How Many Stars Are You Getting?

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Written by: Mike Whittington


If you are like me, you are constantly looking at reviews and rankings.  You are just trying to make sure that you are making the best decision regarding a purchase, or you want to get an idea of what other people might think about a product or service.  If you are a sports fan, then you are probably following some type of ranking and keeping tabs on who is considered the best at any given moment.  

We look at product reviews on all selling platforms and Google, we check out service reviews on Yelp, and we might follow team rankings on ESPN.  The point is…. People do pay attention to those who are doing well, those who are successful, and things considered the “best” in class.

The same could be said about the hiring process and career development.  Companies look internally for those high flyers who show extra potential, and a majority of the time, they look externally for individuals who have shown a track record of success. When hiring, companies usually don’t look for candidates that can just do the job.  They want candidates that they feel can have success, perform at a high level, and quickly bring value to the company.

As for career development, a great goal is to be the type of employee or potential candidate considered at the top of their game or best in class.  Regardless of what you do, are you doing it at an acceptable level, or are you performing at total capacity?  Are you taking the lead, or are you waiting for direction?

In the job market, I encourage candidates and companies to think about the competition.  There are always other candidates for any particular role, and there are always other companies that could get that great candidate.

Before entering the job market, have you taken the time to think about how you would stack up against the competition?  That is the question that we constantly need to ask ourselves to push in our career growth.  If there were rankings in your industry for your particular job, what would you rank?  Would you be one of the top in the country? In your region?  In your office?

So here are a few suggestions that have been given to me in my career:

  1. Have a mentor or someone who will give you candid feedback on how you are doing and ideas that you might have
  2. Do more than needed – going the extra mile will pay off.  You don’t know when but it will.
  3. Learn from your peers, your competition, and your mistakes.  
  4. Have an engaging personality – people want to see you succeed if you are likable.   Be likable.
  5. Don’t act like the smartest person in the room; you might be, but don’t act like it.
  6. Be confident, not arrogant
  7. Know how to sell your skills. Communicating your value to your potential employer concisely can push your resume to the top of the pile.
  8. Be an asset to your employer that you would be extremely difficult or impossible to replace.


If a potential hiring manager looked at reviews rather than resumes, how many stars would you get?