I had the pleasure of working with a new client today and as we went through the personal branding strategy session, I challenged her with this question: “If an employer has several qualified candidates who have strong sales achievements, why should they pick you?”
It is a question that no-one likes to answer, but it is a valid one that should be addressed.
If you are competing in a pool of candidates where each person is highly qualified to perform the job tasks, what are you bringing to the table that will put you ahead of your competition?
If you are a sales professional, you have move beyond the numbers:
— Did you frequently earn sales awards, was your closing rate the highest among your colleagues or in the company, how did you perform against industry standards in terms of market growth and product recognition?
If you are an executive, you have to tell the story behind the achievements:
— were you required to lead through a corporate restructuring, did you launch a new product or spearhead a new business venture?
If you are a general manager, you have to emphasize more than the enormity of your job tasks:
— were you always performing under pressure and tight deadlines, have you maximized technology to improve business operations, are you repeatedly sought out for projects because of your exemplary leadership skills?
If you are a technology executive, you have to highlight more than a laundry list of software programs:
— did you implement new technologies that increased your company’s competitive advantage, expedited new products to market or elevated overall work productivity?
What unique strengths and differentiating talents can you pull out of your “hat” to put you ahead of the pack in your career or current job search?
Make a list of these strengths and create a compelling career success story to support each one – take it a step further and develop a Critical Leadership Initiatives document.