Today's top-performing executives prioritize personal branding. Whether it's networking or career advancement, your personal brand articulates what differentiates you and demonstrates your value.
Following my earlier article on the wider subject of personal brand, today I am focusing on one particular aspect that can work as your launchpad or your foundation to help further develop personal branding, your professional value proposition (PVP).
what is a professional value proposition?
Your PVP, also known as your elevator pitch, is a concise and compelling statement that conveys your unique abilities and professional brand. It’s a brief synopsis of your professional background that answers the ubiquitous “tell me about yourself” question at an interview or networking event. Your PVP can also be used for your LinkedIn ‘About’ section or on your CV.
who should have a PVP?
Everyone should have a PVP. It’s your professional calling card, and regardless of your current goals, you always want to present yourself in the best possible light. After all, you never have a second chance to make a first impression.
what is the value of a great PVP?
Your PVP provides you with a solid platform to define and articulate your background and capabilities. More importantly, it enables you to do so with confidence, clarity, and focus. Consequently, curating your own narrative prepares you for a multitude of professional situations, both internally and externally.
It’s amazing how creating such a simple tool can accomplish so much.
That said, as anyone who has developed a great PVP will tell you, it takes time and effort. It is particularly challenging to summarise and condense many years of experience and a wide range of skills while still clearly conveying your future focus. Typically, it can take several hours and many draft attempts before landing on something that resonates. Persevere – it will pay you dividends in many ways.
how do i create a professional value proposition?
You can follow these simple steps to help you craft a compelling and impactful PVP.
1. What is your profession and general background overview?
Write a brief sentence that provides an overview of your background. Examples:
- I am a finance and accounting executive with 15 years of experience at tech companies.
- I am an executive with a diverse sales/marketing, operations, and commercial background.
2. What do you specialize in?
What differentiates you? How do you create value? What strengths help you stand out from your competition? Examples:
- I oversee financial activities and financial reporting and also proactively seek out opportunities for financial gain and savings.
- I focus on business development opportunities to generate revenue and improve cost performance. I also excel in leading business turnarounds.
3. What evidence (accomplishments) do you have that demonstrates those strengths?
- Managed several successful accounting system upgrades, made reorganization suggestions that saved £1M annually for ABC Company, and received perfect scores on all audits.
- I turned around a product line in continental Europe that resulted in +20% bottom-line impact in the first year and grew to £50M in new revenue within two years.
4. What are you excited about doing in your next role? What are your priority goals? What are you interested in?
- I am seeking a CFO role at a mid-sized tech company within the Manchester area
- I am looking to open up new markets for our product line in the UK
- I am a senior marketer that likes to build processes and help startups become more professional
The above can be used whether you are in job search or whether you are seeking to elevate your personal brand in your current role and beyond. The messaging will be subtly different, depending on the purpose of your PVP.
how do i deploy my pvp?
Keep refining your PVP and return to it regularly until you are really happy with it. Test it out on colleagues, friends, family, and others. Ask for feedback. And, above all, practice. Speaking your PVP out loud is an extremely powerful way to refine the delivery of your brand to an audience. You can even record yourself delivering your PVP and revise it further. It may feel uncomfortable, but it will enable you to give yourself the most honest and direct feedback.
When you’re ready, you can road test your PVP when introducing yourself and in written form. For example, you can add it to your social media profile or include it in your LinkedIn ‘About Section.
Know your PVP inside out and take the opportunity to use it as often as is appropriate; it will serve you well.
making your PVP work for you
Once you define your Professional Value Proposition and communicate it consistently across online, social and in-person channels, you will begin to create a personal brand and a positive professional image.
When someone asks you what you do, it’s not a trick question. It’s your opportunity to present yourself at your best to achieve your best, no matter your situation. How can you expect others to' get it' if you can't articulate your personal brand and PVP with clarity and confidence?
Crafting your PVP is an excellent way to prepare for almost any professional situation. It will put you in control and provide you with a simple but impactful statement that will elevate you and your personal brand.
Even with a clearly stated PVP, well-written resume, creative digital profile, and positive online image, landing your dream job will likely not happen overnight. It is an incredibly competitive and tough labor market. However, every great journey begins with small steps. Begin your search for your dream job by taking a few small steps to create and communicate those things that make you unique.