If you’re from my era, you are now hearing Roger Daltry’s throbbing guitar riff that follows the title question. I really want to KNOW!
And so do hiring managers. The problem, they discover, is that few candidates know who they are in a properly defined and carefully refined professional sense. A hiring manager is like any other discerning consumer. With shelves of stock to choose from, they want to know what makes a given product unique. What particular value is found by plucking it off the shelf and putting it in the employment basket?
Exactly what a hiring manager values isn’t in your control, so it’s better to take stock and figure out what your unique selling-proposition is and find the hiring manager it appeals to. Are you a sugared cereal with tons of flavor and little nutritional value, driven by the toy surprise inside? Or are you the smart choice, fortified with iron and minerals? Okay, I’m getting carried away with the metaphor, but there’s something to be gained from it. Sugar sells by the surprise; quality by the packaging.
While the truth is that hiring managers want quality, unless it’s packaged well, they aren’t going to recognize it. You have to help by identifing and articulating your unique value. What makes you different from the drones?
When the hiring manager asks two seperate questions, he’s really asking one: “Tell me about yourself” equals “Why should I hire you?” Your answer to both is that unique selling proposition.
I’m looking for unique comments on this one: don’t discuss the topic, give me your value statement! Make it two or three sentences long, compelling, and active.