social-1206614_1280It’s not much fun to get older anymore. At least not as much fun as it was when we were younger and could look forward to parties, presents, balloons, and cake.

Thank goodness social media has come to rescue our birthdays in place of the parties!

Hubby prepared a wonderful “Birthday Extravaganza” for my recent birthday, yet despite his efforts social media was the highlight of my day.

I was overwhelmed with greetings, so many that I lost track counting.

Long-time friends, new friends, family, former co-workers, neighbors – all sent birthday wishes.

I truly enjoy this aspect of social media. It’s a great gift to send someone a note, and I make sure to post birthday wishes to my friends on their special days.

Honestly, I thought I was doing a great job as a “Social Media Birthday Greeter.”  So good, in fact, I considered adding this skill to my resume.

Until I was humbled on my recent birthday.

Apparently, it’s not enough to say, “Happy Birthday” or “Have a great day!”

My wishes, that I had so proudly been posting, sounded canned and almost like an afterthought compared to those I received.

Many were quite personal, demonstrating how well the person knew me.

Others were funny.  Several got creative and included memes, photos, or videos.

And I loved them all!

This level of posting caught me off-guard.  As difficult as it was, I had to be honest with myself and realize I had let my creativity slide. I had forgotten my competition.

“That’s not going to happen again”, I thought to myself.  “It’s time to up my game.”

While birthday posting on social media is not exactly a competition, I fully believe if I’m going to do something I should do it right.

This situation – letting my guard down, becoming somewhat lazy, losing my competitive edge – reminds me of interviewing for a new job.

We should always remember our competition, especially when it comes to the job search.

To stay on top of our game, we need to make the following assumptions regarding the other interviewees:

  • Every candidate is at least as qualified as we are, if not more so.
  • Every candidate will be at least as prepared for the interview – maybe even better prepared.
  • Every candidate has a great personality and will make a personal connection with the hiring manager.

It’s not enough to have a good resume, to wear a nice outfit, to have a good handshake.  We must over-prepare and be ready for whatever the hiring manager throws our way.

In other words, we must regard every other interview candidate as our competition and assume they are at least as competent as we are.

By acknowledging our competition, we will stay sharp. We will prepare for every interview. We will fight for each job instead of assuming we’ve “got this”.

Up your interview game. Be ready for it and you will win.

About Tami Cannizzaro

A Dallas-based marketer, public relations consultant, motivational speaker and mentor, Tami Cannizzaro found herself facing a minor identity crisis after a layoff. Determined to find the silver lining—after all, there’s always a silver lining—she discovered that there’s humor in what can be an unstable and sometimes frightening situation.

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