By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
Professionals in the midst of a job search often report feeling a sense of helplessness. How can you stand out amidst the competition? How can you shine during an interview? Perhaps most importantly, how can you land a new position that’s in-line with your career goals in the shortest possible amount of time?
The answer to all 3 questions is the same: highlighting UNIQUE VALUE, that special combination of people and industry skills only you possess. When executed correctly, it will lend greater focus to the job search and put the power back in your hands during interviews.
Step 1: Develop A "10-Second Pitch"
If you only had 10 seconds to describe what sets you apart, what would you say? Are you a natural team leader? Do you excel in conducting research or managing complex systems? Are you someone who can consistently take on greater job responsibilities and deliver? Grab a voice recorder and practice your 10-Second Pitch until it’s clear and succinct. Ideally, you should end up with 3-4 specific attributes. These are the core ideas you’ll want to communicate when meeting a recruiter or potential employer for the first time.
Step 2: Communicate Unique Value In All Job Search Documents
It is essential to think about job search documents, particularly resumes, as PLATFORMS for communicating unique value. In essence, they’re personal marketing materials. Here are ways to ensure they deliver maximum impact:
- Create an opening paragraph at the start of your resume that summarizes the 10-Second Pitch. Keep it short and sweet.
- Always highlight 10-Second Pitch skills and related accomplishments FIRST within the “Professional Experience” section of your resume. This is particularly important when detailing jobs held within the past 10-12 years, as this is the area potential employers will primarily focus on when deciding who gets called in for an interview.
- Use the opening paragraph of the resume as a foundation for cover letters, thank you letters, and follow-ups. A little repetition is fine here: the goal is to establish yourself as a special candidate, not be creative.
Step 3: Use Your Unique Value As "Talking Points" During An Interview
Think of a job interview as a tug-of-war between the needs of a potential employer and what you’re looking for. Your interviewer will be looking for areas of weakness. It’s your job to keep the focus placed squarely on what sets you apart.
- Use the attributes comprising the 10-Second Pitch as jumping-off points during the interview. Use the resume to support your assertions and be sure to point out relevant accomplishments.
- Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by questions about negative aspects of your career. Be honest and upfront when answering, but always return to the main task at hand: communicating unique value. At the end of the day, the types of job offers you receive (and salary ranges) will be DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well you execute this task.
About the Author
Anish Majumdar, CPRW is a Career and Owner at www.ResumeOrbit.com. 98% of clients report and increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 110% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee. Submit your resume for a free critique today!