Job seekers: What is your value proposition?

What is your value proposition?
The paradox

What do you get when you combine an employment market flush with candidates, with recruiters and hiring managers that are time poor or just too lazy to read past the first line of your résumé?

An opportunity. That’s right, an opportunity.

Believe it or not, working harder to get noticed due to an organisation’s limiting recruitment processes or an individual’s laziness presents the perfect opportunity to reflect upon and refine your market position and personal value proposition.

Why you?

That’s the burning question on many candidates’ lips, or more likely, why not you? You spend time crafting great applications and send them off with expectations of being called for an initial phone screen and then hopefully an interview. Weeks pass. Not a peep. No response. Nothing. You follow up. Nothing. You follow up again. Still nothing. The ‘recruitment abyss’ strikes again.

Now, aside from being completely unprofessional and downright rude, there’s one thing that tastes better than giving up and surrendering the control of your career to someone else, and that’s taking the time to clearly articulate your value proposition to prospective employers and nailing who and what you’re all about professionally.

What’s your value proposition?

Your value proposition is the promise of value that you’ll deliver and a belief from the employer that value will be experienced. It doesn’t have to be over-complicated. It can be articulated in your résumé, cover letter, on your social media profiles, and in person when networking.

How do I develop it?

A great way is to start thinking about what it is you actually do. For example, are you a business builder, or an inspiring leader? Or do you analyse data and turn it into actionable strategies? Do you train people in specific areas in order to grow revenue? Do you turn businesses around?

At the macro level, it helps to articulate what you’re about in a succinct way in order to keep people reading your social media profile, cover letter, or résumé, or to get them interested in what you’re saying. Piquing interest will generally elicit questioning. You can then expand upon it by using supporting examples of what you’ve done and for whom, and what the outcomes were. And in doing so, you’re able to show how you’ll do the same for the role you’re applying for.

Take the time to look at people in similar roles to you or in roles you’re aiming to move into – check out their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles. There are myriad examples that leave you with no doubt as to what the person is offering to a prospective employer.

Now what?

Now I’m not saying this approach will guarantee job-search success. It will, however, help you take control of the process and empower you to think more clearly about what you want in your next career challenge and what you have to offer a prospective employer. It won’t overcome rudeness and lack of response, but you’ll know yourself a little better professionally and have a more comprehensive understanding of the kinds of roles you want and what you can definitively offer an employer in those roles.

More reading: 

Only you own your career – no one else
How you can stay relevant during times of massive change
5 tips to polish and proofread your CV


Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.

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