What’s Your Wow?

When the choice between one candidate and another is a narrow one, employers scrutinize carefully. What are those mysterious elements that can tilt the balance in favour of one over another? Better yet, how can you become a leading candidate right from start of the selection process?

The simple answer is to write an outstanding resume outlining the relevant skills and qualifications you have. The right answer is to expand that foundational resume into a compelling career narrative that not just defines your value to the new organization – but also clearly sets out the added abilities and attributes that only you bring to the table. You want to demonstrate that you are unique and uniquely qualified. (A fantastic cover letter doesn’t hurt either.)

Here are the kind of things that can identify you as top talent and grab an employer’s attention.   You…

• Have taken or are taking a course as part of a plan that leads to a relevant certification
• Are completing the final course in a new designation, i.e. CMA, PMP
• Have received awards or recognition from employers or communities for your contributions
• Have chaired a fundraising Committee that raising a record-breaking $$$$
• Have been a Project Lead on a national initiative, rollout or technical upgrade
• Acted as a key resource on a company-wide cost-savings or efficiency project
• Were selected to a community position where you influenced local events
• Shown leadership in a critical or crisis situation where the results were visible
• Participated in the selection, hiring and mentoring of new staff
• Developed and delivered training workshops or seminars for employees
• Met or exceeded any targets or (sales) goals on a consistent basis
• Delivered under budget or deadlines on complex, multi-phase projects
• Were recently selected as the prime contact for major accounts or customers
• Increased revenues or profits in any definable way
• Set up new systems or process improvements that made a difference in business operations

If you are systematic about it, you can probably come up with more ways you’ve added to the organizations you’ve worked with. Think about customers, clients, new business, senior management, projects, vendors, stakeholders, staffing, internal initiatives, promotions, pilots, launches. Consider your part in innovations, change management, sales and team development.

Looking at your career this way, you may be more valuable than you think. (Now that’s a positive thought.)