So, you have decided it is time to change jobs. Maybe your employer made the decision for you, and you are already out looking. Perhaps, you have been “out of the job market” for some time and are now re-entering.

Whatever the scenario, you are now, like it or not, “selling your services.” I know, for some, that may seem distasteful. But facts are facts. You are looking for someone (a hiring manager) to buy your services (offer employment). Having this mindset is an important first step in understanding the process of why someone will hire you. Knowing that the hiring manager is going to make a buying decision does not mean you need to become a superstar salesperson. But, to be successful in your search, you should have a basic understanding of the process.

At the heart of the matter is something that most marketing and salespeople know. People buy because of “What’s in it for them.” A hiring manager (the person you will report to) is going to “buy,” your services because you fill a need, right? Well almost. Whatever the job, there are many people who can perform it just like you. So why should the hiring manager choose you? Let’s take brief look at the process.

FAB — Features Advantages Benefits

For those who have been around a few years, FAB is “old school.” But it still works and still explains the process. Let’s look at a car as a way to illustrate.

Features: Automatic Transmission, GPS, 2.4L engine.

Advantages: Easier to drive and the engine lasts longer. Prevents you from getting lost and keeps you on schedule for appointments. Gets great gas mileage.

Benefits: Saves money because the engine will not have to be replaced as quickly as a manual transmission. Allows you to spend more time in front of clients closing more sales and generating more revenue. Better gas mileage saves you money.

Notice how the Advantages convert the Features into Benefits (cash for the buyer). With most buying decisions, the buyer will purchase because the benefits derived convert to cash in their pocket. Looking at this from a sales perspective, you are either generating cash or saving it. Think about what you do (Features). Think about what that provides (Advantages). Think about the extra cash the buyer gets (Benefits).

You are almost there. Take the car example one step further.

Imagine two cars side-by-side. Same transmission, same GPS, same gas mileage. What tips the scales in favor of one over the other? Emotion!! Understand that, in many cases, emotions are going to play an important role in the final decision. Appealing to the emotions of the buyer (hiring manager) will set yourself apart from your competition. In the case of the car, naturally, Candy Apple Red wins the day. However, for someone else it might be Midnight Blue. To begin appealing to the emotional side, use strong verbs that encourage action. Stay positive and stay clear of words that imply negative thoughts or feelings. Lastly, if you can encourage any positive emotional reactions, it may be what puts you over the top in your search.

Whether you are selling a product or service (yourself), if you follow this simple sales formula, you will be further ahead of your competition in your search for A More Perfect Career.

As you approach your resume, your LinkedIn profile, networking conversations and interviews, always remember Features, Advantages, Benefits and how emotions can be the game-changer.

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