Why should a hiring manager choose you? Is it your charm and wit? Nice try. Maybe it’s your past experiences? Now we’re getting a bit warmer, but not quite. What are the differentiators that set you apart? If you don’t know, you better find out.
There is only one reason why you get hired and the others don’t. You must have something that no one else has to offer. What are they? Results! You must have a pattern of achievements through your past experiences that demonstrate a level of results to set you apart in a way that the hiring manager can visualize higher performance to accomplish organizational objectives in the future. Let’s parse the words in a way that’s meaningful to you.
You have a pattern of achievements… Make a list of accomplishments that succinctly summarizes your contributions at each stage of your career and life. What have you achieved? List those things that you are most proud at each stage of your career to date.
… through your past experiences… Begin with your schooling and move forward until today, but spend the most time and emphasis on the most recent two or three jobs. Show progression of knowledge, skills and expanded responsibilities.
… that demonstrate a level of results… Focus on the outcome and less time on the activity. Anyone can implement a project, but it’s the measureable results that count. Define the metrics of your performance before and after your engagement.
… to set you apart… It must be unique enough that few can match. What is significantly better because of your involvement? Separate out your individual performance first, then add in your work team, department, or company.
… in a way that the hiring manager can visualize a higher level of performance… Connect your performance to the function they’re looking to fill. Electrify/excite/stimulate/energize the hiring manager’s view of what’s possible if you’re hired. You have to project your potential value.
… to achieve organizational objectives in the future. This is a key to crystalize your uniqueness. If you can’t add value to reach their objectives, you’re not going to be hired. Look both short-term and longer-term. The future is now.
What does that all mean to you? Even before the interview, identify their key issues. Develop mini-pitches around those issues. Market your potential value to the hiring manager, based on the needs of the business, supported by your past achievements. Those are your differentiators. Use them well.
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