Value Proposition

All of the self-reflection, goal setting and career clarity that you’ve worked on won’t mean much if you can’t put that into words. People want to hear and see what you have to offer. Your value proposition is the presentation of the value you can provide to an employer or colleague.

An effective Value Proposition requires clarity on your desired opportunity, a well-crafted Resumé, a rehearsed “sound bite” for employers and contacts, and a reputable social media presence.

  • You should have your desired job opportunity clearly defined. This will tie what you want to accomplish in your career to specific goals and will make your presentation of career direction very clear.
  • You will need a well crafted Resumé that accurately reflects the qualities you possess that are invaluable for your desired opportunity.
  • Your “sound bite” or “elevator pitch,” which will be further discussed later, is a brief introduction about yourself, and how you plan to achieve your goals. Your sound bite outlines why you want to achieve what you want to do.
  • Finally, all of these elements will come together for you to create a strong social media presence. Having a good social media network allows you to retain your contacts and keep them up to date with your career.

All of these concepts will be explained in greater detail and by the end of this Career Gear tool, you will be ready to work on your Value Proposition.

Define my desired opportunity

Since you have determined your career goals, researched the labour market, know the job requirements and identified areas where you need additional experience/education/training, it is time to start the job search and seek out a “port of entry” to your career goal.

Your goal may be to become the Director of Marketing for a medium to large size company. If you do not yet have the required experience or education to attain this goal, your first task will be to define an opportunity that will help you move closer to this goal.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What type of company do you wish to work for? (industry, size, location, etc…)
  • What are your strengths and how can an organization leverage them?
  • What do you wish to learn or further develop?

Your answers to these questions will outline your desired opportunity. For example:

  • “I’m a marketing graduate from Beijing with a strong background in improving brand recognition and sales. I’m looking for an opportunity in a small or medium sized organization in Ottawa where I can help drive online sales and revenue while building on my project coordination and leadership skills.”

Your desired opportunity statement will be useful in many ways during your application process.  The statement can act as the introduction to your cover letter or resumé, or you can put it in your email greeting for your first message to a potential employer. Alternatively, it may also serve as content when you are creating your personal sound bite, which will be discussed later.

Build my resume

Having a polished resumé is essential. Networking will get you the contacts and your resume will get you in the door!

Your resumé will need continuous tweaking and tailoring to specific jobs, so it’s important to get everything down that you think is valuable and continually modify it to speak directly to the job you are applying for. Careful editing shows, and employers will notice.

To get started, here a few essentials to successfully creating your resumé.

  • Locate a resumé template. Microsoft Word has many to choose from, some are even industry specific.
  • Be sure to select a font that is easy to read, you want the person reviewing to be able to clearly follow along.
  • Be sure to include all your contact information and ensure that your email address is appropriate. Do not use something like: or
  • Write a targeted resumé. A targeted resumé is edited specifically for one employer. Editing your resumé for every job application may seem tedious, but the time and effort you put in is well worth it.
  • Customize your skills, experience and key words to match the requirements in the job description.     Make sure you are honest about your skills and can back up your claims with specific examples of how     you have used those skills.
  • Add a qualifications and highlights section at the beginning of your resumé. In this section, describe    specific skills and career accomplishments that support your qualifications for the job. The qualifications and highlights section becomes the tailored part of the Resumé while the rest of your    resumé stays relatively intact.

Describe my capabilities

It is important to recognize that you can be capable without experience. Experience is built on capabilities, and experience has to start from somewhere. In your resumé, we looked at outlining your experiences and highlighting those that are relevant to your job search.

In this section we narrow in on your capabilities. What are you capable of? How can you help an organization? Doing so allows you to emphasize the specific skills and experiences that are aligned with the desired job description.

If you are a new grad with little or no job experience, your resumé will be very similar to your co-applicants. It will therefore be the quality, and impact, of your cover letter that sets you apart.

The ideal location to list your capabilities is within your cover letter. Your cover letter details why you’re the right fit for a job/opportunity.

Much like creating a targeted resumé, begin by listing what the employer is looking for and then describe how your skills/experience meet this criteria. You may choose to do so with bulleted points or in paragraph form. If you opt for the paragraph option, be as concise as possible.

Create my soundbite and tagline

Also known as an elevator pitch, your sound bite serves as a short 30 second summary of who you are and what you can offer. This will come in handy in both interviews and networking opportunities. Building your sound bite also really helps you zero in on your profile and goals. It should have three components to it. 1)who you are 2) what you do and 3) what you’re looking for. Keep the tone of your sound bite  conversational so it sounds natural.

For example:

  • Hi, I’m Brian. I have 10 years of experience in customer service and project coordination. I’m looking to break into the tech industry in a client facing role.”

The example above is short and sweet but if you know your audience, you may wish to add in what you can do for their team/organization.

For example:

  • “Hi, I’m Brian. I have 10 years of experience in customer service and project coordination. I’m looking to break into the tech industry in a client facing role. I’ve had lots of success in raising customer satisfaction levels by managing escalations and clarifying procedures.”

Remember, keep the language simple. It should be easy to remember. The person you’re providing the pitch to might be relaying it to someone else. There is a saying that getting a job is all about who you know. While this can be true, it can also be about someone who knows someone you know. Practicing your pitch/sound bite is important because you never know where your next lead will come from.

Leverage social media

Nowhere is your brand more apparent and accessible than on social media.  It can be very valuable, but also has the potential to be severely damaging.  Social media provides a glimpse into who you are, before ever having met you.

Carefully selecting what you post and knowing what not to post is critical. Employers will absolutely look you up.

Here are some tips to increase your chances of landing a job;

  • Google yourself. If there is anything there that is outdated or you don’t want publicly available, take steps to have it removed.
  • Proof your profiles regularly to ensure you haven’t made any controversial comments or been tagged in any compromising photos.
  • Avoid discussions revolving around politics, religion, etc… If you feel that you need to contribute in these discussions, create an alias account with no identifiable links back to you.
  • Keep your LinkedIn profile current as it’s your searchable resumé. Complete all fields of your profile and be sure to highlight the skills and interests that are in line with the career you’re aspiring to.
  • Join groups and contribute to group discussions on LinkedIn.
  • Request endorsements/references from past employers/coworkers on LinkedIn, these will provide you with credibility before you even begin.
  • Visit your preferred employer’s company pages to learn more about them and reach out to potential colleagues. Like the company page while you are there.
  • Make your facebook account private and don’t connect with employers or important network contacts here. That’s what Linked in is for. Facebook is by and large not considered a professional networking resource for job seekers, so keep that one for your friends!
  • Consider setting up a Magnet account. Magnet serves all Canadians and uses an advanced recruitment model that job-matches people with opportunities that match their skills, preferences and talents. On Magnet, your profile is not viewable to employers unless you have applied for a job with them. Magnet matches job postings to your profile and invites you to apply. Should you choose to apply, then your profile becomes visible to the employer for their consideration.