I should be hired because of the knowledge that I possess.
When it is said that someone knows his onions it means that he or she is experienced or knowledgeable in one’s field or in the matter at hand. Particularly because we live in a knowledge-driven society, the knowledge that a person has has become a source of differentiation. For the entry-level person there is something I call knowledge-above-the-expected. At that level, fresh from school or NYSC, employers don’t expect that you would know much; they would give allowances for errors and some inaccuracy. But even though they don’t expect much, they are quick to notice anyone who possesses knowledge-above-the-expected and that should be our target.
For knowledge to be a true source of value, it should be wide enough to extend beyond your academic degree or functional work experience and deep enough to know ‘the what’ and ‘the why’ behind things. The story is told of how Henry Ford had a problem with one of his machines and none of his engineers could solve it – they battled over it for a long time, still to no avail. All this while work had ground to a halt. Henry Ford then decides to send for one his old retired engineers.
The man arrives, takes a look at it, goes under and about it for a little while and then pulls one or two levers and the equipment comes alive. Remarkably! Days later the man sends in his invoice for the job done and it had $1000 as the fee. Henry was enraged that the man could ask for such a huge amount for just a few minutes work in which all even had to do was turn on a few levers. So the man retrieves the invoice and then sends another one that said that one dollar was for the job done, while the balance of $999 was for knowing where to look!
I should be hired because of the skills that I possess.
Different skills matter to different industries, to different professions and to different generations…at different times. Eg. the ability to use the computer is undoubtedly a required skill of this generation. Skill represents intelligent application of knowledge, experience, and tools. This is the procedural “know how” knowledge (what one can do), either covert (deductive or inductive reasoning) or observable (communications skills).
The dictionary defines it has a proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience; or a developed talent or ability. For a skill (or ability) to be distinguishing it should be less common; the holder should clearly have a high proficiency; its application should cover a wide range of uses or fields and where it has a narrow application it must command high value.
Other reasons for which I should be hired include having a great attitude; being observably creative, having a motivation to succeed, and the list goes on. I would also like to be hired because of my past performance. For another person, he/she should be hired because of aspects of personality that are aligned to the job role or to the company’s strategy or values. Another person brings a distinct leadership experience and as such feels he/she should be hired.
Whatever name you may call it, each of us must check ourselves (by asking the Ultimate Hiring Question) to see if we possess qualities, traits, knowledge, motivation, attitude, aptitude, experience that is of present value to an industry/profession and to grow in relevance we must also continually ask this same question so that we can represent not just present but also future value to our world. So again I ask, please why should anyone hire you?