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EP 1482 Whether you are interviewing for a job or marketing your business, this is the pivotal question.

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A while back, it's actually been several years ago, I did a video talking about the advanced version of "tell me about yourself" and I want to expand upon that concept and not just simply do it from the standpoint of a job hunter, but, if you're a business owner, if you're a sales person, whatever you are, it is a way to talk about, "Tell me about yourself." Again, addressing this, let's get expansive.

Now, the traditional answer is, "well, I've been in my field for x number of years," and then you kind of go through a 45 second little biography. Then, in the advanced version, I talk about, "but what makes me special is," and then I ask someone to identify the unique characteristics that a person has that makes them unique.

Now, in marketing lingo, that's a unique selling or unique value proposition and, if you're a business person, if you're a job hunter, I want you to think in those terms-- what makes you special? What makes you unique? Thus, as you talk to organizations, you want to be hired by firms that value that because, number one, they're going to pay a premium, right? If you're a business, and you're doing what everyone else does, you're a commodity, right? If you're a job Hunter, and you're the same as everyone else, you're paid the same as everyone else. So you always want to be presenting what makes you special? What makes you in a unique individual in your field, and not just average Joe and Jane or average Inc. So, think of what makes you unique.

Now, I remember as a headhunter., when I did that kind of work, I was listening to one search firm after another that I was competing with, talk about how they qualified people and they evaluator them and give in depth interviews. I paused for a second, I would look over at the client and say, "that doesn't make them unique. That's a given, right?"

Again, a lot of what people will talk about is what's expected of them. So that's a confirmation. If you were a job hunter, you might talk about your background, and talk about the things that a firm is trying to hire for that, that they're trying to hire for this job.

I would say to them, "And I'm sure you're everyone that you're talking to says much the same time. But what makes me different is," and then they, you know, they would talk about those special qualities, about how they're able to spot problems proactively, quickly. They're always thinking of how to do something a little bit better.

Giving examples of that for you, as a business, if you're in sales, it's not telling people what they're already expecting. It's the unique characteristics that you provide. That makes your firm unique. So maybe it's fun. Maybe it's you create an environment where people love to buy insurance. I'm just using that as a goofy example. But you get the idea.

Always think about what makes you special, what takes the experience beyond simply what the consumer wants, or I should say what they expect of you and takes it to a higher level.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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