If you have had any exposure to sales or marketing, you know that creating a unique value proposition is a foundational part of every marketing campaign. Likewise, defining a resume value proposition is a vital aspect of every effective resume.
The days of the boring autobiographical resume are gone forever. In a day and age in which layoffs, rightsizings, off-shoring, corporate reorganizations, and downsizings are daily events, you face stiffer competition in the job market than ever before.
Your resume is often the very first introduction that you have when you are job searching – and of course, first impressions are everything. It is essential that you find a way to make your resume grab the recipient’s immediate attention – and then once you have that attention, to pique it and to compel the recipient to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.
Resumes are scanned for mere seconds.
The first review is nothing more than a process to filter out unqualified candidates.
Imagine yourself as the resume reviewer, quickly scanning through resume after resume. It is only if something literally “pops” out at the reader – something that directly relates to a need or a problem that the reader hopes to solve – that the resume will grab attention and will be set aside for more thorough review.
You need to find a way to stand out! And, incorporating your unique value proposition, very clearly, concisely, and in an instantly noticeable way – generally in the profile or summary section of your resume – is the way to ensure that your resume grabs attention almost every time.
What is a resume value proposition? It is a statement of your value in the workplace and of the return on investment that an employer will receive from hiring you. It is a statement that clearly conveys what makes your contribution special and what differentiates you from your peers.
Make no mistake about it. When an employer hires you they are making an investment in you. And they are doing so with the expectation of receiving value in return – usually with the expectation that you will:
- save them money
- make them money, or
- save them time
Understanding this reality is crucial if you are serious about achieving real success in your job search.
In your resume, and really – throughout your job search – you need to make it a priority to communicate what it is that sets you apart. You need to make it clear that you understand the employers’ needs, problems, and priorities – and then you need to make it clear that you are the answer to their problems.
Recognizing and conveying your resume value proposition – essentially establishing yourself as a valuable commodity in the workplace – is really the cornerstone and foundation of all truly effective resumes.
So, I encourage you to spend some time identifying your unique value proposition as it relates to your career.
What problems are you particularly good at solving?
In what ways do you have the ability to make your employers money or save them money?
Do you perhaps stand out in your ability to increase efficiency or productivity?
Once you are clear on your own resume value proposition, re-review your resume and make sure that you have made that value proposition immediately clear in the summary or profile section. There are numerous ways to do this, and you can review some of them in our portfolio of resume examples.
And, let me offer you another insider tip.
Don’t just tell the reader what you offer – show them. Telling the reader that you have the ability to turnaround an under-performing sales organization is so much more powerful when augmented by an example that succinctly tells how you halted a 5-year sales decline, saved an at-risk $10 million dollar account, and restarted business growth, delivering a 42% year-over-year increase in revenue.
Do you see what I mean?
But, don’t stop with the summary section. Look throughout the body of your resume and the chronology of your work experience. Do your job descriptions and achievements support your unique value proposition? Can you rephrase or reframe your descriptions and achievements so that they serve as illustrative examples of your value proposition?
I promise you that it is worth the effort.
Taking the time to identify and then interject your unique value proposition in your resume will have a dramatic positive impact on the results of your resume!
Updated and republished from an article originally published on this blog, March 9, 2011.