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I could use a trainer …shoe pun :-/

This post has nothing to do with trainers. Well, sort of. It is about getting a job, getting seen or self-branding..

 

In 1999, a good friend of mine tried to get a job in a highly esteemed London Ad Agency. He was amongst 1000 hopeful graduates just on the market trying to get into the best spots. Big names, big competition. I wonder how many of them did what he did…

Instead of sending a CV, he sent a plastic moulded cast of his foot. In a shoe box. When the box was opened, there was a simple message: “I need a trainer. Call me” (+ his number).

I suppose that most other people sent in a CV. My guy didn’t. He did what everyone needs to do if they want to get somewhere with the help of other people….

 

1 – Tune in to the situation, values and needs of the other person

This is key to any “sales situation”, whether it be getting a job, selling a house or service or convincing your friends to come out on a Saturday night. You need to put your active empathy skills into practice and tune in to the other person. You’ve gotta be FAB. The shoe in a box was tuned into the need for creativity and an original dynamic approach.

 

2 – You have to stand out . You might say: That’s easy in the advertising world, but not in real life. OK, a good point – but I’m not asking you to be creative and wacky all the time. Just different to the other guy. What makes you different? Even if you have a simple classic CV, you have to have something that the others don’t have. A USP.

 

3 – But don’t bullshit. What I liked about the shoe in the box was that it didn’t make any great claims-to-fame that wouldn’t hold up. The action itself suggested “creativeness” but the need for a trainer underlined a lack of arrogance that needed supporting. Nice. Subtle. But cool.

 

These lessons may come from a world of advertising and recruitment, but they are valid for a lot of communication situations. Tune into the situation/values/needs of the other, stand out and keep it real.

Have fun!

Thanks for reading.

 

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