You might be asking yourself what is the importance of the value proposition…and how does it pertain to you? You may have heard a lot about how important value propositions are in the business world. However, you are unsure how it applies to you and your job search.
In short, a value proposition to a business is a statement by a company or organization summarizing what the benefit or values the company’s product, service; and experience delivered sets them apart from the competition.
In essence, a value proposition states what makes the company’s product or service more attractive, why a customer should purchase from them, and how the value of the product or service is differentiated from similar offerings.
Your job search, your value proposition states what makes YOU more attractive or appealing and why a recruiter or company should call you in for an interview or why they should hire you – it differentiates you from other candidates.
It Can Strengthen Your Personal Brand
A strong, well-written value proposition can greatly strengthen your personal brand (I will post an article on building your personal brand separately since it is super important and deserves a more detailed discussion).
A personal value proposition helps to set you apart from your competitors.
The importance of the value proposition should not be underestimated as it helps companies and/ or recruiters better understand what unique skills, knowledge, or experience you have…all of which are the building blocks of your value, helping position you as an asset.
Many job seekers do not understand how a strong value statement or value proposition can help you stand out from the crowd. By spending time on your value proposition, you will reduce your competition and perhaps shorten the search if your value proposition is strong enough, top companies and recruiters will be banging at the door, as you will increase interest and pique the curiosity of companies and recruiters.
What Makes a Great Personal Value Proposition?
Just to reiterate, the purpose of your “unique” value proposition is to answer the question companies, recruiters are asking…, and that is “Why should I hire you?”
The best place to start looking to answer that question is by asking yourself, what makes you so special? What makes you different from others competing against you for the same position? What are your core strengths and competencies?
- Capture your main benefit…This one can tricky if you are in an industry.
- Why should you be hired?
- What makes you standout or different from all the others?
- How are you going to solve an organizations’ problem or need?
Once you have this list laid out, you can start to consider building the core components for your unique value proposition…such as; your background/ experience, expertise, and skills.
Now, Let’s Get Down To The Basics
A personal value proposition is a presentation (usually, in the form of a resume) detailing your background, expertise, and skills. Your value proposition is an effective way for you to communicate what makes you unique and a good fit for the role.
Your value proposition is what gets you the attention that you are seeking…potential companies and recruiters will take notice.
It’s your brand’s first impression (more on that in my next article).
And it’s critical to nail this message if you want to successfully market and sell yourself and skills.
However, in documenting your value proposition, there are a number of dimensions you must consider. These dimensions can guide you through conversations with potential employers.
Key Factors to Consider:
- Specific Skills; on the computer, math, science etc.
- Intangibles; such as: Attitude, Communication, Enthusiasm and your Self-awareness/ presence
- Internal vs. External Experience; Internal experience may be favored since there will be no drastic ramp-up time. However, management may be looking to effect change and wants a fresh perspective on things (new blood)…which then would want external experience.
As you start to understand the perspectives and needs of potential employers, across these dimensions, you can formulate how best to position yourself. By knowing your audience, it allows you to make the interview process more insightful for the employer, since they may not have considered their needs across the structure of scope you laid-out.
- Number of Years of Experience
- Relevance (of skills, experience, and knowledge)
The difference between a value proposition and a cover letter
A cover letter details your experience and skill set to show the hiring manager why you are qualified for the role. Both aim to highlight your strengths and why they would make you the best fit for the position but, cover letters and personal value propositions both serve different purposes.
A cover letter is approximately one or two pages in length and usually provides in-depth details regarding the experience, skills and qualifications listed on your resume.
Your personal value proposition is usually no more than one or two sentences, and can be used in several places throughout your job search materials.
A cover letter usually outlines what you have accomplished in your previous roles that are relevant to the position you are applying for, so it usually focuses primarily on the past.
Your personal value proposition talks about the value you will bring to the company you are applying to, meaning it will usually focus on the present and future.
Your personal and unique value proposition is at the heart of your career strategy. It is the very foundation for everything in a job search and career progression plan — targeting potential employers, attracting the help of others, and explaining why you are the one to pick.
It is why they should hire you, not someone else…regardless of your age.
In the end, your personal value proposition will either excite and show that you are a good fit for the role or will facilitate a mutual separation. Ironically enough, a non-acceptance is also a successful outcome, since it is rarely beneficial to be in a role and organization where your value-added proposition is not mutually recognized.
- Know your audience
- Know their pain points
- Understand and communicate your unique skills and the benefits that ONLY you can deliver
- Design is a great way to differentiate!
- Make your proposition visible and appealing on all marketing materials (e.g., website)
To sum it all up… Your value proposition is an effective way for you to communicate what makes you unique and a good fit for the role. However, in documenting your value proposition, there are a number of dimensions you must consider.
Amazon has many amazing books, programs, and training materials that you can use in your job search – here are some tremendous materials and additional resources available to you at Amazon!
What’s on your mind?
This site’s success will hinge on me helping you solve problems. For those of us over 50, we face more challenges than others younger than us when competing for jobs and getting doors to open.
I invite you all to share your stories of challenge and successes. We all can learn from those who have faced the same challenges. The idea here is to help and be helped – so please add your comment or insight!