Job Seekers – What is Your Value Proposition?

A ubiquitous term in the Job Search sphere today is Value Proposition. You read and hear about it online and in seminars and workshops every day in association with resumes, networking and interviewing for a job.

IMO, the common first step in defining a Value Proposition is also where many go wrong; they fail to understand that value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. To identify bankable value, first you must know what the employer is hot for in order for you to concentrate your efforts on what you have to offer.

IN A RESUME: In many branded resumes you find various sections titled Value Proposition. Some use a text box to list highly desired skills and keywords and call this Value Proposition. Some resumes expound on valuable character traits an employer desires and title this section Value Proposition. Some resumes include relevant achievements and accomplishments and call this section Value Proposition.

However to make this successful in a resume you need to already know what the employer values most and where and how to visually place it in the resume for maximum effect.

IN AN INTERVIEW: Again, value here is in knowing what the employer needs and values most in this hire and how to address this verbally without sounding like a phony.

For instance: Company A looking to a hire new Sales Manager may consider long established customer relationships in their field the most important value in a new hire.

Company B, in the same field, considers the ability to build and lead a team from scratch the most valuable asset.

Company C, in a similar field, considers the ability to change an existing culture and sales process as the most valuable asset. Finally,

Company D, in a new field, considers ability to set goals and monitor revenue and budgets most valuable in a new hire.

As a seasoned Sales Manager who excels in all these areas you must first know the importance each employer places on each and know how strongly and when to interject each into the conversation. If you focus your Value Proposition on the wrong topic the company will view you as highly qualified, but not the person they want to hire for this job.

IN NETWORKING: The secret to networking is a Value Proposition is directed around what you can offer others, not around what they can do for you.

For instance, in a 2-minute round robin networking event most participants talk about themselves. The way to be noticed and get results is to tell the group what you can do to help them.

The same holds true when you make a new contact. Don’t start by telling them what you need. Start by telling them about how valuable you are as a contact and your enthusiasm to share and help them.

It can be your willingness to introduce them to others, your ability to share nonproprietary information, or your offering to help them on a task or project they are having difficulty with. These are Value Propositions you’ll be remembered for.

The same is true on LinkedIn. When requesting to connect, tell the person why you can be a valuable contact for them and invite them to use you. They will be more receptive knowing the connection is a 2-way street.