Events at work are not always within your control, but you can control how you react to them. Be friendly and smile. When problems arise, adopt a can-do, calm attitude and offer positive solutions. Be on time to work and meetings, and show sincere interest in the topics being discussed. Have a good absentee rate, missing work only when absolutely necessary.

5. Be a good story teller. Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of United Talent Agency, says the first thing he asks a prospective hire to do is tell him a story. "If we're selling something, we have to be able to communicate it in an elegant, intelligent way," he explains.

With 30-day mandatory, paid vacations, a Utah company is helping bring an unusual corporate perk to the startup world

Featured photo credit:  Conceptual image of teamwork via Shutterstock

Don't just be the one who turns on or off the lights – be the one who gets in early or stays late in order to get things done. Not only will your performance stand out, you'll also start to...

Today, in anticipation of the book’s release on May 17, Katherine and Hillary are sharing some bonus material from the book: 16 things that will make you stand out at work. Read on to learn how to have all eyes on you in the very best way.

"Candidate showed pictures of their relatives working at the company many years prior."

That said, work is not a sorority. You don’t need to be BFFs with every person you deal with on a day-to-day basis. In fact, it’s better if your work friends are not the center of your social life. Think of them as really great accessories rather than the go-to motorcycle jacket you wear with everything.

It's amazing how many companies are doing interesting things and nobody knows about it, because nobody tells them. It can be easy to take it for granted that your processes are more efficient, your products healthier or your service levels higher than your competitors. But if you don't tell potential customers, you could be missing out on an opportunity to gain an edge - and increase your sales.

So how do you pump up your signature strength? Follow these five steps:

Barbara Bean-Mellinger is an award-winning writer in southwest Florida. She currently writes articles for newspapers, magazines and websites on topics including people, animals, careers and education, as well as advertising and promotional materials for businesses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.

One of the weirder lessons to learn about being an assistant is that you are privy to an insane amount of information about your boss’s life. Even if your job doesn’t require you to do much personal assisting, you still end up knowing loads of intimate details, like how often your boss gets highlights or goes to the gynecologist, which friendly get-togethers/meetings can be canceled at the last second, and the intricacies of their latest diet/lunch order.

A survey conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. hiring and human resource managers revealed some of the most outlandish stunts job seekers have pulled make a lasting impression on hiring managers. And though these tricks definitely got applicants noticed, they didn't always get them the job. 

If you’re a mid- or senior-level employee…

Some are unexpected, others are just plain old school, but they all have one thing in common: a positive and unique impression left on those around us is contagious and uplifting in ways that you may not realize until much later. Effort is usually the key missing component.

Lots of employees, managers, and business owners are the first to arrive each day. That's great, but what do you do with that time? Organize your thoughts? Get a jump on your email?

10. Allot less time to do everything. One productivity theory is that people take as much time to do something as they're given. So if you give yourself less time to accomplish a task, you'll get it done faster and have time to spare.

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"Candidate had his daughter call the hiring manager in advance of the interview to thank the hiring manager 'for giving her dad a job.'"

Before you can begin changing how others see you in the office, you have to identify for yourself what your strengths are. Try not to think of your strengths in terms of your current job title or industry, but rather consider the value that you’d be bringing with you to any position you transitioned to in the future.

31. Over-tip the waiter, waitress, barber, mechanic, bartender or any other service industry employee, especially around the holidays. Don’t do it for future preferential treatment (even though that might be the case), but rather for the impact it might have on their morale.

Before I dive into this list of ideas, I want to let you all in on a little secret. If you allow the small victories to add up, big things will start to happen. Make a concerted effort to become aware of and act upon the seemingly menial actions that everyone is capable of, but most ignore, and others will take notice.

When you have more seniority in your career, being proactive is about forecasting and identifying trends in your industry so that you can capitalize on evolving information and help position your company as a category leader. You focus on being additive in an entrepreneurial way and showing that you understand and can capitalize on opportunities that will help move the company forward.

For example, years ago I decided to create a Web-based employee handbook my then-employer could put on the company Intranet. I worked on it at home on my own time. Some managers liked it but the HR manager didn’t so it died an inglorious death.

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Fine is a four-letter word that begins with ‘F’. In the world of work, it means average, adequate, OK. It implies “mediocre.” And by definition, when you wear the label ‘fine’, you don’t stand out.

As I’ve been gearing up for next week’s pre-launch of the 2010 More Buyers Mastermind, I’ve noticed a common thread running through every successful person on the lineup … they each have a very specific way of standing out from the crowd.

4. Travel to an uncommon place because YOU want to go there. It says more than you think.

3. Rarely complain and don’t sweat the small stuff. Patience is a turn-on and actively teaches us how to deal with stress.

27. Put the phone away and listen to who is talking to you. Conversation is something we choose to ignore too often.

You don’t have to be best friends (or even sort-of friends) with your colleagues. But you do all have to spend at least 40 hours a week together. A sense of humor and general positive outlook make you the kind of co-worker people want to keep around. If you’re shy and don’t want to socialize, don’t panic. Simply smiling and asking, “How are you?” when you arrive at the office can go a long way.

3.Stir emotions; spread happiness.“When you stir positive emotions, be they joy or inspiration or peace of mind, you send a message that there’s more where that came from,” Sonnier says. And they’ll keep coming back for more.

A massive difference isn’t required, but a noticeable one is. Often the simplest differentiation can be the key to establishing your brilliance.

The bottom line is, they make sure that they stand out – and they are rewarded by ever-growing numbers of readers, “superfans” and buyers.  Why?  Because they’re not like everyone else – and so instead of looking like a “commodity,” they get noticed.

How to stand out

As an entry-level employee, this can translate into identifying ways to improve efficiency, like creating a better workflow system for daily events (how information is presented at meetings, for example) or monthly projects (how expenses are catalogued). You might create a weekly report for your department or team on a relevant topic. The idea is to identify a “pain point” around the office and then come up with a solution for it.

"Candidate tried to impress the hiring manager with the history of the business, which was incorrect."

20. Have a great karaoke song in mind at all times; something that you can pull off and fits your personality.

When describing previous experience and responsibilities, it’s a good idea to use the STAR model as a useful way of communicating key points clearly and concisely within the job details section of your CV.

If you’re an entry-level employee or an assistant…

Now, I realize the difference between those times when I was honoring my introversion and times when I was caving into fear, and how important it is to separate the two before the latter threatens to hold you back.