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The phrase that shows you can think like an employer

Aug. 16, 2013 - 01:35PM   |  
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When you start interviewing for civilian jobs, you’re probably ready to tell employers what you have: A certain degree. So many years of relevant military experience. The desire to make a difference. Good references.

But in marketing yourself, making a slight shift in your point of view can make all the difference. It comes down to a few simple words: Instead of “I have,” try, “I can bring you.”

It makes you think like an employer, which is the secret to getting hired.

As one employer said, “It is saying to me that you own something you can give me. I can clearly see what I’d be paying you to bring to our company.”

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a job as a hydrologist.

The I-have response would go like this: “I have a bachelor’s degree and a state license, experience with computer modeling, digital mapping and experience as an Army environmental engineer.”

The I-can-bring-you response would sound like this: “I can bring you the skills to assess building sites for potential geologic hazards. I can bring you the knowledge that helps mitigate the effects of natural hazards and determine the effects of pollutants on soil and groundwater so engineers can design remediation systems.”

If you want a job as an account executive in an advertising agency, it’s one thing to say, “I’m good at developing relationships and have experience managing promotional campaigns, working closely with creative people and getting things done.”

That’s telling the employer what you have.

It’s another thing to say, “I can bring you new clients. I can bring you the skills and knowledge to add media buying to your list of services. I can bring you a database of decision-makers that will let you target the two industries you want to break into.”

That’s connecting your experience and skills with what the employer needs.

Examples like these show you know what the organization is in business to accomplish.

Yes, you need to figure out what you have. But then you must to turn that into words that are music to an employer’s ears: what you can deliver.

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