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Are You A Commodity?

Investopedia defines commodity as “a basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type.” This is not how you want to be perceived in your career. However, this is probably the biggest mistake I see job seekers make, yet most are not aware of it.

Here is how to know if you are commoditizing your career:

  • Your summary on your resume begins like “Results-oriented executive with 20+ years experience in driving revenue, lead generation, brand building…” – Other than the 20+ years experience, there is nothing that differentiates you, and that is not something you want to call out.
  • You reference your “broad experience” – No one cares that you have broad experience and it is no longer perceived as valuable.
  • Your LinkedIn experience section describes your company instead of what you do there – This muddies your personal brand as it’s not clear the benefit you bring to the employer.

If you are doing any of the above, you’re not showing what is unique about you and how you can solve your target company’s specific problems. Job seekers often fall into the trap of thinking if they cast a broad net, they will have more opportunities. In reality, the exact opposite is true.

You need to zero in on what makes you unique and different from everyone else that has a similar skillset. One way to do this is to write out SMART stories. These are similar to CAR (challenge – action – results) or SSAR (situation – strength – action – result) stories, but you’re also looking for themes. Here is what a SMART story consists of:
S = Situation
M = Mess or eMotion
A = Action
R = ROI
T = Theme or Tie-in

The key to these stories is to look at the situation and see what is consistent about your actions or results. The more stories you write, the more themes will really start to pop out at you. Then you can take these themes and highlight them in the summary of your resume and/or LinkedIn profile.

This is how you can begin to differentiate yourself and focus on the types of problems you solve and enjoy solving. Then find companies that likely have these problems. They are going to jump at the chance to bring you in for an interview.

If you want help to stand out in your career and not be a commodity, then I encourage you to book a call with me.

On this call, we will find out exactly what’s working and what’s not in your job search, get clear on where you want to go next and if I can help, I’ll let you know.

I promise you this will be the best hour you spend on your career this year.