Job Searching and Your Personal Product
Work is a problem to be solved. If you can convince a hiring decision maker that you can solve his/her problem, you will be hired.
As we discussed in last week’s article, Job Searching and Problem Solving, conducting a job campaign is like conducting a sales campaign. The product for your job campaign is YOU.
Your personal product (what you can do) are your skills, capabilities, and strengths. It is the right product that you will seek to match with the right situation.
Your accomplishments reveal what you can do. Think about when we want to decide who will provide a service for us. We ask potential service providers for examples of what they have done. Before we make purchases such as an automobile or appliance, we check consumer reports for information on how well the product performs. If you were a hiring decision maker or a member of an interview team for hiring a job candidate, you asked candidates to provide examples that prove that the candidate could perform the requirements for the position. And, you will be asked for proof when you interview for positions. This request will not be a challenge for you if you have defined your product. It will be even better if your product is matched with the right situation.
What are your most important accomplishments, those accomplishments that influence how others perceive your personal product? I call these accomplishments signature accomplishments. Here are points of reference that I have clients and workshop participants use to help them determine their signature accomplishments.
- Finest moments
- Exceptional performance appraisals
- Feedback from peers and former supervisors
- Request from former supervisors to come to work for them in their new companies or organizations
Finest moments are those times when you felt great about something you accomplished—your emotional highs. These moments could have been times when you felt so great about what you accomplished that you:
- Almost ran a stop sign or stop light.
- Turned up the volume on your radio or music player to a very high volume and sang the words to the songs. (You may have performed some very noticeable body moves.)
- Had a noticeable swagger in your step.
- Smiled and spoke to everyone you encountered, even people you did not know.
- Couldn’t wait to tell your significant other.
I have job seekers document their finest moments with:
- What they did
- How they did it
To get workshop participants in the mood, I have them document their finest moments while they listen to the theme song from the Superman television series.
Faster than a speeding bullet,
More powerful than a locomotive,
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Look, up in the sky!
It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!
You can use the same what I did/how I did it template for documenting your accomplishments from exceptional performance appraisals, feedback from supervisors and peers, and requests from supervisors to join the new companies or organizations.
Question that you can ask former supervisors could be “What challenges, problems, or issues would prompt you to ask me to join your organization?”
To facilitate feedback from peers, ask the question “To what types of situations would you refer me if a recruiter or search firm contacted you for recommendations for candidates for a search assignment?”
Look for common themes about you from what I did/how I did it information you documented across the different reference points. I refer to these common themes as an individual’s call sign. Following are examples of call signs.
- Problem Solver
- Thought Leader
- Mr./Ms. Reliable
- Great Communicator
- Team Builder
Your accomplishments and call sign will help you define your personal brand.
Knowing your personal brand will not only help execute Step 2 in the Personal Selling Process, Identify Prospects, but also answer the interview question “What makes you stand out versus other candidates for this position?”
If you were the owner of a business, would you send salespersons out to call on prospective customers if they did not know what your company’s products could do?
Why would anyone want to hire you?
What problems can you solve?
What were your “finest moments”?
What is your “call sign”?
I invite you to share your comments, experiences, and suggestions. This helps me provide information that may help you address your career opportunities and challenges.
Fields of Success offers complimentary coaching sessions. Visit the Contact page on the Fields of Success website to schedule a session.
Next week’s article will cover Identify Prospects, Step 2 in the Personal Selling Process.
Linwood Bailey is a career coach and the author of The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value. The Business of Me provides a career management process and information designed for today’s business professional. Since 2008, Linwood has enabled business professionals to manage their careers. Linwood, the been there coach, provides innovative career management solutions derived from his 34 years of experience managing functions and people in multiple industries, regions, and corporate cultures.
Founder, Fields of Success, LLC
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