How To: Power Statements

February 21st, 2007

example power statement for a job interviewOne of the features of JibberJobber is the Interview Prep area, where you can enter your personal responses to interview questions. Power statements is one of the three things that you can enter. I learned about power statements when I went through a two day workshop here in Salt Lake City. The idea is simple yet powerful, and can be useful in various ways. So what is a power statement?

A power statement is made up of three parts, and concisely communicates a specific skill you have with quantifiable evidence. When you have prepared and rehearsed your power statements you convey your skills with authority. Each of the three parts contributes to this authority. Here’s an example:

I am creative. For example, in my last job I was tasked with updating the SOP manual using old technology. I figured out how to use various software I found on the Internet and was able to deliver a more professional deliverable in half the time. As a result I saved over two man-months of work and was received the employee of the month award.

The first part is I am _________. This is where you put a skill, such as ambitious or tenatious. You can also say I am a hard worker. You are simply stating what you are.

The second part is For example, ________________________________________. This is where you tell the story that backs up your skill. It would start off like this: For example, when I was at American Express I …

The third part is As a result _______________________________. This tells why your example is so powerful. You want to quantify the results here, so something like a dollar change, percentage saved, time saved, etc.

Obviously this will come in handy during an interview (it can also provide information to help construct a resume). When you are asked “tell me about a time when you showed X skill” you can deliver a power statement. As an interviewer I’d really appreciate an answer like this as opposed to a rambling story about all kinds of details that are not important (and detracts from what you have to offer). Ending it with a result ties it all together and nails the point home.

One quick note – in the image you will see the first drop down is “Category” – this is a premium feature which is very cool. After you categorize your interview responses you will be able to print out responses for certain interviews. For example, I will have specific interview responses for a high-tech startup which will be different than a large university. Or, different responses for a Project Manager position than a Customer Service Manager position. Create different responses for these different scenerios and then print off just the answers you need before your interviews.

Don’t want to pay the $9.95 to upgrade just to have categories? Here’s how to get around the category thing (it ain’t the best, but it works): When you put your skill name, instead of putting Creative put a little code to group them. For example, HC-Creative for health care interviews and HT-Creative for high tech interviews.

So do me a favor – in the comments leave one of your power statements! If you don’t have one then now’s a good time to create one. Here’s the question: What is one of your greatest strengths?

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2 Responses to “How To: Power Statements”

  1. Mike Murray says:

    Just for you, Jason… this is the one I come up with off the top of my head:

    I am multi-disciplinary. For example, I’m currently working in internet security, just finished my first book on careers, am a certified hypnotherapist and started my first business at the age of 19. As a result, I can pull in strengths and resources from an incredible number of areas, and apply the patterns of thinking from those disciplines to the problem at hand. This talent has allowed me to pick up new skills incredibly quickly, and I often see problems in different ways than those around me.

  2. [...] Power Statements – I was on a call last week with a user who said “these are to motivate me, right?” I laughed out loud (sorry) as I never thought of that before and it really struck me as funny! No, these are not self-affirmation, motivational things to get you out of bed or keep a smile on your face. Rather, these our powerful statements that can be used in a resume, an interview, an elevator pitch, etc. that really pack a punch (see also How To: Power Statements). Here’s an okay example off the top of my head: I am ambitious. For example, when I was laid off during a massive restructure last year I started a new business that would provide others with career management tools. As a result, I created a new stream of income for my family and learned a lot about marketing and social media – more than I ever knew as a consultant! [...]

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