Do You Add Value To Your Employer? | Articles & Tips | WNYJobs.com | Buffalo

Articles and Advice

 Do You Add Value To Your Employer?

By Joe Stein

I can just imagine everyone’s reaction to the title of this  column. It is probably a esounding “YES” and then a question of why I would ask such a stupid question.
 
I am actually not questioning whether you do…I have no doubt that you add value at some level. The point, however, is whether this is clear by reading your Cover Letter & Resume, and by speaking to you in an interview.
 
Please take a moment to review your documents and replay your last interview in your mind. If you can’t clearly identify where you communicated the value you added to your last (or current) organization, then it probably is time to revisit your approach. 
 
Let’s now take a look at both what a Job Seeker should avoid doing as well as some tips that you can easily do to better express your value.
 
What to Avoid:
 
·         Just Focusing on Activity – It is very common for Job Seekers to write and talk about what they have done. In essence, it is the communication of their Job Description back to the reader of the document. This may be beneficial to the Hiring Manager in doing some initial qualifying regarding whether you can do the basics of the job, but it will most likely leave them wanting more. Especially if they are comparing you with other candidates who are also qualified for the position.
 
·         Relying on Only Behavior – Interviewers hear often, especially for more entry-level positions, individuals relying on just basic behavioral characteristics. Some examples would be: I am a “hard worker”, I “work well with others”, or I am “always on time”. These examples are positive behaviors and nice to hear in an interview, but do not tell the person what you are going to do for them besides give effort and show up. Hiring Managers in today’s competitive environment expect more, as we will explain in the “What to Stress” section.
 
·         Being Overly Modest – Almost no one wants to hear from a person who is full of themselves (except perhaps for a high pressure sales job), but this is the time to “sell” your candidacy. It is naturally uncomfortable for most people to talk about themselves, especially in a positive way. A Job Search is the time for you to step a bit out of your comfort zone and express how you have added value. You don’t want to say to yourself after being regretted that I should have told them about “x”.
 
What to Stress:
 
·         Career Progression – Unless you have always been in the right spot at the right time, your career growth was probably due to you being good at what you do. Don’t forget to point out to a Recruiter a situation where you were internally promoted or externally recruited. Internal promotions tend to work best since it displays that the company you were with recognized your value, and also does not portray you as being a “job hopper”.
 
·         Awards/Recognition – Take a moment and think back at your career and identify situations where you (or a work team you were on) were recognized for your results. If it was in a team situation, be sure to ready an explanation of exactly what you did within the team. By communicating any formal recognition you received, you make the transition from just focusing on your behavior to what was the actual result that came of it. For example, instead of just stating that you “show up on time”, you can state that you received Perfect Attendance for last year. Even better, is if you can then tie your attendance to a result, such as meeting customer service delivery times.
 
·         Company Results – Ultimately, this is the clincher to your value. Now I do fully realize that sometimes even the best worker can be found at a company that is struggling. You can’t control market pressures or the overall economy. If you do have a success story, however, then tell it. Hiring Managers love to hear how you saved money or labor costs. The key is to be specific to the person asking. If you had a cost saving idea that was implemented at your previous employer; then share it. Perhaps you were a Manager who beat budget while improving customer service. All of this will tell a better story than just reciting what your duties were from your Resume.
 
There will always be competition for employment amongst Job Seekers. There is rarely only one candidate who is qualified for a position. It is therefore important to differentiate yourself from the others by stressing how you will add value to the organization. As is usually the case, the best way to do this is not just with general phrases, but actual examples from your past.
 
As always, best of luck in your job search!