Weekly Wednesday’s with Rachel: Set yourself apart

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Today I had lunch with a girl I knew from high school.  She is a few years younger then me and is trying to figure out where she wants to end up after college.  After checking out the RMC facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/rachelmeiscommunications, if you haven’t liked us you should *nudge nudge*) she asked if we could meet up so that she could ask me questions.  During out meeting she said that sometimes she feels like a number when she is applying for internships and jobs.  With so many other girls going against her for a position, how can she stand out from the crowd?  The answer was, she already is.  Just by reaching out to me and asking me questions she was already standing out from the bunch.  By doing internships and using opportunities to figure out what she wants to do, she already stood out in my mind.  In the last few month’s I’ve seen my fair share of resumes.

Automatic no’s from me include:

-the statement “fashion is my passion”

-misspelling my name

-addressing it to the wrong company

-addressing it to “whom it may concern” (just take a guess, we are called RACHEL Meis Communications, maybe address the email to a Rachel, even it I don’t get it directly you tried)

-mass emailing me a resume

-not knowing anything about what my firm does

-spelling errors in general and not including the required material to apply

I’ve even had girls email me from their boyfriends email address or give me the wrong phone number.  Unfortunately this is the norm.  My mom calls it the 80/20 rule.  (Jewish mom’s always end up right).  Essentially 80% don’t do what it takes and maybe 20% actually do the work.  When I’m looking at resume’s I’m looking for that 20% and it doesn’t take a lot to get in that group.

Here are 5 tips on how to separate yourself?  If they seem obvious, you’re probably part of the 20%.

1. Interview people you admire in the industry.  Reach out.  What have you got to loose?  So what if they say no.  The fact is you tried and maybe an opportunity could come out of it later, or at least they will know your name when you ask for a job.

2. ALWAYS send a thank you email after you interview or when you meet with someone.  No one does this anymore and when you do it really makes a difference.

3. Intern as much as you can.  You will quickly learn what you do like and what you do not.

4. Don’t think you are above doing free work.  How else do you expect to get experience?  Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and get the job done.

5. Dress the roll.  Yes we work in fashion, but this is a work environment.  Classy style always wins over the hottest trend.

Do you have any tips? Would love to hear what you have done to separate yourself from the pack and stand out!

Till next week.