Value Proposition Model: Applying a Holistic Approach to Career Transition

By Sharon Graham.

Employment consultants typically support clients who are going through career transitions. They strive to provide these clients with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to perform a successful job search. For this to happen, clients need to be able to articulate their value clearly and confidently from the beginning to the end of the job search process.

We have heard the term “value proposition” used in the corporate world to describe the differentiated brand and value that an organization offers to its customers. Companies use the value proposition to answer their target market’s question: “Why should we buy your product?” In the same way, your client’s Value Proposition should effectively answer the potential employer’s question: “Why should we hire you?”

In 2004, Career Professionals of Canada’s Certified Résumé Strategist Committee introduced the concept of “Value Proposition” as it relates to résumé writing. Over the years, the concept was further refined as it applies holistically to employment and career transition.

The Value Proposition Model is a useful tool for employment consultants when they want to apply a formalized approach to career transition.

Think of the Value Proposition as a branding message, marketing strategy, and sales pitch all in one. To conduct a targeted search, the applicant must deliver a concise, consistent, and compelling message to the employer. This message is the individual’s Value Proposition. To achieve the best chance for success, the candidate must deliver this proposition holistically throughout the job search process.

Your client’s Value Proposition consists of three components: the employer’s buying motivators, your client’s supporting qualifications, and your client’s added value. By addressing each of these components, your client clearly demonstrates to the targeted employer how what he or she has to offer will meet their needs.

The Employer’s Buying Motivators

Employers seeking to fill positions are essentially purchasing employees and therefore they have specific buying motivators. These motivators generally relate to the company’s bottom line. An organization might be looking for a new team member to help them generate revenue, save money, or solve a problem. These buying motivators are how the company expects to “pay the bill” for the new employee.

Your Client’s Supporting Qualifications

In order to effectively market and sell him or herself, your client needs to demonstrate supporting qualifications that directly address the employer’s buying motivators. Your client’s qualifications are likely to encompass specific skills, abilities, level, stature, education, experience, credentials, and accomplishments. Select only the most significant qualifications for use in the Value Proposition. Otherwise, the offering will be too bulky and diluted to advertise your client in a memorable way.

Your Client’s Added Value

Even when clients articulate their supporting qualifications, they are only equal to all other candidates who display valuable supporting qualifications. Your client’s added value is the distinctly individual benefit that he or she brings to the table and it should act as the “clincher” in the sales pitch to the employer.

Helping your client develop and communicate a powerful Value Proposition is more straightforward than you might think. You can instruct your client in a methodical fashion:

  1. Explain Value Proposition Theory as it relates to selling services to the target market – the employer. Help your client understand why a Value Proposition needs to be delivered consistently to have the most impact.
  2. Guide your client through the process of developing his or her Value Proposition. Start with the employer’s buying motivators, then work through your client’s supporting qualifications and added value.
  3. Once the three components are documented, work with your client to connect them into an effective branding message. As your client’s Value Proposition takes shape, tweak the message so that it reads as a convincing, unforgettable statement.
  4. Only when your client is comfortable with the Value Proposition will he or she be able to articulate it persuasively. Work with your client to create an effective networking statement or “elevator speech” that communicates the Value Proposition. You can expand your client’s abilities in employment interviews by practicing responses to questions like “tell me about yourself,” “why should I hire you?” and “what do you have to offer that the other candidates don’t have?”

Help your client to articulate the Value Proposition in networking sessions, in employment interviews, and even in negotiation sessions. Ensure that your client’s résumé, cover letter, business card, and other self-marketing documents display the Value Proposition consistently. The more confident your client becomes in delivering the message, the clearer the employer will understand what is being offered.

Career Professionals of Canada offers employment consultants and other career practitioners a wide range of resources, four self-study certifications , and a comprehensive series of courses covering all aspects of presenting a holistic Value Proposition.

Helping clients to market and sell their value is vital. Once they’ve developed and practiced their Value Proposition, they are able to deploy it throughout a job search. When their concise, consistent, and compelling message becomes ingrained, they will naturally feel more confident and will undoubtedly secure a fantastic job offer as a result.

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