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Weekly 3: Make yourself more memorable

Summary: Be remarkable. Give them something to remember you by. Make the information you present more

Idea Journal Weekly 3

June 2 · Issue #89 · View online
We combine 3 ideas to help you think differently and be more creative.

Summary: Be remarkable. Give them something to remember you by. Make the information you present more memorable. (~ 5 min read)

#1. Do a great job before you need another one
Odds are that the last time you switched jobs, you used a resume. Following conventional wisdom, you may have sent it to dozens or hundreds of employers, or posted it online.
Marketing guru Seth Godin writes in his book Purple Cow that the above process is really nothing but a form of advertising.
The context is different than a company buying TV or online ads, but it’s still advertising: “After all, your resume is likely to land on the desk of someone with no interest whatsoever in you or what you’re up to. Worse, it’s unlikely that this strategy will lead to much word of mouth.”
But Godin suggests that there’s a more effective strategy: be remarkable.
Remarkable people switch jobs with far less effort, and often don’t even have a resume. Instead, they rely on others who know the quality of their work, and are quick to recommend them. Remarkable people are often recruited from jobs they love, to jobs they love even more.
As Godin points out, the secret doesn’t lie in the job-seeking technique – it’s about what these people do when they’re not looking for a job.
Remarkable people do outrageous work. They take on high-profile projects, and take risks. Sometimes those risks result in big failures. But those failures rarely lead to a dead end – instead, they increase the chances that these people will get an even better project next time.
If you want to be remarkable in your career, the time to do it is not when you’re looking for a job.
A standard resume is nothing but an opportunity for a prospective employer to turn you down. A handful of over-the-top references, on the other hand, begs for a meeting.
As Godin puts it: “In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.”
#2. Extend your stay in other people's minds
You just gave a well-prepared presentation, or made a compelling case for why you should be chosen instead of the other candidates interviewing for your dream job.
But a few hours or days or weeks later, how will your audience remember you among all the other presentations and interviews they see?
Advertising executive Michael Parker writes in his book It’s Not What You Say that if you are “totally brilliant” and you delivered the best presentation they’ve ever seen, or you were the most charming and persuasive candidate they’ve ever interviewed, then perhaps they will remember you.
But most of us have to settle for less.
Parker recommends taking the “memorable test” to help you stay in your audience’s minds.
To use the memorable test, make sure your next presentation or interview has at least one of the following qualities, or you will be forgotten:
  • A compelling story
  • A repeatable phrase
  • A piece of pure theater
  • An unlikely setting
  • An astounding visual
  • Audience participation
  • Best of all, an idea
#3. Hook important information to make it more memorable
In his book What Smart Students Know, educator and entrepreneur Adam Robinson writes that when we have trouble remembering something, it’s because the information isn’t being presented in a way that allows our brains to process it efficiently.
Many people complain about having a poor memory, but as Robinson points out, our brains have an awesome capacity for processing and storing certain types of information. The trick is to find a way to hook that information to things that your brain can store and recall easily.
You can make hard-to-remember things like isolated facts or abstract ideas more memorable by arranging them into one of the following hooks:
  1. Pattern
  2. Picture
  3. Rhyme
  4. Story
For example, putting the above 4 hooks in a pattern like alphabetical order makes them easier to remember than if they were listed in random order.
As Robinson notes, people have been using the hook technique for thousands of years.
It’s the same technique early elementary school teachers use when they introduce new words alongside a visual representation. While a student recognizes the shape and color of an apple, he or she also recognizes the length and shape of the word next to it.
Quote of the Week
“If I’m going to be anything more than average, if anyone is going to remember me, then I need to go further, in art, in life, in everything.”
- Attributed to artist Salvador Dali
Idea Journal
Idea Journal
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