You may have heard about value propositions in the business and marketing world. It’s a clear statement that a company uses to convey why you should buy their product or service. Value proposition statements aren’t exclusive to the business world, though. Creating a clear and concise value proposition for yourself can help you to better market yourself to potential employers—and attract the right employers to you. Your value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered to a prospective employer.
If you’re a medical device sales representative your value proposition is what differentiates you from thousands of other medical device sales reps.
I love the definition that the guys over at Kissmetrics used in their post on value propositions: “a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re asking for.”
We can easily change people in their definition to employers or recruiters. The action you’re asking for is most likely an interview or a promotion (hint: value propositions work in both scenarios).
A clear and believable value proposition can dramatically increase your chances of being hired and the number of interview requests you receive.
How do you create a believable and clear statement about value you deliver? Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a value proposition and using it in your resume.
Step 1: Know the Employers You’re Targeting.
Think from the perspective of the employer and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Which companies am I targeting? What industry or industries do I want to focus on?
2. What do the employers in my target industry need?
3. What problems do they need to have resolved?
4. What do they value in a (position title)?
TIP: If you don’t know, ask. Find connections in your network that you can talk to or conduct some market research of your own. If all else fails, consult Google or poll family, friends, and Facebook connections in the industry or similar positions. Ask them what the industry or employer needs, what problems need solving or what they value in an employee.
Step 2: Make the Connection Between Your Experience and Their Biggest Need.
1. How do your previous accomplishments, successes, and experience point to how you can resolve the employer’s greatest problems or needs?
2. What value or results do you offer the potential employer? Most employers will make the assumption that a previous result/accomplishment is repeatable. If you’ve done it once, they’ll assume you can do it again. This is great when it comes to proving you can deliver value.
TIP: Prove the value you offer with numbers and percentages.
There’s something about numbers. They make statements more believable. Include numbers, percentages, or other metrics when you’re writing your value proposition. How much revenue did you generate, time did you save, or client satisfaction did you improve? How much more efficient will things operate?
Step 3: Know Your Competition.
It’s time to think about how your experience and credentials are similar to or different from other similarly qualified candidates.
1. I recommend working on a personal SWOT analysis. If you’ve never done one there is a great step-by-step tool here that you can use. If you need help figuring out the strengths portion of the analysis you can go to www.strengthsfinder.com and pay for a full analysis. It’s really useful if you’re struggling in that area.
2. In addition to or in place of the SWOT and Strengths Finder you could do a USP analysis. There’s an amazing one on MindTools here that’s written for businesses. However, it’s incredibly easy to adapt it for personal use. I happen to love the worksheet that comes along with the article because it helps you to visualize and compare yourself to other similarly qualified candidates. You can get a visual for your own unique selling points.
TIP: Once you’ve completed your SWOT and/or USP you’ll have at least three great selling points to help you create a clear value proposition.
Step 4: Use Your Strengths.
1. Think about the answer to: “I should hire this candidate because …” Include two or three reasons based on your USP or SWOT analysis and incorporate numbers or percentages into the sentences.
2. Edit the sentences until you’re able to clearly communicate your value proposition in one to two sentences max. Be as specific as possible.
Here’s a simple example:
Let’s say that you’re a medical device sales rep who was formerly a Pediatric ENT. In your previous practice you worked with a representative from Medtronic, a global medical device manufacturer. You were also very well networked in two regions with 200 other Pediatric ENT physicians.
Step 1: Know the Employer
You know from your experience as a Pediatric ENT that Medtronic manufactures the small ear tubes for the surgeries that you performed; it’s a product that you loved but is not very well known in either region where you’re well connected. They have a couple of needs:
1. More exposure for their newest ear tube products
2. Expansion in both regions
Step 2: Make the Connection
You’re well known and well respected within your network of physicians and could easily reach out to 200+ pediatric ENT physicians to share your knowledge and experience using Medtronic’s pediatric ear tubes. You’re an expert on the product and well connected in an area in which Medtronic needs growth and exposure.
Step 3: Know Your Competition
You’ve performed your SWOT analysis and your USP. While other candidates may have more years of experience in medical device sales, your strengths and unique selling points are:
– A deep understanding of the product from actual use as a surgeon.
– Very well connected with Medtronic’s primary customer base. Not to mention you were a former customer. You ARE their primary target audience.
– Well respected and admired in your network of doctors.
– Your network and reach are in the prime area that Medtronic most needs exposure and growth.
Step 4: Use Your Strengths.
Well-Respected Pediatric ENT who performed 1,255 surgeries using Medtronic’s pediatric ear tubes. Former Medtronic customer connected with 200+ pediatric ENT physicians within the southeastern region. Passionate evangelist already spreading the word about device use, implementation, and successful patient outcomes.
Once you have your rough draft with your 2-3 sentences try distilling and editing it down further until you have it succinct and in one to two lines.
Now that you have your unique promise of value articulated, make sure you include it in the top third of your resume. I recommend using it as the headline at the top of your resume or as a subheading over your career summary/profile section. You want it to be one of the first pieces of content the employer reads about you so that it sticks with them.
Need help creating or articulating your value proposition? You can find out more about how we can help on my website at www.greatresumesfast.com.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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