If you’re like many of the people, you are probably looking for freelance, full-time, or even part-time work. One step you may want to take is to develop a personal value proposition (PVP) to use in letters, interviews, social media profiles, and resumes.
What is a personal value proposition?
About a month ago, someone asked me what a personal value proposition was? He was in the final stage of his interview process and needed a letter stating his PVP. Like many people, he’d never heard of a PVP. After doing some research on the company and reviewing his resume, I crafted a sample letter for him and asked him to fill in the data points that best suited his role and experience. He edited the letter slightly, added his data points, and last week told me he’d gotten the job.
In the business world, value propositions are often set for products and services. It boils down to Value = Benefit – Costs. However, since we are talking about people rather than products here, this gets a little trickier.
Consider this. You are the product and the customer is the hiring manager or client you are trying to work with or for. You’re still going to offer benefits and costs, but the value is not a concrete as if you were demonstrating the George Forman® grill.
What does a PVP do?
A PVP can quickly set you apart from your competition. When organized, written, and presented well, giving the client or hiring manager a snapshot of why he/she should work with you, it is very powerful.
Here are three things is does:
- Sets you apart from your competition: When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I already owned a graphic design and marketing business. So, one of the things I did was create a brochure outlining my skills, work ethics, and traits. The illustration I used on the cover happened to be of a woman who looked very similar to me. I then color coordinated that with my business card and used them as part of my leave-behind with my resume. During the interviews, I didn’t focus on my resume, but more on the values and the benefits of working with me. I landed a full-time position before graduation.
- Focuses on Value: Consider your transferrable skills and how they may be applied to a variety of industries. Then, add situations in which you were able to use those skills to solve problems. In many cases, hiring manager may not just be looking for someone to fill a particular role, but have several openings available. When speaking about the value you bring, you could land a position other than what you’ve applied for.
- Demonstrates your understanding of the hiring process: Because you understand the formula, knowing how to quickly fill in the blanks makes interviews less time consuming and more focused on the employer’s needs and how you may fill them.
How do I do it?
The initial step is to define the target. Who do you want to work for/with/around? What type of organization would you like to be involved with—whether as a contractor, client, or staff? What problems do you want to address—remembering that you don’t have to do what you’ve always done in the past?
The next thing you want to do is answer three questions:
- How will the company [be specific] benefit financially from hiring you? When answering this, consider the ways in which you’ve provided value to companies or projects in the past, for example, by creating a more efficient database structure, I was able to increase productivity by 25 percent, while decreasing overhead time on the project by 30 percent.
- What experience can you provide that the company may benefit from? Again, be specific in your example. Flowery prose is not needed. State facts and the situation clearly to give the reader an understanding of the scenario.
- What sets you apart from other candidates? Think outside the box on this. It may be something like volunteer work, additional language skills, college projects, extracurricular assignments or projects, etc.
Tip: Remember to provide evidence that supports your solutions and be honest. Make your case convincing and credible.
- Start with a question, “What keeps you up at night when it comes to business issues?”
- Address a specific problem, and then provide three bullets with your solutions, stating facts supporting your value.
- Write in short sentences and paragraphs to keep the reader’s attention.
- Use facts and figures to drive home the points.
- Bold a few words or a phrase to get attention.
- Keep it short. Consider a piece with less than 200 words.
What does it look like?
Below is a basic example:
Are you looking for a way to boost your company’s online brand while generating more leads?
I can help.
As a seasoned Marketing Director, I spearheaded multimillion-dollar corporate initiatives, as well as limited-budget initiatives that directly impacted my clients’ bottom line.
Here are some high-level accomplishments I can bring to the team:
- Brand recognition survey result increase of 25 percent in less than 2 years
- Website bounce rate decrease of 15 percent over 8 months
- Increased lead generation via online and social media channels by 45 percent within 12 months
As you launch the new branding initiative in your firm, let’s talk about how my experience can help guide you toward success.
Have you successfully used a PVP? Tell us your story.
If you need help crafting a PVP for a project or interview, contact us. Our skilled copywriters and marketers can help you to identify what is needed for an effective PVP.