Are You a Valuable Hire?

John Krautzel
Posted by in Career Advice

A valuable hire is someone whose skills and abilities match a company's current needs. If you have all the right stuff but your job search is falling flat, you may not be communicating your worth effectively. Defining and articulating your unique value proposition can transform your pitch and result in increased job offers.

Speak to Former Colleagues

Can you define exactly what you bring to the table at work? If not, it's time to do some digging. Reach out to trusted contacts who have worked with you in the past, explain that you're redeveloping your personal brand and ask their opinion of your greatest professional strengths. Don't add any further restrictions; by leaving the question open to interpretation, you enable each person to communicate the thing that stands out most. Look out for trends, even if they seem unexpected — the factors that make you a valuable hire might be things you take for granted, such as strategic thinking or high standards for finished products.

Go Through Past Projects

Client projects can be a gold mine of useful insight during a job search. Think back to past jobs and projects. What have customers praised about your work? What type of projects always seem to flow easily? What skills draw thanks from clients? The answers are both powerful indicators of your strongest abilities. Since a company's primary responsibility is to please clients and customers, these abilities mark you as a valuable hire.

Rank Your Skills

Once you have a comprehensive list of your professional strengths, it's time to determine which items are the most relevant to the job you want. To accomplish this, evaluate your list from the viewpoint of the decision-maker. Your budgeting skills might not be important in a programming position, but your impeccable organization and attention to detail make you a valuable hire. Using this system, rank your skills from most important to least.

Turn Strengths Into a Pitch

When you're applying to a job, it's not enough to state your skills and strengths — you must communicate how those abilities benefit potential employers. Instead of claiming to be a great salesperson, you might say, "By building loyalty and maintaining client relationships, I exceeded my sales targets by at least 25 percent each month for three years running." If an employer is looking to reduce instability with long-term clients, this statement can make a powerful impact. Turn each of your top-ranked skills into a pitch that targets employer needs. Then, integrate these pitches into your resume, cover letter and interview answers to paint a picture of a valuable hire.

Identifying the things that make you a valuable hire can jump-start a stalled job hunt. With a focused, relevant pitch, you can present a compelling case for employment that leaves employers clamoring for your skills.

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