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What’s your unique selling proposition?

You may have heard of the term unique selling proposition (USP). If not, it means the key element that makes an offering stand out from the rest, and grabs the attention of the market.

USPs aren't just for products though, they can also help jobseekers progress through the job search.  In other words, having a strong USP is just another way to cement yourself as the ideal candidate for your next hospitality job.

Why should jobseekers have a USP?

At every stage of the job search process, it's your job to be crystal clear about why an employer should hire you. If you've ever been told you should develop your own elevator pitch, a six second blurb about yourself, that's because you have to be really clear about what you can offer over other applicants – and do it quickly.

A USP is more than an elevator pitch though – it's the core reason why someone should hire you and encapsulates what makes you special. Sounds daunting? Don't worry, there are plenty of ways to determine what your USP is when you're applying for different roles.

What does a USP look like?

For a hospitality role, developing your USP will require you to marry both your personal experience in previous roles with your own knowledge and qualifications.

EG. if you’ve been working in a front-of-house management role for a restaurant that doesn't take bookings, within that experience you have the grounds of a USP – your special skill may be delegating effectively in high-pressure environments.

You may wonder what part of that example was unique, however, when you combine that experience with the fact that you also needed to manage a booking system that isn't widely used, you can start to put that 'U' into your USP.

When will you need to display your USP?

It isn't enough to just know what makes you unique as a candidate, you also have to put it on display throughout the recruitment process. To help, we've broken down how you can add your USP to every aspect of your job hunt:

  • Cover letter and CV: These documents are your chance to really portray what makes you different. Start your CV with a personal statement that spells out this USP and then expand on it throughout your cover letter.
  • Your contact with the recruiter: From that very first email you send indicating your interest in a role you have the opportunity to showcase your USP. For that first email, devote a sentence or two to your USP to give them a taste of what is to come.
  • The interview: Your interview is the chance to follow through on the USP that you developed in your earlier contact in person and through a conversation. The good news is that once you have this crystal clear idea behind why you should get a role, it becomes much easier to answer many of the most common questions you will be asked.
  • Your follow up: Now that you've cemented yourself in the minds of your interviewer, the final step is your follow up. A few days after the email send a follow-up note that thanks to the interviewer and also subtly reminds them why you are a class above the other candidates.

Displaying your unique selling point through every stage of the recruitment process can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Each of these steps will compound the influence of your USP, which will help your recruiter better understand who you are as a candidate.