In a competitive job market, there is one thing that almost every employer wants to know when they are considering whether they should hire you or someone else. They want to know what you can do for them in terms of ‘outcomes’. In other words, they want to know how you are going to contribute to achieving their goals. Sure, they will want to know about your job responsibilities and how well you carried them out, but everyone is going to give this information on their resume and in an interview. You want to set yourself apart and put yourself in the best position to get the job, and one way to do this is to show that you understand the importance of outcomes.

To explain, let’s look at the difference between features, benefits, and what it means to the outcome.

Features, benefits, and what it means to them

Think for a moment about a product like a glass (that holds liquids). The fact that it holds water is a feature, the benefit is that you can confidently walk around with the water without spilling it, and what it really means to you is that you won’t have to waste time mopping the floor and won’t embarrass you when your friends are visiting. This is how advertisers get you hooked, they highlight the outcome that is meaningful for you rather than just the feature or benefit. Every glass can hold water and can be carried around, but the advertiser who points out that their glass is right for you because it helps you do less housework and helps you impress guests might get your attention.

Let’s now look at this in terms of your career. Let’s say you are a financial analyst. A feature of your capabilities might be that you can analyse complex financial information, which offers a benefit of helping your employer make better financial decisions. But all financial analysts are likely to offer this. The meaningful outcome that you can point out is that you can help your new employer make the best investment decisions to ensure the Leadership Team doesn’t have to explain to shareholders why the project wasn’t successful.

The same applies when you are explaining your achievements. Instead of saying that you were part of a project that analysed a complex investment decision, you can explain that you were part of a team that generated $20million in additional value for the company due to the successful analysis of the data, which led to further customer acquisition and growth.

No matter what job responsibilities you have had, you can explain your role in terms of the outcomes that you helped to generate. A school janitor can maintain a 100% ‘no-slip hallway accidents’ which contributed to the school’s high student satisfaction rating which led to more parents choosing that school.

This is something that will be covered when you meet with your Career Support Consultant.