As a job seeker, having a well-defined message is essential. Potential employers need to know what you have accomplished and how you can add value to their organization moving forward. So here is a quick overview of delivering a clear message that stands out from the crowd.
The first step in a well-defined message is showing you are qualified for the work in the job description. Then, provide the potential employer with all or some of what they are asking for. The second step in a well-defined message is communicating what makes you different from all the others who are also qualified for the job. This is a differentiator and key to landing your next job.
What makes a differentiator a differentiator?
- It must be true: you never want to lie or stretch the truth about your past because doing so will get you fired.
- It must be important to the employer: you can be the best in the world at XYZ, but if the employer doesn’t use or need XYZ, it will not help your chances of landing the job.
- It must be provable: have quantifiable outcomes ready, which are measurable outcomes that show how you have made an impact and provided value to your previous and current employers.
Rule of Thumb
A good rule of thumb in determining your message content is to develop 5-6 key points you want to communicate that are composed of qualifiers and differentiators for the desired job or career. This list will help you deliver consistent messaging as you prepare for resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches, interviews, and social media posts. Remember that you do not have to share every point in every situation.
Examples of differentiators
- Specialize in an industry or service
- Have a special or unique credential
- Specialize in clients that share a common characteristic
- Focus on solving a specific business challenge
- Have a geographic focus/specialization
If you are job searching, remember that you are one of many qualified individuals looking to fill one respective position. Qualifications will help you get the interview. Differentiators are the extras that give you a perceived advantage in an employer’s eyes. Take some time to reflect on your differentiators and qualifications so you can separate yourself from the crowd in the job-hunting process.