Yesterday we talked about your elevator pitch, today I want you to think about something deeper… this is not time bound (30 seconds) but it will come out in communicating with others, like in a networking meeting, over lunch or in an interview.
My buddy is looking for a new job, after coming from a family business where he’s spent the last many years. Going from owner to job seeker is weird and different. One of the hardest things to do, I think, is to learn the new language of the job seeker.
My friend is awesome, and he’s had fantastic experiences in his last capacity, but he needs to think about HOW to communicate those experiences (and skills) to people who are in a position to hire, recommend or influence.
You think that your experiences and skills aren’t relevant to the jobs you are looking at?
I argue that perhaps that’s the most important thing to communicate, at least in certain scenarios (like, in an interview). DO NOT downplay your experiences, history, skills, etc. Instead, think about how you can describe what you are bringing to the table in a way that the listener (interviewer?) understands that you are able to do the job they are trying to fill.
This is commonly referred to as “transferable skills.” Check out this terrific resource on understanding and defining your transferable skills at Quint Careers.
My friend should be able to come up with pages of transferable skills from his 10+ years of experience in his field.
A college student with no real industry work experience should be able to come up with transferable skills from school, sports, extracurricular activities, leadership positions and organizations, volunteer experience, etc.
A stay-at-home mom/dad should be able to come up with a list of transferable skills used with kids and to run a household to help show how they can help a business, whether it has to do with encouraging/persuading people or managing a complex system or keeping things moving with limited resources (maintaining a budget, meeting deadlines, etc.).
YOU should be able to develop a list of transferable skills from your last roles.
Once you start listing these skills you should begin to understand what your personal value proposition is. It’s not just what is on a job description… you bring more breadth and depth to a job than you might think, but you need to sit down and think through it.
Having a hard time thinking about how wonderful you are? That’s because you haven’t read Brag! yet… go get it!