Speaker Summary: “How to Stand Out from the Crowd- Discover Your Competitive Advantage” on 3/23

March 18, 2015

in Career Direction, Interviewing, Job Search, Meeting Reports, Networking, Uncategorized

Written by Mary Lance

Are you clear about who you are and what you’re good at? The first step to owning your uniqueness is to have clarity about it. What is your brand? And how do you go about getting that?
You can evaluate and validate by looking at patterns of past performance to forecast your future.
Craig Foster, Executive Director at Job Seekers Network, encourages you to “Seek a confidence level in yourself and learn what God can do through you.”
One way to learn about yourself is by writing stories about events in your life that really made you feel fulfilled. What are you passionate about? What are you most proud of? What energizes you the most? Write several stories, and usually a theme will arise. Also writing stories about things that made you feel unfulfilled can give you some guidance on what to stay away from. The stories do not have to be from a work event, either.
Once you see the patterns, you take note about what is unique to “your” story. Are you a teacher? Do you like to work in teams? Do you like to lead? Are you a pioneer? Customer-focused? Effective problem-solver? These are powerful words that should be used on your resume, on your LinkedIn profile and in your elevator pitch. Your brand is “YOU” – so define what is different about you. What is your promise of value? What sets you apart?
And once you get their attention and they want to interview you, being prepared for that conversation is key. Interviewers are typically looking at a few key things. 1) Performance – have they done, or can they do the job? 2) Likeability – will they be easy to work with? 3) Fit – will they work well on a team in that culture? 4) Enthusiasm – are they excited about the job?
Some specific questions that are asked to gain clarity on the above can be the initial ice breaker – getting to know you questions like:
• Tell me about yourself.
• What caused you to leave?
• Why do you want to change jobs?
• Current career goals and how that’s changed?
And in behavioral interviews, they ask you:
• Tell me about a time when . . . . .
• Give an example of . . . . .
• How do you cope with deadlines?
• How did you handle an unpopular decision?
• How did you build rapport with a difficult person?
It is good to be prepared, but also to stand out. When developing your competitive advantage, answer the following questions about YOU:
• What is most fulfilling?
• What role do I like to play? (Catalyst, Coach, Manager, Trainer, Pioneer, etc.)
• What is my personality and my passion? (Communicate, create, influence, organize, produce, teach, etc.)
• What needs to be remembered/uncovered about yourself to stand out?
Job Seekers Network hosts a 4-week class called Design & Focus. A big part of the design portion helps individual dig deeper to answer the above questions to gain clarity in their search. Writing stories is part of the class. The next class begins Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30 pm at the Hill Country Bible Church Lakeline campus.

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