Think about what an average student would say while approaching a job:
- “I applied to 50 applications….now I just have to wait”
- “Hi, my name is John. I am doing my Master’s in IE and looking for full time opportunities…..”
- “There aren't enough jobs out there!"
- "I should do certification X"
The Problem? There are 3000 other people doing the same thing!
It doesn’t matter if you have a high GPA, or you've done 12 certifications, or you’re from Stanford. If you’re like everyone else, you’re not off to a good start.
This is where the Criss-Cross technique comes in.
The Criss-Cross technique to separate yourself
When others are doing the same thing again and again, you do the same thing differently. Put it simply, you want to do 2 steps:
Step 1: Ask yourself: “What will everyone else do in this situation?”
Step 2: Write 1-3 ideas to do something different and exciting!
Let me show you an example-
Step 1: What will everyone else write in their Experience section?
- “Worked for company A and did XYZ”
- “Responsible for doing abc”
Looks OK, and maybe boring?
Step 2: What's 1 way you can rewrite that?
Could be something like -- “I worked in the Supply Chain team for 3 of their production lines. At the end of the project Rework of Bottles, we were able to cut down the cycle time by 12%, surprisingly which hadn’t been achieved before ever."
See how doing this can instantly make your resume noticed?
Situation: Applying to Job applications
Step 1: How will everyone apply?
Typically, everyone will fill out their online forms and submit 2 documents – Resume and Cover letter.
Step 2: How can you make your application little creative and unique?
Instead of two, you can upload other documents for more credibility and showing you're a top performer. Maybe, you can upload:
- A recommendation letter from one of your managers, professors or colleagues (Don’t have one? Can you email one person and ask for it? I can bet most people would be happy to give you one
- An image or a video of your work – any projects you worked on, assignments you did, results achieved, etc.
- A letter showing some research you did for the company you’re applying to (maybe it shows what are some of the current challenges they’re facing, and outlining 3 points on how you would solve those problems if you get the job)
- Or anything else
What You Can Do:
The examples I showed above are just one thing. There are plenty of other areas and ways you can differentiate yourself.
It might be resume, interviewing, talking to hiring managers, reaching out to recruiters, people you meet at the career fairs, etc.
The first step is to know what everyone else is going (criss), and then getting little creative by doing it differently (cross.)