When I was a student, I would always hunt for free food.
People would call me ” The Free Food Guy” because I always knew where the free food was. Since I was working in EG at the time (General Engineering Department in my school), all of my cool snatches would be noticed whenever anyone enters the office.
I would get (and eat) tons of pizza, wraps, sandwiches… you name it.
All of that thanks to the little effort I used to locate where the free food was. It really was the most enjoyable part of going to a school where you pay $35,000 for classes but you still fight with your professor to re-check your homework assignment.
However, thanks to my free food name, I was also able to land an interview with a company I really respected. And wanted to work for badly.
I bet you are probably wondering how I got the interview.
What did I do to get that interview?
Well, this post is for you…
Defining The Unfair Advantage
Do you have a name? Maybe it’s ” Mr. Fix it” or ” Lady Talk-A-Lot”.
I’m just guessing.
But, did you know that your name can brings you places too?
When you get a name, people recognize you for something. It could be anything but people know you for that because you are good at it.
Just like how know me now for giving awesome job hunting advice
So, because you are known for that specific trait, it can be used to your advantage since you can talk about that experience nonstop. Better, it won’t even bother you to talk about it because you do it so often.
So, what is an “unfair advantage”?
Your “unfair advantage” is something that makes you different from anyone that sits next to you.
Do you dance? Do you play basketball? Are you the captain of the ninja monkey crew (are you?!)?
Use your personal skill (or skills) to your advantage. As long as they aren’t anything that you know you aren’t supposed to say, teach them something about yourself though your skills. It could be that you know 2 languages, or that you play piano. Again, anything that you can do besides study is an “unfair advantage” because only you will have a story that is unique to yourself.
Using Your Unfair Advantage To Lure Them In
When I wanted to work for Con Edison, I pulled a trick (on myself) that got me that interview: I wanted food.
Yes, it’s very funny, but that day, my school had a “pre-career fair” event where you could eat breakfast with the recruiters that came.
I didn’t care about it that much since I told myself I was going to see them at the career fair anyways. But, remembering that there was free food, I woke up quick that morning and went to that event so I could take the remains of the free food there. And finally, I was stocking up my plate I met 2 people from Con Edison who were talking about how they used to love the free food.
After 30 mins, we ended up talking about what kind of food we could find while we were in school and their taste. It was so funny! However, after we settled down (and before I left), they asked me for my resume. Now, I already knew that having my resume around would be useful so I gave it to them and used my “unfair advantage” to tell them this:
Eyram – ” It was great talking to you guys. What was it like for you applying as a student to Con Edision?”
Recruiter 1 – ” I got in through an interview at the career fair. Actually, I went to this event. Pretty ironic, actually.”
Recruiter 2 – ” I got my masters here and applied online. But, I knew someone there before so the process went smoothly”
(My question is here!)
Eyram – ” What should a student do to guarantee a spot for an interview with Con Ed?”
Recruiter 1 – ” As long as they prove that they care about the company and are motivated to work, that’s good enough for me. Most of the time, we just get resumes all day and no one is interesting. We just smile all day and compare the resumes in the office. But, I like you though, so I’ll make sure to highlight yours. Good Luck!”
Yep. I got that interview.
…and you can too!
In order to use your unfair advantage correctly,
- Start the conversation by telling a story about your “unfair advantage” that sparks their curiosity or makes them laugh (Ex. I told them how I rushed there because of the free food). It makes you keep your calm and the recruiter feel comfortable with you.
- Lure them using honest questions that show interest in the company. Once you are on settled grounds, ask questions that will show your interest in the company. They will honestly reply to your question because they see you are easy to get along with.
- Don’t ask for an interview but offer them your resume. When you beg, you lose. Always make sure that you leave a good impression after your Q&A session by offering your resume and telling them you will pass by during the fair.
If you follow those steps, you’re sure to find someone that is interested in you.
Make you also take the initiative to talk to the recruiter if you are near them. It may turn into a interview winner.
Now, it’s your turn to tell your stories.
What “unfair advantage” do you have? Have you ever used it? Let me know in the comments below!