Identifying Unique Selling Points for Executive CV

Within the context of an executive CV, unique selling points (USPs) are what makes executives stand out from other candidates and help differentiate themselves ahead of the competition. These are outstanding elements that need to be conveyed effectively in a clear message to employers by giving compelling reasons or benefits for employing someone. USPs may include particular skills, qualities, experience or expertise that employers require and therefore seek to pay a premium for. Rather than focusing on one element, it can be an important blend of attributes that combine to give candidates a good ‘strategic fit’ for executive roles and to solve a particular problem.

Identifying USPs

Unique selling points are essentially those skills, qualities, experience or expertise that combine to create important strengths or outstanding attributes for an individual. To focus on developing core USPs, identify top 3 strengths an executive can bring to the role. It is then important to relate how these strengths impact the wider business, contribute to making better decisions, influence others or provide essential qualities in the executive boardroom. If having difficulties identifying unique selling points, ask trusted colleagues, fellow board executives, line management or associates for ideas on how they best excel in job roles.

Selling USPs

There may be one outstanding strength that stands out above all. This demonstrates a clear unique selling point or attribute that can make a difference at the very highest level in organisations. Once a USP or a combination of elements have been identified the next thing is to place it into a wider context and develop examples to reinforce what executives have done or achieved. This helps to clarify unique selling points (i.e. features, benefits or solutions of employing someone) in anticipation of being asked about USPs at interview or in other situations where executives have to sell themselves on a personal or professional level.

Other USP Considerations

  • Employer Vision: Candidates need to give an idea of how they would fit into an organisation
  • Specialist Skills: Offering scarce skills or very specific expertise that employers desire (require)
  • Industry Expertise: Executives can bring in strong industry / market knowledge and contacts
  • Personal Branding: USPs form a key element that underpin a personal brand (key strengths)
  • Selling Credentials: Conveying USPs (key strengths) helps to ‘elevate’ a personal sales pitch
  • Other advice on identifying unique selling points in relation to high-level transferable skills

Unique Selling Points: Conclusion

Should candidates be considered for potential opportunities, they must first match up to the job description and then bring something unique (value added) to the role. USPs act as clear differentiators where executives must provide a solution to a problem (i.e. scarce skills; specific expertise; industry knowledge; leadership qualities) and provide compelling reasons (benefits) for employing an outstanding candidate. Moreover, employers can pay a premium for USPs providing they are relevant and add considerable value to an organisation.

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