Several years ago, I traveled with a fairly arrogant PhD. No matter how modest the hotel, he always walked up to the registration desk and stated, “I’m here to check in. You should have a reservation for Doctor Martin Jennings.” (Name changed to protect the guilty)
After witnessing this routine several times, I finally asked, “Martin….we are staying in a one star hotel. What do you think they are going to do for you because you’re a doctor? Do you think this modest hotel has a Presidential Suite or something?”
His matter-of-fact response was, “You never know. Sometimes it gets me a little something extra.”
A week later, I decided to give it a shot. I registered for a hotel in Nagoya, Japan as “Dr. James Snider.” When I arrived, I walked up to the registration desk and stated, “I am here to check in. You should have a reservation for Dr. James Snider.” I’d sold the fiction by putting on a sport coat and tie before entering the hotel. The hotel staff was exceptionally attentive, even by Japanese standards. They hustled me up to my room with maximum efficiency, chatting excitedly to me all the way and then opened the door to my immaculate corner room with a gorgeous view of downtown Nagoya.
Bear in mind, I’d been traveling for business for around 10 years. I had achieved “gold” status at this particular hotel chain for five years straight. I was aware that there must be corner rooms at hotels, but I’d never been given one before.
I thought, perhaps, I was on to something so I mentioned this to a friend about a month later. He laughed at me and said I was full of baloney. We happened to both be in San Francisco for a seminar. That night, we got away late and hit the maximum dinner crowd at a popular restaurant. The hostess told us that the wait would be an hour and a half. My friend, puffing up with some false pride, responded, “OK, party of two for Doctor Bryan Lawson. We’ll be waiting in the bar.” We were still laughing about the “doctor” statement when a well dressed man approached us and said, “Dr. Lawson? Hello, I’m Robert Perkins, the restaurant manager. I’d like to show you to your table.” We’d only been waiting for 20 minutes.
By now, you are probably seething. You have probably waited the full hour and a half (and longer) at restaurants. You have been stuck in shabby rooms at hotels where you were a frequent guest and had no way of getting a better room. You are probably wondering how many “doctors” have been seated before you or got the room that you, by all that is right, should have received.
So, what are you going to do about it? Start lying? I hope not. My research at the Nagoya hotel was the only time I tried this little ruse. It was amusing and enlightening but it made me a little bit ashamed. When it comes to the job search, your lies will find you out. You need to stick to the truth but that includes promoting your great value to a potential employer. You have a limited number of characters with which to make an impression in your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles. Why are you wasting them with things like “Sports Fanatic” “Seeker of Truth” or “Sarcastic wit with plenty of attitude”? Last time I looked, I was not seeing much of a job market for “Chief Smarty Pants.”
Tell me quickly what you do very well and grab my attention. “SQL server super geek” is much more useful than “Devoted father of 3 rowdy boys.” “Eat, drink and breathe SEO” is much more compelling than “Digital marketing fan.” “Certified Guerrilla Marketer” catches my attention more than “MBA, humorist and friend to many.”
My friends caught the attention of people quickly and got what they wanted. Make it hard to ignore you by making it clear why I should be paying attention to what you have to offer.
Good Luck and Godspeed,