“Why do people want to work with you?”
“I have significant experience in these types of projects and demonstrated evidence of execution from start to finish.”
“Great, now why do people want to work with you?”
So went the conversation I had with a branding client recently looking to build a personal brand and execute it in preparation for an eventual job search or entrepreneurial venture. When I asked the question a second time to my client, let’s call her Trina, she was stumped.
“Honestly, I’d never thought about the question.” And she’s not alone. So much of job searching, especially for the practiced, is about the job description, the technical questions—the typical proving ground of “I can do this job.”
We tend to tie our strengths to the physical things we have done—programs we launched, people we managed, strategies we created. But how did we get these things done?
Well, we rock. We’re…
Each of us isn’t all of these things—but it’s the set, the collection that makes you unique. You need to know these things—and not just for your resume. You need to be able to set yourself apart for promotions, business development, marketing and personal brand purposes. I’ve always called this pairing your adjective to your nouns.
For example, Jose may be a great presenter, but so is Trina. Jose may be great because he is very planful, he puts a great deal of thought into preparing, planning and understanding his audience. Trina, on the other hand, is very intuitive and flexible. She waits until she’s in the moment and adjusts accordingly. Two great presentations, but two different strategies and personalities behind them. You may have a situation where Jose’s presentation style is best, or where you really need Trina.
So get yourself an ego.Figure out why YOU rock. Then manage that ego carefully. You don’t have to shout it from the mountaintops but you should be able to respond immediately and with confidence when someone asks “why should I hire you?” As Laurie Ruettimann puts it, everyone can be awesome–your biggest competition is yourself.
Tie your strengths to your experiences and your personality. That’s the magic combination someone’s buying. It’s you.