Sell Recruiters on the Benefits of Hiring You

Posted by Nancy Gober

People buy benefits. It’s true for selling a car, a house or you, to a prospective employer.

The most frequent problem I see with job seekers’ written and verbal presentations of themselves? No benefits. A lack of the very thing that can sell a prospective employer on giving you a chance.

Finding a job is all about sales

If you subscribe to the theory, and my belief, that finding a job is all about sales, you begin to see the connection: Finding a job is about selling yourself. So if you believe that finding a job requires selling yourself, then it follows that you have to know what you’ve got to sell.

For a job seeker, it boils down to the ways in which you have benefited your prior employers and the ways you anticipate benefiting your next employer. This offers a much stronger argument for hiring you than just listing duties you’ve performed and/or responsibilities you’ve held.

Customers buy benefits

Astute salespeople don’t approach prospects with “laundry lists” of their product’s or service’s features. Instead, they show how these features will help the customer solve problems, stem shrinkage, and facilitate growth.

In the same way, astute job seekers know that resumes with laundry lists of duties or features tell little about how they can contribute to a prospective employer’s success.

These duties in and of themselves don’t show how job seekers helped their customers, a.k.a. former employers, solve problems, stem shrinkage, and facilitate growth. Astute job seekers’ resumes will detail duties they have performed and responsibilities they have shouldered, but then also focus on how their performance of these duties helped previous employers solve problems and achieve growth and success.

Your most important sales tool

It is fair to say that your resume is one of your most important sales tools. It’s certainly one of your most visible. Throughout your search, you’ll distribute different versions to hundreds of contacts and employers. In your resume you’ll show why you should be considered as a serious candidate for a position, promotion, or additional job responsibility.

Think of your resume as your sales brochure. What you highlight, describe in detail, and de-emphasize forms an impression in the reader’s mind about you and your capabilities and capacity for helping an employer.

You resume describes your experience by highlighting duties you have performed – your features, in sales jargon, and the outcomes or results of your performance – benefits, in sales jargon.

In other words, your resume shows prospective employers what they could gain by hiring you and the benefits of doing so.

Employers buy benefits too

Consider a contractor who is advertising to hire a project manager with a keen eye on cost control and efficiency. The recruiter will be more impressed by a job seeker who states he or she has analyzed and reduced costs for a previous employer than the applicant who merely lists this duty (feature) on their resume. The table below provides 2 examples of a duty performed and the resultant benefit or accomplishment.

Feature or Duty >>>> Benefit or Accomplishment

  1. Analyzed operating costs >> Reduced insurance costs $75,000
  2. Reviewed customer complaint system >> Increased accuracy and timeliness, and reduced labor costs

Written on a resume, the benefit or Accomplishment Statement might look like this:

● Provided financial analysis of operating costs, which resulted in reducing insurance costs $75,000 and a refund of approximately $30,000.

● Streamlined customer complaint reporting system, increasing accuracy and timeliness, and reducing labor costs (add the $ savings if you know them).

In finding a job, as in sales, how you say things can be as important as what you say. How you write about your work in your resume and other sales materials, and how you talk about yourself can make the sale.

Nancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment. She’s also been a popular resume reviewer at our Cleared Job Fairs. You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected].


  • Nancy Gober

    Nancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment, and the author of “Jobs Are Not Found Sitting at the Computer.” You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected].

    View all posts
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 7:00 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of updates to this conversation