This Week in Positive Change Management : Developing Your Unique Selling Proposition

12282015 Unique Selling Proposition

In the New Year, everyone wants to brush off their resumes and apply for the all new jobs. The problem with this strategy is that you’re doing the same thing this year as you were last year. Last check, insanity is the doing the same thing but expecting a different result. It is my responsibility to dispense truth and not sell pipe dreams to anyone here. Therefore, I am telling you that you need to develop your unique selling proposition in order to get a new job this year.

Developing a unique selling proposition (USP) is a great way towards managing positive change in the New Year. A USP is mostly associated with Fortune 500 companies but you can still apply these tactics towards bolstering your personal career brand. Your USP lets you develop a positive career message to sell yourself in the global career marketplace.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

According to Kissmetrics (, USP is what your business stands for. Businesses with a USP stand for something specific, and it becomes what you’re known for.

Multinational brands like Pepsi and Cola-Cola have USPs. You must hone yours to differentiate yourself from the global competition. Yes, I mention global competition because unlike a whole lot of people on here, they are only focused on people in the United States. In the 21st century, you are competing against everyone in the world. Developing your unique selling proposition is a realistic way of landing a job. Below are the steps towards developing your USP ( Although these are for companies, I have used for your personal brand:

Understanding your target audience

When I mention your target audience, what I mean the specific employers that fit your skill set. This is important because it is a waste of time to flood Monster and CareerBuilder with umpteen resumes with jobs that don’t fit. Cultural fit is the most important part of your unique selling proposition because it doesn’t matter if you get the money if you are miserable and your coworkers are backstabbers.

What is your competitive advantage?

Your competitive advantage is the one thing distinguishing you from your competitive advantage. I have discussed this in my former article entitled Promoting Your Competitive Advantage here .

Be a Problem Solver

Companies hire problem solvers plain and simple. Your cover letter must answer how you would solve their problems in general. In the interview you generally solve their problems. You DO NOT specifically solve their problems until they hire you and start paying for your expertise.

Testing and Refining Your USP

You have to put your USP out in the marketplace to evaluate its performance and obtain feedback. Feedback is essential towards perfecting your brand. If your USP isn’t generating phone screens or interviews, then you must refine it. Non-response is feedback that you should incorporate in order to get considered.

Communicating Your USP

Also you should refine your USP if you are getting interviews but not jobs. This means that you are doing something wrong in your interviews. Are you communicating that you are a problem-solver? That’s one of the steps. Remember that companies hire problem solvers; therefore, if you aren’t showing that you’re a problem-solver then add this into your USP.

You are a unique individual with distinguishable skills. Using these steps towards developing your unique selling proposition, increases the probability that you will land a new job this New Year.

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Promote your competitive advantage

12012015 Promote Your Competitive Advantage

Developing and promoting your competitive advantage are indispensable towards getting the best job out there. Before I go any further, let me define what competitive advantage is. The definition for competitive advantage is ‘a condition or circumstance that puts a company in a favorable or superior business position‘. Individuals have competitive advantages just like companies.

How to develop your competitive advantage

Doing a SWOT analysis is a way towards finding your competitive advantage SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal. Opportunities and threats are external. Now let’s conduct a SWOT analysis. Write out all of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The goal is to maximize your strengths and opportunities and to minimize your weaknesses and threats. From the SWOT analysis, you will now know what you are good at. Once you know this, the next step is promoting your competitive advantage in the marketplace.

How to promote your competitive advantage

There are three steps towards effectively promoting your competitive advantage. These steps are: research your industry, leverage your transferable skills and avoid myopia. When you research your industry, look at what your competitors are doing. What are the trends that are out there? What pieces of the current trends can you incorporate in your repertoire to increase your marketability? If can find an angle to exploit then go for it because this is your competitive advantage.

The next step is to leverage your transferable skills. You have discovered them from doing the SWOT analysis. These are your strengths. Look to see if some of your transferable skills overlap with the current industry trends. In addition, see if these skills can work in other industries which leads me to the third and final step: don’t be myopic. You can work in more than one field. You can also have more than one competitive advantage. You don’t exclusively only have to have either hard skill or soft skill competitive advantages. In this global marketplace, you will need multiple competitive advantages in order to get hired.

By following these steps, you will increase your competitive advantage marketing capability.