What is it that makes you different?

Our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the quality that sets us apart from other people.  Of course, a USP has to have some kind of relationship to the needs of our ‘customers’ (for want of a better term).  If they are in the market for pet-care products, they aren’t going to be impressed by our claim to have invented the perfect mousetrap.

Even if they aren’t selling themselves as a part of their work, a lot of people have bought into the idea of putting their USP as an opening to their CV (or Resume).

Sadly, they often don’t critically examine their handiwork and consider the (mis)interpetations that can be placed on it.

This example passed over my desk recently: “Highly motivated individual that aims to be the best at whatever they do. ”

The trouble is that this isn’t a USP.  No-one in their right mind would declare that they were a “bored clock-watcher who bumbles along waiting to go home.”

Worse still, if this is a USP then the implication is that most other people (including the person screening applications for interview) are “demotivated loners satisfied with second best”.

I’m sure that the person concerned was convinced that they were going to be shortlisted, and probably still doesn’t understand why they didn’t even get an interview.


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