You can differentiate your candidacy in a powerful way by having and communicating a USP — i.e., Unique Selling Proposition.
A USP is a promise that is true and that no other job applicant is likely to even consider, much less develop and communicate to the hiring authority. This has long been used by advertisers whose clients want campaigns that drive sales due north, e.g., “Stops Bad Breath.” Note that this promise isn’t about a product feature; rather, it is like saying, “Buy this product, and you’ll get this.”
In the context of reality-based job-hunting methods, what the hiring authority wants most is the result she or he will get because of your education, experience, and capabilities.
The first and most critical aspect of job hunting is gaining interviews with people that can hire you. To accomplish that, I recommend sending a marketing letter (only) directly to the hiring authority. That is where you should include your USP.
Assume you are applying for a sales position. Your USP might be: “I will increase sales for you without having to discount prices very often, if ever.”
For a production engineer: “I will increase production without sacrificing quality.”
For a senior financial executive position: “I’ll make sure that your financial management gives you a competitive advantage in your industry.”
For an advertising creative: “I’ll create campaigns that increase penetration and sales for your clients.”
For a marketing strategist: “I’ll identify potentially high-profit new markets for your products.”
These examples are given to help stimulate your thinking about developing a unique selling proposition that will capture the attention of hiring authorities. Some people may be of the opinion that you should avoid any appearance of using persuasion in a job search. That is a mistaken notion.
After all, most decisions are emotionally driven, and the very first decision you want a hiring authority to make is one that influences him or her to be positively influenced by your first communication to them. A believable promise of something that they are very likely to want is gentle persuasion that can open doors of opportunity for you.
Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.