How you approach your next career move depends largely on the way you present your unique selling points or USP. Job profiles are evolving rapidly today and multi-tasking is becoming the norm. Employers expect different value propositions from job seekers. They anticipate rare combinations of cross-functional skills and technical expertise that could add value to their companies. Which is why one of the most common interview questions that we come across today is: “Why should I hire you?”
Now that we have succeeded in making the first impression through our resume, it’s time to put forward our value additions. It is crucial to differentiate yourself from the crowd and gain a competitive edge. Whether we are applying for a new job or looking for a promotion, it all narrows down to how well we market our skills. The right approach would be to ask the following questions to ourselves:
- What are our USP’s?
- What makes us different from all our competitors or peers?
- What can we put forward on the recruiter’s table?
Let’s walk through some key perspectives that can help you develop strong and articulated answers:
What are unique selling points?
Unique selling points are your transferable skills that are likely to make a significant impact on the employer’s business. It is the best way to demonstrate to an employer why you are the ideal candidate for the role.
Employers usually look in for some fundamental skills that can help them in difficult situations. For instance, in case of a personnel administration job in a factory, a candidate requires good negotiation skills for managing trade union disputes.
If you explore your key USPs and incorporate them in your marketing strategy (cover letter, resume, interview, etc.), you will have a strong advantage over other candidates. Just like products have to be marketed to consumers, candidates have to market themselves to employers. The better you market, the higher are your chances of getting your dream job.
Which skills should we focus on?
Your personal selling points can help you narrow down your job search, complete your resume and prepare for interview questions. Some prominent unique selling points could be:
Specific skills: Here is a chance to showcase our technical expertise. We can list out the entire range of functions that we specialise in. We can also highlight some relevant courses attended in the recent past. For instance:
- A digital marketer can talk about his/her proficiency in keyword research, PPC campaigns, traffic generation, lead conversions, etc. as well as boast of his Digital Marketing Diploma.
- An IT professional should focus on the technologies and platforms he is well versed in.
- Finance experts can mention about their grip on financial database systems.
Knowledge: Employers often try and probe the candidates about their industry or market exposure. They are interested in analysing our knowledge of recent events in a particular domain.
For instance, as a social media specialist, we should be abreast of:
- Upcoming social media trends in the year ahead.
- The rise and fall of new social media tools or mobile apps.
- Strategic mutual collaborations or tie-ups in the online space.
Similarly, bloggers should focus on the latest blogging approaches or perhaps some major blogging sites that they refer to consistently.
Experience: When it comes to selecting a candidate, several recruiters are concerned about quantification of results. We fail to make the right connect, if we focus solely on our day-to-day tasks. As a job-seeker, we should let our accomplishments fix all the major gaps in our resume. If we quantify our achievements through some specific strategies or statistics, it is more likely to get noticed.
For instance, as a sales professional, it is essential that we t