Do you feel like you are a “dime-a-dozen” competing in your job search?

A few months ago I was talking to some friends over dinner and mentioned that a particular profession was a dime-a-dozen, and it’s easy to find someone to do that particular job.

And then I realized one person at dinner, who I like and respect a lot, was just getting back into that field.


I did that about a year ago with another type of profession.

Wednesday morning I was thinking about these almost-commodity skills/roles/people, and something significant hit me.

If you are in a dime-a-dozen field, I’m going to ASSUME you have all the right skills, and you are very good.

You can spend time helping me understand why your skills are superior to your “competition,” but I was thinking, as an employer, what would be most valuable to me.

I would want someone who was “high speed, low drag.”  Another way of saying it is that you can “hit the ground running.”

I want someone who I won’t have to worry about.  They aren’t going to be at the water cooler whining about management direction or decisions.

They aren’t going to waste hours a day with social networks or other things online.

I want someone who I can trust to do the right thing, every time.  Someone with high integrity.

I want someone who will strive to make me, as the boss, look good.

I could go on and on, but what I was thinking was I want someone who has personal values, including honesty, integrity, strong work ethic, sense of pride in doing the job right or well, someone who can learn quickly and especially learn from mistakes… someone who is punctual (or not chronically late) … for that matter, someone who is not chronically __________…

See where I’m going?

In my job search I told someone “I’m just a general manager… not specialized.  And in this valley there are tons of managers.”

That someone wisely responded “yeah, but there aren’t very many GOOD managers.”

How do you differentiate yourself when you feel like a commodity?

Show how you are GOOD, or better, and definitely help me understand I’ll never have to worry about you.  You won’t embarrass me or give me headaches.

That’s who I want to hire.