Raspberry Fudge Swirl in a Plain Vanilla World

Even though you have probably already gone through this exercise in the self-evaluation phase of your career planning, it's important to go through it one more time: know how you measure up against your competition. And this time take very specific note of your competitive differences. Don't go along with the mistaken impression that you can sell based only on your own personal value—remember our discussion of product-driven marketing versus customer-driven marketing. Know what your specific advantage is for each specific employer. Be ready to articulate that advantage in very precise language.

If you are just like everyone else, I am not interested. We are not hiring everyone else.

Success in interviewing involves being fully prepared. But it's more than that—you must stand out in a world of plain vanilla job candidates. What particular strengths make you uncommon? What makes you unique? What is your competitive differentiation? What is your unique value proposition? Be ready to differentiate yourself. Be ready to show your "competitive advantage." And be ready to load on the nut topping, whipped cream, and cherry if they ask for it. You have to be ready to take on the competition. Remember, your competition is sitting there in the classrooms with you. You need to know and understand your greatest strengths in relation to them.

It is only by differentiating yourself that you can lick your competition.