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Job Seekers: How To Identify Your Key Selling Points

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Written by: Amy EdwardsBubblejobs

In the blog I wrote last week on how to write a speculative cover letter, one of the key recommendations I included was to make yourself stand out from the crowd by mentioning what makes you different as a candidate.

Upon reflection, while that wasn’t necessarily a bad tip as such, I’ve since realised that simply identifying what your key selling points are as a candidate is sometimes easier said than done. OK, so that might not be the case if you’re a super-confident Apprentice-type candidate, but if you’re a bit modest or shy, it really can be.

So, if you’re not the gloating-type, just how do you identify what makes you different as a candidate?

Speak To Your Family/Friends:

It might sound cheesy but no one knows you better than your family and friends – so you definitely need to sit down with them and ask for their honest opinion on what your best qualities are. OK, so they won’t know which areas you excel in in the workplace, but they will know what makes you ‘you’ and what your best attributes are – and with some employers, these personal attributes can be just as important. This can be especially true when it comes to working in a small team where personality is key.

Question Current/Ex-Colleagues:

Once you’ve established what your key personal qualities are – it’s time to move onto your key skills in the workplace – and this is where your current and ex-colleagues come in. These guys work/have previously worked with you on a daily basis so they should be able to tell you honestly which areas you excel in – and what makes you different as an employee. Similarly, these guys might be also be able to point out some key achievements you’ve had/projects you’ve worked on which you might have excelled in which you’ve forgotten about.

Just a word of warning; choose which current colleagues you want to question carefully. Why? Because if you choose the wrong one ie. one who’s well known for liking a bit of a gossip, word could get out that you’re looking for a new job which could make things pretty awkward in work – particularly if your boss gets wind of the news!

Review Your Work History:

Once you’ve got your key personality and workplace traits nailed down, it’s time to look at what you’ve personally achieved in your career so far. Consider what projects you’ve worked on which have been really successful – and what your personal contribution to these projects were. If you’re a graduate and don’t have much work history to go off, don’t panic – just use your university projects/dissertation instead.

In addition to big projects, also have a think about what ideas you’ve had which have benefited businesses and how these ideas came about. Remember; you came up with this idea, not someone else, so this is just one of the things that makes you unique as a candidate.

Consider Your Likes & Dislikes:

In addition to your key skills, another key element of what makes you unique as a candidate is your personal likes and dislikes in the workplace. OK, so just to clarify; I’m not talking about likes and dislikes as in you like listening to BBC Radio 1 and you hate it when people eat at their desk. I’m actually talking about what you enjoy doing in your current role. Why? Because this is another thing that makes you different as a candidate.

Think about what you enjoy doing in your current role/what you’ve enjoyed doing in previous roles – and how this would benefit a potential employer. For instance, if you genuinely do love analysing data and coming up with insights and reports – and you have a knack for spotting unusual patterns that most people would overlook, this is definitely going to make you stand out, particularly if you’re applying for data-driven roles.

Once you’ve done all of the above; you should start to have a pretty good idea of who you are as a candidate and what makes you different.

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