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Finding Your 'Why'

At Job Search Connect, we see so many great CV's that are not landing the mark. Most of the time, the missing piece of the puzzle is that there is no communication around the why.

Why 'Why' Matters

Even though your qualities and skills are super important, it's your "why" that sets you apart in a crowded inbox of applicants. This applies especially if...
 

  • There are heaps of qualified candidates going for the same role.

  • You're transitioning careers.

  • You've been out of the workforce for a while

Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, has a theory called 'the Golden Circle': In the world of commercial products, there are dozens of companies with products of similar quality and value. Sinek believes the ones that succeed are the ones that have a clearly articulated 'why' at the core of their marketing.  By communicating their product from the inside out (why, what, how), the emphasis is put on purpose and emotional connection. 

How

What

Why

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Challenge the status quo and pushing the boundaries of technology

Create the world's most comfortable shoes in a way that's good for the planet

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Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

By starting with "why," you frame your skills and experience around your aspirations, be it professional development, work-life balance, or a successful career shift.

Take a look at these personal statements below and consider which version an employer would find more compelling

I am a digital marketing pro with 3 years' experience. In my past role I succeeded in increasing website traffic by 25% through SEO and social media campaigns. As a personable and collaborative worker skilled in social media marketing, I am eager to leverage my skills for your team.

I am a lifelong fitness enthusiast seeking a Marketing Associate role, experienced in content creation and social media engagement. Past roles have built a strong skillset in SEO and digital marketing, and I would welcome the opportunity to grow my marketing career in a workspace that aligns with my passion for healthy living

Finding Your 'Why'

Employers want to know why you are applying for a position, and what you can bring to the role. A good personal statement should cover both.

The Position

Ask yourself why this particular role is important to you. Does it align with your values? Does it offer opportunities to develop your skills in a way that excites you? Is the pay good for the work? You may think your 'why' is not an impresive one, but remember - if you're applying for a job, it's because you know you would be a good candidate. Why do you think so? Why would you want to work for this particular company? What can you say to communicate this authentically and effectively?

Here are some common ' tricky whys' we come across at Job Search Connect, and statements that could apply to each​:

I'm looking to get back into the workforce after a break in my employment history
 

  • I took a leave of absence to focus on my health and well-being. Now, I'm energized to leverage the skills I honed in [mention specific skills learned during the break] to contribute meaningfully to a collaborative team environment
     

  • While taking time away from full-time employment, I actively participated in [relevant activities, e.g., volunteer work, professional development courses]. I am now eager to return to a fast-paced environment and contribute my updated skillset with a renewed focus for [relevant activities

I have tried different jobs in the past but am trying a new path because it's the work I actually want to do
 

  • While past roles have provided valuable experience in [key tasks], my drive and experience has directed me towards [new field]. My transferable skills in [mention skills] will allow me to quickly adapt and excel in this new opportunity.
     

  • My career journey has allowed me to explore various areas and develop a well-rounded skillset. Now, I'm eager to focus my passion for [new field] and contribute to your team's success.

I'm looking for an simpler job than I have worked in the past for personal reasons
 

  • I am seeking an opportunity to utilise my skills to deliver impactful results in a more focused manner. My experience in [previous role] has honed my efficiency and ability to solve problems, and I am eager to bring my talents to [company] while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
     

  • I'm excited about the opportunity to leverage my [specific skills] in a more focused way. This role allows me to contribute my expertise without the high-pressure environment of my previous leadership position

Remember:

These are guidelines to help you find what resonates with your current goals. If a statement applies to your situation, make sure to edit it using your voice and circumstances

The Employer

If you're struggling to find an effective 'why' that relates to your personal circumstances, it's a good time to reflect on why you are applying for the role. Take a step back and consider what truly excites you about this particular role. Are you just sending out a mass application, or is there something specific that draws you in?

 

If you're not sure what it is about the employer that you can connect with, dive into the company's website! Understanding  their mission, values, and company culture can be a goldmine. Look for connections between your own motivations and theirs. Highlighting these shared goals shows genuine interest and makes you stand out as someone who would truly thrive in their environment.

In Summary...

If you've got this far and are thinking 'there's no way I can do this for every CV I write', you may be writing too many CVs. Blasting out a generic CV to every opportunity you see is nowhere near as effective as fewer, more personalised CV's.

 

Companies notice when you have taken the time to consider all aspects of the role and organisation. Furthermore, reading your CV may raise questions around the suitability of you as a candidate. The person reading your application likely knows nothing about who you are and what you can do. You have two pages to clearly communicate that you are the right person for the job, and no aspect of 'I can do that' should be left to assumption.

The good news is that, the more you practice this skill of articulating the 'why', the more examples you have to pull from, and the easier it gets over time. 

Good luck out there, and remember, we're on hand to help our jobseekers review and refine your CV's and Cover Letters. 

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