Your Unique Value Proposition for Job Interviews

HINT: Everyone Has It. Few People Use It Professionally.

My friend, Rowena Patton, recently released a book, “Find Your Unique Value Proposition, In Principle and Practice.” Targeted toward real estate professionals, it makes a point that is so valuable to all of us that we need to do things to differentiate ourselves from the people we compete with in order to stand out from the pack.

For example, it is not enough to tell an interviewer that you are hardworking and a team player. That is expected. It is not enough to describe yourself as a leader. If you are interviewing for a role, they will observe your behavior to see if it is congruent with their image of someone who actually is a leader and measures your previous successes to see how applicable it is to their position and organization.

It certainly won’t be your skillset. After all, you trust me when I tell you that the manager you are interviewing with has reviewed many resumes and will be speaking with many people who will have similar, if not identical skills to you.

Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh

So, what makes you special? How can you differentiate yourself from the people you’re competing with?


“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on this earth to do with such passion and will him such intensity, it becomes a spiritual calling.”

                                                                                                                                       ~Vincent Van Gogh


I used to say the missing ingredient in most resumes is metrics—how much money you helped a firm make or save or, perhaps time saved. That may be true for many of you but I think there is something else that is also missing in your resume and in your job interviews that is far more important. It is something that truly differentiates us from our competitors.

What’s Missing?

What’s missing is . . . YOU!

You are what’s unique and most resumes and certainly most interviews I conducted when I did recruiting, as well as many of the people I now coach, demonstrate deficiencies with revealing who they are and what makes them different than everyone else in their field.

I listened to a podcast a few months ago where a manager who was trying to hire a mobile developer watched the face of the person they interviewing with simply explode with excitement as they showed off a mobile app they had developed that did an immediate and excellent translation of conversation in a particular obscure foreign language to English. Their excitement was their unique value.

A person once sent a resume to me and wrote a cover letter that described how they “absolutely hate it when a bug exists in code and that they relentlessly and ruthlessly pursued its eradication.” WOW! Pretty intense but real.

There was the person I coached not long ago who told me that their eyes exploded with glee when they solved something others couldn’t.strong language

Notice how they all used strong language? Their personality came across on the page or in the interview.

Most of us are conditioned to be average and few people are encouraged to be so passionate that the world sees them as great. It’s why the Steve Jobs story resonates with so many. Like him or not (and there seems to be many reasons not to have liked him), Jobs could not stand certain things and would not tolerate them.

Note the phrase “could not stand.” How many of you “put up with” or “tolerate” and have lost a little of yourself in the Youprocess of “accepting?”


So the real missing ingredient is YOU. YOUR Personality. YOU are missing and, perhaps, YOU have gone AWOL (absent without leave is a military term for someone who leaves without permission). It’s time to come alive again.


“People like nails, lose their effectiveness when they lose their direction and begin to bend.”

                                                                                                                             ~Walter Savage Landor


Bend less.


© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2017    



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

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

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Visit and click the relevant tab on the top of the page. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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