16 years of expertise writing resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and providing interview career coaching to help clients land the perfect position.

The Number One Factor of a Job-Winning Resume

resumeIf you are a job seeker, you will need to know the number one factor of a job-winning resume. Decision makers take approximately 10 seconds to glance over each resume that crosses their desk. This means that your time is precious and your resume needs to grab the reader’s attention, and hold it, as quickly as possible.

The One Important Question

Decision makers are looking to find out the answer to this one, all important, question: “What makes you so special…and why should I care?”

If, within your 10-second window, you can provide clear, concise, and compelling answers to this question—accompanied with tangible benefits measured in dollars and percentages—you will be invited into an interview.

However, if you can’t answer that question sufficiently, your resume won’t have what it takes to get attention, and you won’t get an interview.

Value Proposition and Personal Brand

The most effective way to get hiring managers attention is, ironically, the one thing that is most often missing from candidates’ career documents. That is a value proposition and personal brand.

Without this important combination, your resume and cover letter only state what it is that you do and have done. To this, a decision maker only replies with “So what? Who cares”.

That’s because you’ve hidden your potential value to the new company so well, behind meaningless facts, that you—a successful and valuable leader—can’t get face time with a decision maker.

Value Proposition

To avoid this scenario, you need a value proposition. A value proposition is a clear, concise, and compelling statement of the tangible benefits of your services. It focuses on measurable results, primarily in dollars and percentages. It must be crisp and to-the-point, and it must describe something that decision makers want because just listing what you do has no value if no one needs it.

So, after you’ve written a killer value proposition, a decision maker will definitely know what you can offer them. But say there is another applicant with a very similar value proposition. How would a decision maker choose between the two of you?

Both of you are valuable; both of you get results, but the decision maker can’t use your value propositions alone to make the decision. He needs to know you both better—who you are and how you both do what you do. Who will best fit into the company culture and the management team? Whose style will help deliver the best results?

Personal Brand

The decision maker needs to know your personal brands. Without that critical information he can’t make the best hire for the situation. That’s because a personal brand is a clear, concise, and compelling statement of the intangible benefits of your services. It focuses on non-measurable elements such as your passion, leadership style, culture, work style, chemistry, etc.

Your personal brand is your promise of value and your differentiation. It’s authentic. It says who you are, how you do what you do, and where you want to be. It guides your direction and your decision, and it also helps employers make decisions about you.

Although neither your value proposition nor personal brand will work alone, when they are put together they are your sales pitch. They are so important to your resume because together they answer the two most important questions to make a hiring decision: Can you help the company make money; and will you bring the right chemistry to fit within the company’s culture?

What sales pitch tips have you used to land your dream job? Comment and share below! If you need help working on your branding or value proposition, reach out to Candace to learn more!

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