Question on LinkedIn: Value Proposition – we’ve all heard and used this term but what does it really mean?


Others’ Responses:

-I’d like to hear people thoughts regarding the Value Proposition vs. a traditional profile. Would you consider the following a profile or value proposition? “5 years of experience in a variety of athletic and recreation administrative positions ranging from customer service supervisor to an assistant to administrators of athletics, campus recreation and a D-II Conference Commissioner. Capable problem solver who maximizes resources and takes initiative to do whatever needs done in order to finish a job. Insanely organized, yet flexible; enjoy coordinating complex factors that go into making an event successful. Outstanding communication and leadership skills with a talent for “seeing the big picture” and cultivating relationships with peers at all levels of an organization.”

– Cindy, I think that the first line is an example of a description. The other three give an idea of the ways that client uses skills to product results. That for me is what makes something a value proposition. An accountant, for instance, can be someone who “just” manages the books, or can be someone who recognizes trends and opportunities for saving. In nearly every job there are the stated requirements that the employee needs to have. One’s value comes into play when they make contributions beyond the job description.

– I think Perry started the question, and answered the question through the quote from – Your value proposition varies accordingly to the employer’s needs. If you have umpteen years as a ditch digger, and no experience as a dentist, then your value proposition for a ditch digger job is 100%, and your value proposition for a dentist job is zero.

-Cindy, I would consider it both part of a profile and showing what the client can do. The number 5 should be spelled out. It should be revised to reflect progressive employment positions by using action verbs to show the progression from one job to the next. The word variety, doesn’t have to be there. The next point doesn’t include time frame. Insanely organized – nice point. I just never use that word in a resume, others have. Why don’t you give an example in the final point? The sentence is too long in my opinion. At “all” levels of an organization would be suitable for someone young, up to 29 years old, otherwise the word could be “every”.

My Response:

A value proposition is a statement of how you propose to add value to an organization within the context of what’s important to that organization. If you have a product, for example, that heats homes, the value proposition might be that the product automatically maintains the temperature of your home at a constant pre-set temperature while using 50% less energy than anything else on the market. This is a value proposition if the targeted market segment values having their temperature of their homes maintained automatically and using less energy. If the target market segment doesn’t care about having something that automatically maintains the temperature of their homes (ie, they are happy to adjust the temperature manually) and doesn’t care about energy usage, then it’s not a value proposition. Therefore, it’s essential to determine what the employer considers valuable. Many people populate this part of their resume with all sorts of skills, experience, attributes and so on without understanding what the employer values. The connection between your value proposition and what an employer thinks is important must be crystal clear to make it obvious that you are worth considering further. For example, if an employer is looking for a Sales Manager and wants to penetrate new geographic markets with its existing products, your value proposition includes your ability to do that (assuming that you can actually do that). And, in the part of your resume where you talk about your experience and accomplishments, you provide examples where you have penetrated new geographic markets with existing products. In this example, if you have only increased the market share of an organization’s existing products within its current geographic markets, you are not going to be competitive against someone who has successfully managed to profitably get a company’s products into new geographies. For example, if the hiring organization has already gone as far as it can in Texas and will only be able to achieve its revenue growth targets if it can get a worthwhile foothold in California, you have to prove that you can do that.“

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