Your job search is really just the process of selling yourself.
Sounds a bit ‘off’ right? But it’s true. You’re offering what you have in the way of skills, knowledge, expertise and qualifications to someone willing to pay for it. It’s a sale. A trade. “I’ll give you my expertise and experience, you give me Rx + benefits.”
Seems simple right? Basic? But from what I see as a ‘guerrilla’ job search coach, many job hunters have little concept of this. When I ask them what benefits they provide – they give answers like: “I manage production” or “I am the Financial Manager” or “I do customer service”. They focus on their job title, what they do, their duties and responsibilities. But the thing is, that’s what everyone says. And it makes them look average. It gives the employer no idea of their value to their business.
So if you want to be effective in this ‘selling yourself’ process – you just have to have a firm grip on this question:
What value are you offering an employer?
Yep, in other words: what difference can you make? how can you make things better? what problem can you solve? what ‘prayer’ are you answering? And why is having you around a good thing? What benefits do you provide your buyer?
What forms of value are there? Speaking generally, a business is in business for one thing: cash! So, no matter who you are, the big question is this:
How do you support the money making process with what you do?
In view of that then you need to ask yourself some questions:
- Do you win customers, do you close deals, do you generate sales?
- Do you provide friendly efficient service to customers – encouraging them to stay on, ie. retaining them as ‘money-bringers’ for the business?
- Do you ensure products are correctly shipped to customers – thereby also contributing to customers sticking with your company as a supplier?
In your department, what works better because you’re in your position? What can you be relied upon to bring to the party? Do you make things faster? Do you save money? In what way do you do a better job that benefits the organization?
These are great questions to ask yourself. Your ‘buyer’ – the employer – wants benefits, value. You have to show you know that. And you have to be clear on what value you provide.
So many job hunters, in the way they present themselves, appear to be just looking for a job. They want an opportunity. They want a stable company. They want a chance. They want a job where they can grow. They come across to the employer like they’ll just be another ‘bum on a seat’ wanting a paycheck at the end of the month. Focusing on what you want is not a great sales strategy!
How are you coming across? Are you focusing in your CV, job interviews and when you’re networking with friends, colleagues, etc on what you want or what value you deliver?
Are you telling how your focus is to build efficiency, generate revenue, save money, give better service, create systems to ensure delivery of products, raise customer satisfaction levels, motivate people to new heights of productivity … are you getting the picture?
So what value do you offer? Brainstorm it. Get clear. Then do a review of your CV and think back to job interviews to see where you can focus on this more.
By the way: your answer will be a great reply to the tough interview question: “So, why should I hire you?”
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