Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is also true about you. You KNOW that, but when it comes to describing yourself, do you label yourself with only one or two of your “parts”?
Who are you? A sales manager? Engineer? Software Developer? Marketing analyst? A mother … wife … sister … daughter? Father … husband … brother … son? Gourmet cook? Photographer? Golfer? Are you outgoing or more reticent? Analytical or assertive? A leader or a supporter? You are many of those things combined and that’s what makes you YOU—the unique and one-and-only you!
Your professional success doesn't depend on years of experience, technical or functional skills, or your educational qualifications alone. In fact, hiring managers typically cite a candidate's "soft skills" or emotional intelligence (EQ) as a more important gauge of who will be top performers: How well an employee will work with or direct teams, solve problems, and lead change.
According to a 2014 Fast Company article, hiring for EQ has become a best practice and is selected as one of their The Top 10 Best Business Lessons of 2014 (“Why Emotional Intelligence Is More Important To Hiring Than You Think"). The article points out that "tech companies like Google are relying more on emotional intelligence, as opposed to where the person went to school or what grades they received."
It’s like a good soup or sauce. You take a sample and say, “Wow! That’s excellent! What’s in it?!” Maybe you have refined taste buds and can pick out a bit of cayenne pepper … or a touch of garlic … or some basil. But you can’t be sure until the cook confesses his secret ingredients. Whatever the ingredients or the exact blend of ingredients, it’s just right. Like you!
And like that special sauce, it is the unique combination and ratio of ingredients that makes you marketable. You, too, are a special sauce of ingredients that only you can promise to your next employer or current employer.
But there are other requirements listed by potential employers that are much harder to objectify and quantify like “exceptional communication and organizational skills” and “ability to work in a high demand, fast paced environment.” Those last two requirements may be the secret ingredients you possess that few other candidates possess. And if you can demonstrate and validate that you have those secret ingredients in a way that goes beyond repeating the same words “exceptional communication and organization skills” then you may elevate yourself to the top of the pack of all potential candidates.
How do you do demonstrate and validate your secret ingredients? There are a few ways, including inserting quotes in your resume from testimonials that speak to your communication strengths. One of the most powerful ways you can demonstrate and validate that you are indeed a “special sauce” with unique ingredients is to work with an authorized behavioral consultant or professional behavioral analyst trained in the administration of and coaching in DISC assessments.
DISC assessments measure communication style and behavior intensity levels in four dimensions, using the DISC theory originally developed by Dr. William Moulton Marston. It is the most widely used communication style and behavioral profiling tool of its kind, and is supported by decades of research and ongoing, up-to-date validation. The DISC model has been used in 40+ countries since introduced in 1928 and is one of only a few behavioral assessments with universal validation.
Hiring authorities, HR managers, and recruiters understand the value of the information highlighted in DISC assessments, because many of them use the DISC assessments within their organization for team building, conflict resolution, strategic positioning, and more. Providing a hiring manager with the same trusted DISC information they already use, to validate the behavioral and communication style you will demonstrate in your interview and on the job—just by being you—is another way to distinguish YOU!
I was intrigued from the first moment I read the bold claim accredited to Socrates that "the unexamined life is not worth living" and it has been a touchstone throughout my life. And, through the power of hindsight, I see its influence powering many of my career choices and life activities.