The Critical Five

I’ve mentioned before companies are more inclined to hire by the balance sheet versus by the heart. What does this mean for job seekers? It’s critical to focus on how your experience and talents can have a positive influence on an organization’s profit margin. Candidates who are able to give a company a clear picture of how hiring them will improve the company’s bottom line are going to have the advantage. Although it’s a nice plus to be able to emphasize your professionalism, passion for the field, work ethic and credentials, if you aren’t tying it in to how the company will benefit you are missing the boat.

So, what should you be focusing on when pitching your skills and abilities to a company? I recommend what I call “The Critical Five.”

1. The ability to add business/revenue.
2. The ability to prevent loss of business and/or recapture business.
3. The ability to streamline processes/workloads and reduce expenses for cost savings.
4. The ability to solve a problem that is costing the company money.
5. The ability to add a skill to their environment they may be lacking or light on.

No matter your profession, if you are open minded enough, you can find a way to show how your experience can benefit a company in one or more of these areas. Mentally go through your list of skills and try to come up with a way those skills each translate to helping the bottom line of a potential employer.

For the sake of getting you started, let me throw out a few examples of how to enhance the way you promote yourself keeping “The Critical Five” in mind.

Before:
“I’m certified in all Microsoft Office products.”

After:
“I’m certified in all Microsoft Office products, which benefits you because I can efficiently navigate the software, format them in the correct way so others can use my work without complication, produce professional looking documents your customers will appreciate and be a free resource to other staff members who may be struggling on the applications.”

Do you see how adding a value statement that speaks to the bottom line of the company aids you in the selling process? Let’s try another example.

Before:
“I have excellent customer service skills.”

After:
“My customer service skills are such I am able to build an effective rapport, clarify the true need/expectation, communicate solutions, overcome problems/obstacles, identify additional business potential, secure customer loyalty and inspire referrals to the business.”

Speaking to the bottom line of a company accomplishes a few things. For one, it peaks the interest of the decision maker. Secondly, it reaffirms your value in your mind as well as the company’s. Finally, it shows that decision maker you truly understand what matters to a company. You get what things businesses need to focus on to succeed in the present and in the future.

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