By Robin Fisher Roffer
Most of us know that it takes more than a sharp resume, well-cut suit and an impressive degree to land a great position. That might have worked in the last century, but not in this one. Today you have to crisply define your value in a succinct, benefit-driven way that tells those in your sphere of influence why you and the work you do matters.
What I’m talking about is crafting a value proposition that comes from your highest self -- two or three sentences that you use at the beginning of every interview, on your bio and LinkedIn profile and shrink down to 140-characters on Twitter. To make an unforgettable impression, your value proposition should contain your mission, unique skills and expertise and how those things serve your target audience.
Whether you're a television executive interviewing with a network struggling to increase ratings or you're vying for a marketing director position inside a major corporation challenged to engage customers, you have got to be the solution. If you’re not the solution, then you are irrelevant.
To create your own value proposition, think about your hiring manager’s pain points and the solutions you provide. If you’re not sure what those points are, ask them to tell you their single biggest challenge. Then use these helpful tips to deliver your value in a way that solves their problem.
- First, convey WHY you do what you do (a.k.a. your mission).
- Share your point-of-view, i.e., “I believe that…”
- Declare what is unique about you – how do you stand out?
- Next, tell them how you’re the solution to their pain.
- Offer some credibility that gives them reasons to believe you.
- Keep it simple – be conversational and don’t use confusing terms.
- Finally, make sure you whet their appetite so they’ll want to hear more!
Here is an example of a value proposition for a Project Manager or Team Leader:
“I am a collaboration catalyst. I believe that bringing people together to arrive at a solution creates buy in and unifies the company towards a common goal. The magic happens when I pull together people from different areas of the organization and then lead the charge to move projects forward effectively and efficiently. My specialty is in helping to set and achieve goals better/faster/cheaper by welding radically different perspectives into a single team effort, avoiding wasted or dead-end thinking. I’ve demonstrated this unique skill at both Dell and IBM with astounding results and I know I can do it for you!”
Your value proposition should have the same confident tone as the example above. It must aim to serve, rather than sell. When you are finished saying it, there should be no mistake that you are a true asset and undeniable talent.
I learned long ago the power of taking charge of your perception to build your brand. In fifth grade, I sang, “I’m the Greatest Star” in front of my entire elementary school. My favorite lyric in that number is, “I blow my horn until someone blows it.” Needless to say, I belted it out and haven’t stopped since. I invite you to do the same.
Robin Fisher Roffer, founder and CEO of Big Fish Marketing, is America's leading personal brand strategist for executive level career professionals. She's the best selling author of 3 books including The Fearless Fish Out Of Water: How To Succeed When You're The Only One Like You. Discover Robin's secret formula for igniting your career with a personal brand at 8 Steps To Igniting Your Personal Brand.