You are a unique individual. There is no one else on earth that has exactly your qualifications. To highlight your special offerings, it is imperative that you show your prospective employer the value that you bring to the table.

Your résumé is a marketing document and you are the featured product. In order to promote yourself, you need to develop and present your "Value Proposition" to the employer. The message you present will clearly tell the employer the reason that he or she should select you for the position.

Your Value Proposition answer the employer's question "why should I hire you?' with a consistent response that runs like a thread through your résumé, cover letter, an interview. The message will comprise three components: your next employer's buying motivators, your own supporting qualifications, and the added value you bring. 

Buying Motivators

Buying motivators are the reasons that an employer will want to hire someone. They are most often related to the "bottom line". Companies want people who can help them to generate revenue, save money, and/or solve a problem. 

You need to show the employer what you have to offer that will help the company achieve its goal. For example, if an employer's buying motivator is to bring in additional revenue, you might offer "expertise in building sales. " This would become a key component of your Value Proposition. 

Here are some other examples of buying motivators: 

  • If you are an entry-level administrative assistant, your employer's buying motivator may be his or her need to delegate work and focus on the more important issues. You may offer the "ability to decrease your supervisor's workload'
  • If you are a mid-level professional, your employer's buying motivator may be the need for cost reduction. You may bring in "expertise in streamlining processes to contain cost within the organization"
  • If you are a senior-level executive, your employer's buying motivator may be the need for more visibility and a higher presence within the market. Your offering could be "your talent for increasing market share"

Complete the following checklist to determine your response to the employer's buying motivators. Ask yourself what value you bring to your future employer.

Buying Motivators

  • Generate revenue (increase sales, expand market share, augment profit)
  • Save money (enhance efficiency, boost productivity, improve cash flow)
  • Solve a problem (reduce errors, eliminate downtime, increase retention)

Supporting Qualifications

Supporting qualifications are the credentials that validate your claim to resolve the employer's buying motivator. In other words, you need to show proof of your statement using real-life examples from your background. All your qualifications related to the buying motivator you identified are important to mention in your Value Proposition.

Here are some examples of supporting qualification that is worth including in the Value Proposition:

  • The entry-level administrator discussed previously may have "shown strong organizational skills in completing assignments in CEGEP"
  • The mid-level professional may have "previously implemented leading-edge technology in a service organization"
  • The senior-level executive may have "led a competitor to unprecedented results"

Complete the following checklist to determine your supporting-qualifications. Ask yourself what proven credentials you bring to your future employer. 

Supporting Qualifications

  • Areas of expertise (skills, abilities, level, stature)
  • Background (education, experience, credentials, accomplishments) 

Added Value

Your added value illustrates to the employer the special talents and contributions that you have to offer. It creates an image of you that is unique and valuable to the employer. Your added value shows that you bring to the role much more than what is merely expected.

Here are some examples of the added value that are worth including in the Value Proposition:

  • The entry-level administrator above may have "the ability to speak, read, and write in French and English"
  • The mid-level professional may have "experience developing top-performing production teams"
  • The senior-level executive may have "hands-on experience creating multi-million dollar deals whit Canadian industry leaders"

Complete the following checklist to determine your added value. Ask yourself what extra benefit you bring to your new employer.

Your Added Value

  • Supplementary value (unique offerings)
  • Individuality (personality, style) 

Putting your Value Proposition Together

Your Value Proposition will be the key to your résumé, cover letter, an interview. Through it, you will be portraying your career brand. 

Here is an example of how an Ontario-based Field Service Technician created his Value Propositions. First, he determined that he could resolve his next employer's buying motivators by decreasing the escalation of customer complaints, improving call response time, and generating sales of product upgrades. His supporting qualifications include his college diploma in Systems Analysis, experiences providing field support to large businesses, and current computer hardware expertise. Additionally, he offers the added value of being able to speak English and French and experience in providing excellent customer support.

In response to the question, "Why should I hire you?" the computer technician would answer, "I would like to advance the goals and objectives of your organization using my strong ability to decrease the escalation of customer complaints by improving call response time while generating sales of product upgrades. Through my college course, I have developed current expertise and a strong technical foundation, which will enable me to resolve issues before they escalate. I also have hands-on knowledge in providing field support to large businesses. Finally, I can provide outstanding customer support in the central Ontario region and in the outlying areas because I am fluent in both English and French. 

This computer technician created the following Qualifications Summary for his résumé.

Highly Educated and Accomplished Field Service Technician

Top-performing professional whit expertise providing outstanding technical support and customer service. Verifiable experience in improving call response time, decreasing the escalation of customer complaints, and generating sales of product upgrades. Talent for supporting large businesses and implementing current computer technology. College diploma in Systema Analysis. Fully bilingual in English and French. 

Now that you are ready to develop your Value Proposition, a good starting strategy is to incorporate it into your résumé's Qualifications Summary.  Include details and accomplishments throughout your résumé that directly relate to your Value Proposition. Do the same with your cover letter. By the time you are finished developing your documents, you will have a strong understanding of who you are and what you have to offer. This will help you to gain confidence in articulating your value in your upcoming job interview. 

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