unique value proposition

Add Strength to your Job Search

My kid's vice-principal and teacher came to our house yesterday. It's not what you think.

We go to a small school and when kindergarteners enter the school, it's like entering a family. They came to visit to get to know us. The kids made signs for their arrival, showed them their rooms and bounced around like little bunnies with excitement.

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But what stuck were the intentional questions they asked. Most poignantly, "What strengths do you see in your son?"

And it was such a good reminder to take time to SEE him. So often, I am consumed with the day-to-day wrangling, schedule and instilling civility that I don't take time to reflect on his strengths.

Have you taken time to reflect on YOUR strengths? Because they come so naturally, we often don't see ourselves accurately. Use your eyes in new ways today to actually SEE yourself and others!

P.S. Job seekers, your strengths are part of your branding toolkit to set yourself apart from other applicants. Don't miss the opportunity to talk about what you naturally bring to the table!

Need help? Purchase our resume branding mini-workbook!

The Art of the Elevator Pitch: Know YOUR Story to Land your Next Job

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Today, the National Resume Writers Association Ask-The-Expert blog tackles how job seekers should share their story at in-person networking events. While an elevator pitch can feel sales-y and icky, the concept is simple - know your story. Flip the script on need in the job search. Share where you are going and invite others in on the journey. Here’s how:

➔ Introduce yourself. Take the courage to actually meet new people instead of hanging with the people you know. Instead of asking people what they do, ask how they spend their time or what project they are working on. Get to know the whole person, not just the professional part of their life.

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➔ Share what makes you unique. Your job search should have focus. You are targeting particular positions and specific companies. Share what makes you unique in your current field/role/company/etc. as it relates to your job search.

➔ Share you destination. Invite people along in your job search journey. We never arrive to new places alone. Share how you want to use your skills in a new place or position and ask about their landing place - how did they get to where they are today.

➔ Genuinely connect. People want to help people they like and trust. Be a genuine inquirer of their unique skills, journey and work.

Networking is about connecting. We all have a story. Know yours.

Be like the Frog: Own your Unique Value Proposition

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Being unique is hard. Take it from the frog.

After spreading out our library book haul yesterday, my three-year-old son and I read book after book plastic-covered book. At the bottom of the pile was Dev Petty's, "I Don't Want To Be A Frog" which is about, you guessed it, a frog exclaiming he doesn't want to be a frog! Instead, he wants to be a whole host of other animals with their unique capabilities. The frog thinks he is too wet, too slimy and too full of bugs.

But you know what? His three unique features save his life from a big, hairy wolf looking for lunch.

Aren't we just like the frog? Looking left and right in our workplace, the job applicant pool and in our personal life comparing (and complaining) about our distinct qualities. We would rather be like the people around us rather than different.

It isn't sameness that makes you stand out, but your differences! Own what makes you unique.

What does this mean for job seekers? Sell your unique qualities, skill set, experiences - whatever makes you, YOU! Dare to stand out, not blend in! Showcase your unique value in your resume and on Linkedin as it relates to your work and job target. Speak it out loud as you network and in your interviews. It may be the very thing that lands you the role.

What are the frog-like qualities that you shy away from? How can you use them to your advantage?