Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Value Proposition Success Story

As an alumni of the Praxis program, I continue to be actively involved in the community. There has been a push from the Praxis leadership to focus on presenting value propositions or pitch decks when looking for a job. These should be customized to the company and position so as to show the person hiring that you know about them and their mission, you know how to do the job with minimal training, and you are a good fit for the company culture. They can take the shape of an email, a power point, a video, or any other project/form of communication that will get their attention.

Companies don't hire people just for charity. They want to know you can do the job and produce the output they need. A value proposition shows that.

I currently work for a major corporation which values both years of service to the company and higher education. Those are two ways they weed out applicants when looking to promote somebody. I have run into road blocks when it comes to even just getting interviewed for other positions due to this sorting mechanism. They hired me without my Bachelors degree but now I am struggling to move within the company without either that BA or several more years at the company.

Recently a position came open that looked like a perfect fit for the skills I have been developing all my life. I wanted this position or at least the chance for an interview. I put in my resume and letter of interest... but I was not chosen to move forward in the process. Another person who was also not chosen does not have their BA either. We imagined that they weeded us out largely based on that lack of credential as it did state "BA preferred" on the job description.

I had already created a short power point of seven simple but professional slides which was my value proposition for this job. In addition, I know that the person who gets the position will have to send out a monthly newsletter to about 1,000 people so I created my own sample newsletter. I sent my value proposition power point and the newsletter to my supervisor and manager and asked if they would consider passing it along to the person hiring for the position.

They did, and I got the interview.

Simply by taking some time to show the hiring manager that I have experience and value that I can bring to the position outside of my degree or years of service she scheduled a time to talk to me. She didn't have to do that -- she had already interviewed several people and has a few more people in her queue to interview. But I went above and beyond what most people will do to get a position. She mentioned in my interview that she wished she had seen my power point and sample newsletter when I first applied for the job but that adding supplemental information was not a normal procedure at the company. She was glad my manager sent her the documents and said I had given her a lot of information to review.

It will be weeks before I know if I will be offered the position, but just getting that interview is a success story that I can attribute to the value proposition I created. Without catching her attention in that way, I would have been passed up for another interview. It's a super simple idea and not that difficult to execute but speaks volumes when competing against others for the same position. It shows the person hiring that you are serious about your work and yourself. That signals more than just having BA after your name.

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