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Are You a Commodity in the Employment Marketplace? – Part 1 of 2

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 | Posted in Blog, News item

Competition is Fierce, So It’s Essential to Distinguish Yourself

By Eric P. Kramer
Senior Consultant, Career Potential, LLC

In a competitive and crowded marketplace, every product and service must differentiate itself. It is not enough to be simply “as good” as all the rest. In addition, with easy access to cheap (or even free) Internet marketing, there is a great deal of advertising that makes it difficult to differentiate services and make buying decisions. As an example, just think of all the “pop-up ads” you see online. In the employment marketplace, this is exemplified by the thousands of job web sites and hundreds of resumes submitted over the Internet in response to advertised jobs.

To rise above the flood of advertising, successful companies establish powerful branding and distinct “value-adds.” You can adopt the same strategy to rise above the flood of your competition in the employment marketplace.

“Value-add” refers to an extra feature or benefit that goes beyond the standard expectations and provides a more compelling reason to purchase. A value-add makes the service or product more desirable and positively influences the buying decision. However, a value-add has no impact if it is not provided in addition to good service. Always having on-time delivery, for instance, does not make a difference if the pizza tastes lousy.

The worst characterization of a service is to be “a commodity.” A service is a commodity when it is equivalent to what all the competitors offer. A provider of a commodity service can easily be exchanged for another provider of the same service who offers a lower price. For example, many dry cleaners provide a commodity service. Customers will change to another dry cleaner if they can find one that costs even slightly less. In the employment marketplace, many employees (even mid- and senior-level employees) are commodities in that they provide a service that can be replaced easily. In bad economies, companies replace more expensive “commodity” employees with cheaper employees. So, the big question is: are YOU a commodity in the employment marketplace?

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About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at

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