want – do what Hanna did, find a creative way to present yourself and attract the attention of a hiring manager.  A sliderocket presume might be the way to go.

The career success coach point here is common sense.  In today’s competitive job market you’ve got to stand out.  You’ve got to show hiring managers why they should hire you and not one of the thousands of other people who are interested in the job you’re going after.  Because of this, a traditional resume doesn’t cut it.  You’ve got to find a way to, as Hanna Phan says, scream THIS IS ME!!!  I’m creative, energetic and full of life!  Hanna used the technology of the company to which she was applying – Sliderocket – to convince the CEO to interview her.  She interviewed well and got the job.  What can you do to scream THIS IS ME!!! to the company you want to hire you?

That’s my career advice prompted by Hanna Phan’s experience in landing a job with Sliderocket.  What do you think?  Please share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.  No, go do something incredibly creative and land the job of your dreams.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  To celebrate the grand opening, I’m giving away a new career advice book I’ve written called I Want YOU…To Succeed in Your Corporate Climb.  You can find out about the membership site and get the career advice in I Want YOU… for free by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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