You know, recruiters and job applicants have something in common.   We are both looking for work. 

Differentiation in a competitive marketplace is critical, and for many of us, it represents the $64,000 Question.  How do we differentiate ourselves in a meaningful way, a memorable way?  A way that will get us hired.

“No” Without Feedback

We all know what it is like to submit our credentials only never to hear from the employer, or we get a generic letter telling us “NO” without providing any feedback.  Time after time. 

When we coach executives in career transition, we have to help them dig deep to find professional and life experiences that will give us the key to unlock their unique value proposition.

With  credit to Sarah Cy, a writer and teacher with the Medium website,  we have this great story of a career turnaround.

Actor George Clooney Frustrated By Recruiting System

Actor George Clooney confided to author Ryan Holiday that early in his career he felt like a failure.   He would attend casting call after casting call only to be told NO.   He felt angry and frustrated.  The system was flawed.

Then one day he experienced an epiphany.  He realized that he was approaching the process all wrong.   He realized that those casting directors were eagerly looking to find the right person. Most were hoping the next person who walked through the door would be that right somebody.

So, Clooney changed his approach.  Instead of presenting as someone who was “groveling for a shot,” he positioned himself as someone with something special to offer. 

No Quick Fix

This is not a strategy that will require just a simple mental adjustment.   He did what any actors should do.  He prepared himself.   He put in the time to nail down why he was unique, why he was that actor with something special to offer.

What skill sets, what experiences, what successes do you have that will help you differentiate yourself from everyone else?

If you are planning to make a career or job change, or if you feel that your position might be eliminated, now is the best time for you to start this important process.

This Is What We Do

 And this is what I do.  I work with executives and managers to help them answer that $64,000 differentiation question  about what makes them unique, what do they have to offer that no other candidate will bring to the table?  As a former newspaper reporter who had a knack for finding interesting ideas and stories that were frequently hiding in plain sight, I have an enormous amount of experience In finding those facts and successes that will help executives and managers realize that they, too, have something special to offer.

If you have questions, you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and through our webpage at

Thanks for watching.  See you next time.