When you are going on a job interview or following up after the interview, what makes you special?  How do you differentiate yourself from everyone else who has the same job title?  You need to show that you are better, different, and more qualified than the next candidate who wants that job.

1. Talk about your accomplishments – It is not about the job description and the kind of things you do or did.  It is about what results you obtained.  So write about and talk about your accomplishments using the problem, action, result method. What was the problem facing the company/team?  What action did you take and What result did you obtain?  Use numbers, percents and metrics whenever you can.
2. Ask questions to find out the problems facing the company now and in the next 3 to 6 months.  Probe to find out what keeps the hiring manager up at night.  Ask questions to find out problems illustrate how you would solve the problem.  Be a problem solver: you did this for someone else, therefore, you can do it here. Then illustrate how you would solve that problem. . Follow up with a full proposal  to solve the problem 
3.  Your Experience is unique to you.  The specific companies where you worked, the projects you worked on, the teams you led, the countries you visited are all unique to you.  Make sure to highlight your specific experiences and not simply repeat the job description.
4.  Your Knowledge and how it relates – Sure, if you have the same education or degrees as the next candidate you pretty much have the same basic knowledge.  What sets you apart is what you have learned from your experiences on the job, during an internship, a residency, and through volunteering. What have you learned from your mistakes?   What have you learned lately?  How have you continued your learning?
5. Follow-Up – It is not enough to send a “thank you for your time and I am very interested in the position” letter.  Your follow up must emphasize the skills and accomplishments that directly relate to the job.  You must acknowledge what you learned during the interview about the challenges facing the company and reiterate how you would help solve them.  And one follow-up email is not sufficient.  Follow that up with a phone call.  And continue to follow up with subsequent emails, adding more information.
Don’t assume the person(s) who interviewed you remembers who you are, what you have done, or how you can contribute to the organization.  Repeat your message so that the hiring manager gets the picture. You have to connect the dots between your past experiences and how they can relate to the current problems of this company.

— (c) Copyright Amy Geffen All rights reserved

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