Are you effectively communicating your unique selling point as a school principal in your job search documents and interviews?
Superintendents, school principals, and the hiring recruitment team take approximately 10 -20 seconds to glance over each resume that crosses their desk. This means time is precious, and your resume needs to be focused on a school principal’s position to grab the reader’s attention. The resume should do this as quickly as possible and hold on to it.
Decision-makers are looking to find out the answer to this one, all-important question:
“What makes you so special, and why should I care?”
We can call this your unique selling point, or value proposition, or brand.
If within this 10-second window, you can provide a clear, concise, and compelling answer to this question – accompanied by tangible benefits – you will be invited to a job interview.
If you can’t answer that question sufficiently, your resume won’t get attention, and you won’t get a job interview.
The most effective way to get the hiring managers’ attention is, ironically, the one thing that is most often missing from candidates’ career documents. That is showcasing your value proposition and personal brand.
Demonstrate Your Ability to Create Value
Without this important combination, your resume and cover letter only state what you have done. To this, a decision-maker only replies with, “so what? Who cares?” That’s because you’ve hidden your potential value to s potential new employer so well, behind meaningless facts, that you – a successful and valuable leader – can’t get face to face time with a decision-maker.
What you have done is a secondary consideration when you are trying to be hired to do something specific in the future. Rather than focusing on what you have done, tie your experiences back to examples that showcase what you can do in the specific position you are applying for.
To avoid this scenario, you need a value proposition, a clear, concise, and compelling statement of your teaching/administration skills’ tangible benefits. It focuses on measurable results, if possible, such as dollars and percentages. It must be crisp and to-the-point, and it must describe something the readers want because just listing what you do has no value if no one needs it.
Value Proposition and Personal Branding
After you’ve written a killer value proposition, a decision-maker will definitely know what you can offer them. But say there is another applicant with a very similar value proposition. How would a decision maker choose between the two of you?
Both of you are valuable; both of you get results, but the decision-maker can’t use your value propositions alone to make the decision. He needs to know you both better – who you are and how you both teach/administrate.
Who will best fit into the school’s culture and the school community?
Whose style will help deliver the best results?
The decision-maker needs to know your personal brand. Without that critical information, they won’t have all the information needed to make the best possible decision regarding your candidacy. That’s because a personal brand is a clear, concise, and compelling statement of your teaching/administration’s intangible benefits. It focuses on non-measurable elements such as your passion, leadership style, culture, teaching style, and chemistry.
Your personal brand is your promise of value and your differentiation. It’s authentic. It says who you are, how you teach/administrate, and where you want to be. It guides your direction and decision, and it helps employers make decisions about you.
If a value proposition quantifies exactly how you can make a positive impact as a school principal, a statement of your personal brand provides the reader with a more qualitative look at who you are and how the district would benefit from your leadership on your campus.
Although neither your value proposition nor personal brand will work alone, they are your sales pitch when they are put together. They are important to your resume because together, they answer the two most important questions required to make a hiring decision:
Can you help the school and its students raise its achievement levels?
And will you bring the right chemistry to fit within the school’s culture?
Having a compelling response could mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.