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As a B2B product marketer, I have always believed and stressed to others the critical need to explain the value of our offering to a potential customer, not so much the features and capabilities.

Just before I left my most recent position, I reviewed a presentation prepared by some colleagues that was intended to help market an airport-focused portfolio. Sadly, there was nothing about the pain points of the airport market or how this new offering would address them. It was all about “us.” This is not an uncommon situation in B2B marketing (especially with larger companies), but one that needs to change. That’s a topic for a different post.

Given that successful marketing begins with understanding the market and then directly addressing the value of your product to that market, I have been wondering why we don’t do the same thing in our “personal branding” efforts. I am in the midst of a job search and have gussied up my resume to show a lot of great capabilities and features that I bring to the table. Shouldn’t I be more focused on explaining what I could do for that company?

Job search best practices say that you should write “accomplishments” on your resume instead of “responsibilities.” That makes sense, because you see more of the value  that you brought to previous employers, but it still does not address what you can do for the company at which you are applying. We leave it up to the recruiter, hiring manager and others at that company to connect those dots. The applicant can help them connect those dots in an interview, should the process proceed that far.

A document like that is like no resume or application that I have ever seen. Is it time we start looking at changing our traditional job-search paradigms? I’m not smart enough to answer that, but I am thinking of how I can better market my most important product–me.


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