Having decided to try for a new role or being faced with the need to look for a new job, there is often a temptation to dust off the CV, add relevant new information, then fire it out to as many companies, organisations and agencies as possible.

This can be a big mistake. Unless you have first established and understood your true marketability, your CV is unlikely to be targeted and focused well enough to sell you in the best light.  

Skills are undeniably a vital ingredient for success in all job roles and for some the more specific or the more transferable the better.

For some very specialist, technical and clinical jobs, having exactly the right skill set and proven ability to do the role could certainly be the determining factor. But skills do not provide the full picture. Most can be learned or developed and many are portable to other jobs or careers. Conversely, it is hard to change people’s personality, nature and their outlook on life.

Marketable means you are sought after and in demand. Your true marketability is the value you offer an employer as a complete package: range of skills, competencies, attributes, attitude, knowledge base, achievements, networks, reputation and personal values. This is an infinitely more powerful proposition than just focusing on your skills.

Enthusiasm, determination, passion, willingness to learn and a positive “can do” attitude can leapfrog you over the competition, even when they have more experience and better skills, as these can add real value to the job and organisation.

Imagine two CVs land on an employer’s desk; one is purely skills focused and the other brings to life a personality, work ethic, career objectives, achievements and energy. Unless the skill level is the only pre-requisite, who would you invite to interview?    

Developing an in-depth self awareness of who you are and what you have to offer is essential for effective self marketing and developing your career. This provides focus and clarity to ensure that you are applying for the right jobs, your applications are targeted and you sell yourself in the best light on your CV and in any networking or interview situations.

You can now work on identifying your unique selling points - what makes you different and or better than your competition?

Regardless of the level you are working at or aspiring to, the majority of people greatly undersell themselves. In such a competitive job market, by establishing and really accentuating your true marketability and unique selling points, you will stand out.     

At the final stage of interviews, the prime candidates usually have similar skill sets. What sets you apart from the competition is likely to be a combination of your personal attributes, attitude, mindset, track record and networks.  

Resist the temptation to fire out your CV before establishing and understanding your true marketability, which will help you sell yourself effectively and with confidence and set you up for a successful career.