This is a guest post by Celine Robichaud, Career Transition Coach at RiseSmart.
Having a strong Professional Value Proposition (PVP) is great – and knowing how to leverage it is even better.
In a middle of a political campaign, a candidate will adapt their communication style from city to city, from crowd to crowd, from social media to fundraising events in order to ensure that the message is tailored to each event or region throughout the country. A job seeker should embrace the same approach: adapting the way the PVP is delivered based on the audience and the communication channel.
Once you have established a statement describing your experience, your strongest assets and values and your potential contributions, you are then ready to take it to the next level. I believe that there are four different ways you can take the same message and use it for different audiences and different channels. Let’s take a closer look.
The Overall Answer
This is a formal, direct version of your PVP, and it is usually found at the top of your resume. It’s an answer to a job posting, a document provided upon request. This statement focuses on what the hiring manager, recruiter or Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system is looking for. Are you the answer to their search? Are you worth meeting for an interview? The sections that follow on your resume will complement your PVP with keywords and examples of your accomplishments to show how you embody “the answer.”
The Sharing Opportunity
Informal and formal networking can generate conversation opportunities regarding your career aspirations. This version of your PVP should be used in conversation, and it is brief, concise, fluid and, most important, projected with confidence. Remember, this is the same message as the one in the example above, but written with a different approach. As you are customizing and practicing your PVP for networking events (several times, out loud, in front of people), keep in mind that you will need slightly different versions for different business situations. In many occasions, a call to action should follow your message: a request for an informational interview, a business card, or a contact name. Therefore, you should prepare some questions and prepare yourself to ask them.
The Engaging Introduction
There are two principal reasons why a recruiter or a hiring manager would read your summary on your LinkedIn: they either receive a copy of your resume as a response to a job posting or you show up as a search result based on specific keywords. Either way, they are intrigued and would like to know more about you. This e-version of your PVP should serve that purpose. It’s a warmer version of The Answer, a text with fundamental answers to the question “why are you the right person for this job?”, but also one with insights into your personality. Use this space to give the reader an idea of how passionate you are about what you do. And again, close with a call to action – invite the reader to connect if they feel that your overall profile fits with what they are looking for.
The Specific Solution
During an interview you will be asked, in one form or another, to discuss your value. This is your opportunity to present and sell yourself as a solution – a solution targeting that particular position and the company. The quality of customization for this version of your PVP will greatly depend on your research efforts before the interview. How will you relate your experience and set of skills to their challenges? When explaining your personal value proposition in an interview setting, demeanor, your tone of voice, your attitude, and level of confidence when delivering your PVP are as important as the message itself. Keep this in mind when practicing in from the mirror!
To succeed in your job search, you must be able to answer the question “why should someone hire you?” in any given situation. If you have strong PVP and a strategic style for each audience or channel, you will successfully stand out in a crowd, online, and during interviews—and untimely, secure your dream job!