It sounds like a snarky question, but the answer is the core to your personal brand.

What is it that you can do that no one else can? Maybe your technical skills enable you to soar above the crowd. Maybe you can get away with making jokes others can’t and help people smile while they work. Maybe you are a rockstar at introducing yourself.

How are you special?

What can you get away with that others can’t?

I know a job seeker who showed up 10 minutes late for an interview and still got hired. In today’s job market.

He was so good at his work — at designing effective user interfaces — his potential employers were able to overlook his chronic tardiness.

What can you get away with that no one else could?

My younger brother can walk into a room full of people and almost immediately become the center of attention. It’s seriously impressive.

Almost no one can plan on engaging a large group of strangers in mere minutes. But he can.

What can you get away with that no one else can?

One of my colleges charges almost double what everyone else in her field charges. And she is booked solid with clients for months out.

Her extraordinary strategic vision and ability to translate it into teachable, tactical steps is so valuable, that she can charge double and people will happily pay.

Not an excuse, but an opportunity

The question above is not at all designed to be used as an excuse. It’s purpose is not give you the power to say, I can be late for an interview because I am so great at my job.

It is not an excuse. Rather, it is an opportunity to better define your personal brand.

The things that you get away with that other people don’t is a direct line to a core aspect of your personal brand.

Maybe it speaks to your talent as a designer.
Maybe it speaks to your ability to relate to others.
Maybe it speaks to your domain celebrity.
Maybe it speaks to your ability to manage projects or people.
Maybe it speaks to your ability to mentor.

What can you get away with? What makes you sooo special?

And the kicker — Why?

When you answer that, you’ve got a fundamental aspect of your personal brand nailed down.


Rebecca Rapple has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Keith Ferrazzi’s My Greenlight and more. You can learn more about the fundamentals of a remarkable job search on her site, The Resume Revolution.