Everyone has stories to share. Think about a time you heard a good story from someone…what made you listen more closely and how did they capture, and keep, your attention? Career messages are no different; they are engaging, convincing, and consistent stories about you that should be shared in all of your job search materials and activities. You want to make all potential employers sit up a little straighter when you start to share your career messages, taking an interest in your offerings when you try to persuade them that you are the best person for the role.
How do you compile good career messages of your own?
To start, you need to know your value. I mean really know it. It is amazing how often I ask job seekers to tell me about what sets them apart and all I get is a list of generic skills. Employers hear these generic messages all the time: “I am a great multi-tasker…..I love working with others…..I take great initiative”. Anyone can claim these basic skills; they are not interesting or unique when they stand alone. Instead, strive to create solid career messages that position you as the employer’s job search solution. Break it down into three steps to get started:
1. Look hard at your core competencies and compile a list of your top five core skills. These may start out as a generic list (initiative, cost-reduction, communication) but that is ok. This is just the starting point, which most people don’t make it past.
2. Next, focus on your ROI (return on investment) and what value you bring to the table that you are sure the potential employer will find of interest. These examples should be things you have consistently done well throughout your career (reduced inefficiencies, generated cost-savings, collaborated with others).
3. Finally, brainstorm on specific examples of achievement and success where you applied your top core competencies with positive results. Quantify details to add value.
Messages that may form include:
* I regularly take initiative in my work to locate and improve inefficiencies. In my most recent role at ABC Inc. I located several bookkeeping errors which I flagged and corrected, reducing staff inefficiencies by 50% and increasing client satisfaction levels by 85%.
* I excel at locating areas for cost reduction in order to generate significant cost-savings. As a Product Manufacturer for AAA I negotiated new supplier contracts to successfully save the organization over $1M in materials last year.
Finally, how do you share these messages?
The biggest key to sharing your message is consistency! No matter who you share them with, or in what capacity, you must deliver your messages consistently. Meaning, do not list certain messages in your resume and then supply different messages during the interview. The employer will be confused.
In your resume let the messages form your value proposition and ensure the document revolves around supporting your messages with results-oriented examples of achievement and success. During an interview, supply answers that reiterate your messages and how your unique value proposition would benefit the employer. Finally during a networking event, share a prepared overview of your career and offerings, heavily emphasizing your career messages. Brand yourself with these messages in all communications so there will be no question as to what sets you apart from others.
Lastly, don’t forget about delivery. You must be confident and engaging in the method of delivery, regardless if is paper-based or verbal. You want people to find you interesting enough to ask for more and if you lack confidence or professionalism in your delivery, no one will buy into YOU.
Discover what sets you apart: www.careerimpressions.ca