I love the American Idol TV show. It makes me feel good that people who are talented, looking for guidance and a shot at a singing career have a platform, or quite literally a stage, to showcase their voices.
For years I have use American Idol as a way to describe how NOT to portray yourself as an appropriate candidate for a job and here is why.
Other blogs, sites and career coaches say you need to stand out from the crowd and not get lost. I say absolutely not! With more than 20 years as a hiring manager and recruiter and having been to many career fairs, job fairs and having spoken to and interviewed hundreds and hundreds of candidates, what stands out is normalcy.
On American Idol if you do a round off onto the stage, wear a glitzy hat, a fig leaf or walk in as a robot that will definitely get the attention of the judges, but not always good attention. (Read: the world is laughing at you, not with you). If you actually sang well then you wouldn’t have to try to stand out, but it’s a singing competition so at some point you are going to have to sing.
Candidates whose resume stands out are eventually going to have to interview, so don’t oversell yourself and don’t try to stand out. Everyone is going “out there”, so be normal! I‘m not saying be mundane or be average, but normal. This means no pictures on your resume and no sob stories in your cover letter.
Clean, clear and concise wins every time.