Resume, Cover Letter and Interview Makeovers Using Your Unique Selling Proposition

While most of us don’t know it, by nature we are all sales people. Think about the last time someone suggested to go to a particular movie you didn’t like. You might have said something like, “Well what about this other movie? I heard it received fantastic ratings, it is playing at a theater that is even closer to us, and it is supposed to be the director’s last big movie so I know it’ll be great.” There you have it: a perfect sales pitch that came very naturally.

As a job hunter, you must also be a bit of a salesperson by promoting yourself and your skills through your cover letter and resume. It all begins with knowing your unique selling proposition and how to use it to maximize your job hunting success. Learning this well-known sales term is key to making over your resume and cover letter and your interview style so you can ultimately land the job you want. Your unique selling proposition (USP) is a skill, or experience that sets you apart from any other job candidate. It is the one main message that you want future employers to remember about you from the minute they receive your resume and cover letter to your final goodbye after the interview. We have many more Job Interview Help Articles Now Available.

Questions to ask yourself to find your USP

In order to find your own, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your job history have an over-arching theme? Is there a particular skill you’ve been able to strengthen with each job?
  • Do your accomplishments have a running theme? For instance, you may have consistently increased sales in every job.
  • Have you researched the company to know what it wants? Have you researched your industry to know what is expected of you? Knowing these two elements will allow you to hone in on the skills you have that can answer the wants and needs of both the company you are targeting and the industry you are in currently.
  • Which assets do you have that can not be easily obtained by someone in your industry and or your competitors? For instance, you might be a sales person but you may have also had the opportunity to become a manager much earlier in your career than most others in your field.
  • Is your USP something you can easily communicate? Many call this the ‘elevator speech’ where you are able to communicate who you are and what makes you special in about the same time as it takes to ride an elevator up or down a floor.

This concludes part one of a two-part series of articles on unique selling propositions. In the next article, we’ll examine this concept more closely and learn tips on how to use your USP once you have identified it. Until then, good luck! We have many more Job Interview Help Articles Now Available.