iStock_000006914214_LargeYour Personal Value Proposition – or PVP – is at the heart of your career strategy.  It is the foundation for everything in a job search and career progression – getting promoted, targeting potential employers, attracting the assistance of others, and explaining why you are the one to choose. It shows right employers why they should hire you, not someone else. Showcased in your CV, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, it is a powerful tool that attracts headhunters, HR directors and alike, and helps you attract new opportunities.

So, how do you develop a powerful PVP?

Amanda, a PR and communications executive, looked at kind of professional activities that she enjoyed doing most, that fit her naturally. Two things stood out: she thrives on solving what seems to be difficult problems and coming up with unexpected creative solutions. She is also very people smart – her communication skills leave everyone in her team – both managers and employees – feeling understood and connected. Her people skills add to the team spirit and atmosphere in the company. She then identified that she wants to stay in the industry but move more in the direction of social media. Amanda prefers working in small to mid-sized privately-held companies that need operations revamp or improvement to enable more growth (that is her target).

You can follow similar steps to develop your own strong PVP:

1. Set a clear target: what direction do you want to go in? Targeting will make you much more effective.

2. Identify your strengths: what you know and what you can do are the foundation of your PVP. Hone in on what those are.

3. Link your strengths to your target: this is your job to figure out how your strengths relate to what an employer needs. Let your PVP tie you closely to the position. Consider the employer’s perspective and clarify (for yourself first, then for the employer) why they should hire you or promote you.

4. Prepare evidence and success stories: your strengths are what an employer will be ‘buying’ but your achievements are the evidence that you have those strengths. They make your case convincing. You can prepare a portfolio or detail your achievements in your resume to showcase that evidence in a vivid way. You need to collect facts on measurable achievements (eg sales growth, cost reduction, etc) or reports that you wrote that had impact.

In short, your PVP needs to be distinctive, unlike what similarly qualified professionals or executives might say about themselves.  It needs to be narrowly defined.

Think of your own career strategy.  What is your value proposition?


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