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What you bring to the table: your 'value proposition'

A job interviewer holding a conversation with an applicant
A job interviewer holding a conversation with an applicant
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

A common question becoming popular with an interviewer during your job interview or when doing business with a client, has become, "What is your unique value proposition". The goal of the interviewer in asking you the question, is to get you to explain how you are different from the other candidates. This is when you speak to your 'value proposition' or rather what you would bring to the company or organization.

Your value proposition is a very specific statement describing the skills or capabilities you offer. Creating a value proposition is useful in showing employers and clients what you are able to do, to assist in helping them achieve their business performance goals. These skills and talents might not be enough to make up for a lack of skills needed for the job, but if you meet all of their other requirements, your value proposition may make you memorable enough to stand out.

"Research indicates that most professionals do not have a value proposition in the form of a clear and concise statement that explains the tangible results their customers will receive, the unique benefits they bring to bear that others cannot", states Scott Addis, the President and CEO of The Addis Group and Addis Intellectual Capital.

David Richter, a recognized authority on career coaching, writes, "There is a fundamental difference between your value proposition and your areas of expertise. Your areas of expertise pertain to what you have done, the experiences you have gained over the years. Your value proposition reflects who you are, the unique gifts you possess. It is who you are, which best describes to an employer how you would accomplish the specific responsibilities of the position offered."

Here are four tips to help you put together your value proposition:

  1. Write down your skills and strengths-What qualities make you stand out?
  2. How have these strengths helped you in past positions and in your current position?-Give specific examples.
  3. What are some of your current accomplishments-Explain how what you’ve done has helped your current or previous employer?
  4. Review the list of your strengths and your accomplishments-Ask yourself, "What does this list say about me and how do the examples on the list distinguish me in a crowd?"

You can decide how you want people to think about you. What you want them to say about you when you're not present. In your conversations and meetings begin to build your personal brand. This is what you bring to the table.