When it comes to your job search, no one is going to amplify your best attributes, skills, and abilities but you. No one can better testify to your competencies than you can. Furthermore, employers will have doubts about you unless you’re proving your worth in one of two ways:
- a body of work showing the depth and breadth of the value you can deliver,
- or the testimonials of people who have witnessed the manifestation of your value.
If you are going to be your own hype man, you’ll need to be supremely confident. Take a cue from Flavor Flav, a member of the rap group Public Enemy. You may laugh when you hear his name, but Flav is the only hype man ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rather than just a sidekick, Flav was essential to the music and message of Public Enemy.
There are several attributes job seekers should pick up from Flav’s performance as a hype man, including:
1. Show Your Distinct Voice
“Distinct” does not mean “loud” or “constant.” Rather, a distinct voice is one that is clear and resonant. You won’t stand out by repeating what others have said. Your role as your own hype man is to show how your voice adds value.
For example, during Public Enemy’s performances, you heard two very distinct voices: Chuck D.’s authoritative bass delivering its message like “CNN for Black people,” and Flav’s commentary on Chuck D.’s rhetoric.
2. Accentuate Your Distinct Qualities
Flavor Flav brought everything unique about himself to the stage, including his voice, energy, and message. You have to do the same: Don’t just amplify what you have – demonstrate how what you have to offer can add value. Job seekers often fail to explain exactly how they can help an employer solve it’s problems – which is why so many people struggle to land jobs.
3. Live Your Message
Flavor Flav wore a large clock around his neck during Public Enemy performances. Many people thought it was just a unique fashion statement, but it was actually a powerful symbol of Flav’s message. As he once put it, “Each minute we live, we got to live each second to our best value.” Similarly, your message as your own hype man must sync with your actions.
4. Be the Ying to the Employer’s Yang
How do you complement the employer’s mission and goals? Much like Flavor Flav complemented Chuck D.’s voice, you need to show employers how you can help heighten and further their missions.
5. Energize Others to Take Action
Flavor Flav’s energy inspired concert crowds; in return, the crowd’s growing enthusiasm generated more energy for Flavor Flav to feed on. You may not have an audience to cheer on your job search, but you can share your successes with the world.
Pay attention to referrers and those who say good things about your career exploits. Remember they can play crucial roles in your career advancement. Correspond with them often. Your connections can help you prepare for interviews and remain sharp if you keep engaging them.
The purpose of the hype man is to get the audience excited about the featured performer. In Flavor Flav’s case, his antics created a compelling experience to deliver Public Enemy’s message. These days, job seekers must serve as their own hype men. It is not easy to do, but it is essential to a successful career trajectory.
Mark Anthony Dyson is a career consultant, the host and producer of “The Voice of Job Seekers” podcast, and the founder of the blog by the same name.