The Art of Positioning for Your Next Role

My new role ‘to-do list’ looks something like this….

  • Engage Career Coach to kick butt! (tick)
  • Develop a ‘killer’ value proposition! (tick)
  • Find an exciting looking role that will catapult my career! (tick)

All ticked…. Great!

You’ve gotten this far and now you need to position yourself so you don’t blow what may be your only opportunity for quite some time.

So, put yourself in the hiring managers position – just pretend you’re interviewing 5 candidates and you’re not going to risk your business (or your own reputation) by compromising on quality and putting some ‘yawn’ new hire in the role. After all – it’s your credibility on the line too!

As the hiring manager, you will ask yourself 5 questions before hiring your next top gun.


Research and understand your interviewers needs.

Research and understand your interviewers needs.

Q1: What are the business needs to address [the reason for hire]?

Q2: How will this new hire’s background assist me to address business needs?

Q3: How will the hire execute and deliver the outcomes I need?

Q4: What benefits will the new hires approach deliver?

Q5: What is innovative about this new hires approach?

Now, answer the questions as though you’re the hiring manager and he/she is telling their boss how they’ll solve the challenges ahead by investing in a new resource. You need to be prepared.

A1: Do as much research as you can. Find out the key challenges for the sector and the business you are prospecting. Be tough. Don’t go for the easy ‘me too’ type issues. Think short medium and long term. Low hanging fruit – quick wins through to more strategic. Frankly – if you don’t know this stuff, you better declare that you’re on a discovery exercise. And actually, that would be just wrong – so best not apply!

A2: What are your transferable skills? Key learnings. Don’t be afraid to show some battle scars – might sound tough and possibly a little like you’re exposing yourself, but whilst we like you to learn new stuff here – we’re not entirely about learning in this place! We’re actually hoping to gain from your experience too.

A3: Translate your achievements into realistic ‘how’ statements. The last thing any business leader needs is someone who can’t execute. There’s a big difference to knowing what outcome you want to achieve, to being able to execute and actually deliver the outcome.

A4: When you talk about your achievements – ensure you include at least one key benefit for each achievement. And you knew there was a ‘but’ coming didn’t you! ‘But’…. the benefit must align to a specific ‘hot button’ of the hiring manager. If not, you’ve just wasted an opportunity – and possibly lost the role. Oops!

A5: Another ‘last thing’ the business needs is a ‘me too’. Today’s market is competitive and requires innovative approaches to stay ahead. This is your opportunity to demonstrate innovation up front. If you want to be a ‘me too’ – don’t expect to get anywhere near final short list let alone get a job offer.

Ensure you position yourself well – before you apply.

Don’t waste an opportunity!

Need more career advice?

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Contact: Phone: +64 21 666 807, +64 9 5222802 e-mail: Craig McAlpine's Linked In profile: MISSION Working with Job Search Candidates to build their go-to-market strategy, develop powerful marketing collateral such as their CV, LinkedIn profile and social media presence, and ultimately to secure a new role that is not only rewarding but also assists them on their career journey. EXPERTISE Career Coaching - LinkedIn Training - LinkedIn Optimisation - Personal Branding - Job Hunt: Go to Market Strategy and Collateral - CV design and preparation - Interview skills INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE - Professional Services - Information Technology - Banking and Finance - Recruitment

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Posted in Communications, Curriculum Vitae, CV, Interview Skills, jobs, Others, Recruitment

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