Job Search: What's Your ROI Message?
No employer is going to hire you because you’re a good person–likable, presentable, etc. Not even if you really need a job, sad to say. You’ll have to do better than that if you want to land the new job you’re after.

What you need to consider is why the prospective employer should care, why they would think you could be the answer they’re looking for. That’s it, pure and simple. Of course, it’s really not quite that simple.

Your “Target Customers” in a Job Search

“Every employer out there” is not your goal–not if you’re serious about your job search, anyway. Just as businesses might have one or two primary target markets and try to identify potential customers within those markets that fit their business plan, so you need to identify your target customers (employers) when you plan and carry out your job search.

As a personal example, my primary target customers are senior managers and executives who need help executing a job search that results in a new or better job, preferably faster and with more money attached. However, when I started my business years ago, I didn’t focus that tightly and would basically take on any customer who wanted to use my services–even if they were only willing to pay a bargain-basement price!

I don’t do that any more. If I did, I’d have gone out of business a long time ago. As I gained both expertise and a sense of purpose about what I wanted to do, I refined my target customer focus.

You can do something similar with your job search. You just need to decide what companies (what kind of organizations, industries, etc.) you most want to become affiliated with and for whom you can offer good value.

Which brings me to the crux of your targeted job search.

Your Job Search ROI Message

Although you might have several different assets you could offer employers, your job search won’t progress very far or fast if you don’t adopt a more specific approach than “all of the above.”

In fact, you might have to give some serious thought to which aspect(s) of your value you want to emphasize to potential employers–and, more specifically, which particular value proposition might be most attractive to each target-customer employer. Pick an employer you’re pursuing and evaluate their situation. What might they need that you can definitely offer? If your value in that area isn’t crystal-clear to them, how can you make it more obvious, without going to ridiculous lengths?

As I said at the beginning, you won’t get hired just because you’re nice or needy. Employers aren’t looking to hand out charity to the needy or deserving–unless they’re nonprofits serving those populations, but in that case, they’re probably not handing it out to their employees.

Think more or less in terms of “I can help you do X [by or because….].” For example, “I can help you speed up your time-to-market by building and leading a product development team that ‘gets it right’ the first time and avoids costly backtracking.”

Do you think that might possibly resonate with the employer? Could all (or any) of your competitors make that claim? If they might be able to, look for a way to frame the message so that your unique value-add puts you in a class by yourself.

All you have to do is make sure you can back up whatever claim you’re making in your job search ROI message.