As each product on the marketplace has its own distinct packaging and selling points designed to catch the consumer's eye, job seekers must also design a package and key selling points to interest the interviewer. You've got to show them what you have to offer.
The packaging consists of both the first impression you create when you walk in the door in regards to dress and appearance, and the "selling points" (your list of job-related, transferable, and self-management skills) that you select to put you in the most favorable light with the interviewer.
The best way to achieve this is to create a summary skills paragraph that will allow you to present your skills in a organized, concise manner. This exercise will show you how to construct such a paragraph. Note: This paragraph will allow you to answer several difficult interviewing questions by using all, or some, of the statements that you will include in the paragraph. Some of the interviewing questions to use this on are:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why should I hire you ?
- What are your greatest strengths ?
- What can you offer this company ?
Creating this summary statement of your skills also lets you keep all of your conversations, either in person or by phone, concise, brief, and to the point. The worst thing you can do in talking with someone about a job is not communicating your skills properly and rambling.
Note: Keep everything in your statement job-related. If you talk about anything that is not job-related you are wasting your time and the interviewer's time.
Information to be Included
- State type of work wanted
- Expand your job title
- State total amount of experience
- State where you got the experience
- Create skill linkage
(Numbers 6-9 are only used if you are a recent graduate and are using your education as qualifying experience.)
- Specify post-high school education
- State school name
- Specify GPA (only if 3.0+)
- Specify supporting course work
- Specify 5-7 job related skills
- Specify 3-7 transferable skills
- Indicate your reliability
- Specify 3-7 self-management skills
- Indicate a level of loyalty
- Give question back to interviewer
The following is a response model showing you several ways to phrase your sales pitch. This is only meant to give you an example. Putting it in your own words will make it sound more natural.
Note: Keep the length to a maximum of two minutes. If you speak longer than that, the listener's attention span fades.
Putting it all Together
"I'm interested in working as a Retail Manager. I'd also consider other types of related work. I have over four years experience gained from my paid work, volunteer and educational experiences where I've used similar skills. I've earned an BS degree in Business Administration from Luckenbach University. While at Luckenbach, I had a 3.6 GPA. I've also taken marketing, customer service and computer operations courses.
I understand and can apply marketing concepts to business models. I understand business relationships between the departments within a business and how they must work together in developing marketing plans. I can develop a marketing strategy with an effective advertising campaign. I can use current computer software, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation graphics. I can also analyze problems, direct others, and cope with deadlines.
I can work all shifts including weekends, holidays, and overtime (note: be realistic in this). I consider myself honest. I'm a self-starter, detail oriented, and a team player.
I'm looking for a career with your company. What else would you like to know about me, or would you like me to give you examples of when I've used my skills?"
You get the idea - put it in your own words so that it will sound natural. Practice it a few times, and never be stuck for words again. Use bits and pieces in other of your answers to the interview questions. The more you repeat something, the more likely they are to remember.