The Shape of Three – Building Your Value Proposition

This article is submitted to us by Anne Hutton, Leadership and Team Development specialist, Career Transition Coach and Director of Career Types, part of Career Money Life’s Supplier Community.
  • What is the significant power of the number THREE?
  • Why is it such a magical number prevalent in storytelling throughout history?
  • How is it important in the shaping and building of your value proposition?

It all comes down to the way the human brain processes information. Three is the smallest number required to make a pattern. And our brains love patterns.

The rule of three follows the brain’s mapping rules which makes things much easier to remember.

Therein lies its absolute power. In a world of short attention spans and countless things bombarding our already saturated headspace, the rule of three works because it is:

Short. Memorable. Powerful.

That’s why the number three is so pervasive throughout our history.  Politicians and successful speakers use the rule of three to simplify messages in their speeches and make them unforgettable.

It worked for Julius Caesar, who claimed ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’ when he conquered Turkey. “Friends, Romans, countrymen”kicked off Mark Antony’s powerful and memorable speech in Julius Caesar – and ultimately became one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines.

In one of his final public appearances, Steve Jobs taunted efforts from competitors to produce rival tablet computers by proclaiming the new iPad to be “thinner, faster and lighter.”

There is a reason why three is a magical number when it comes to creating an impact and it will also work for you.

Your Value Proposition and the Rule of Three

Build an impactful and memorable value proposition based on the three areas that are most strategically important for your next career role.

The rule of three applies when you are creating your own compelling value proposition.  Every great story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and your own career story is no exception.

This is why I like to work with my clients to build their value proposition around three key areas of expertise.

When choosing which three areas to build your story around, the focus should be on the ones that are most relevant for your next career role.

One might be related to a technical expertise for example in Data Analytics or Process Design or Cloud Transitions. The second might be a functional expertise such as Strategic Business Development, Project Lead or Operational Management and the third is usually related to people and leadership such as B2B Relationship Building, Leadership and Team Coach, Key Stakeholder Engagement. Another option is to have an industry specialisation like Emerging Markets or Craft Breweries as an area of expertise.

Within each of these three key areas I encourage clients to explore their relevant skills, knowledge, accomplishments and attributes.  If you can create your value proposition around three key areas of expertise, people are far more likely to remember and be clear about the value that you can bring to a role and organisation.

Although you are likely to have more than three areas of expertise, you want to showcase your portfolio and present a package build around the three areas where YOU contribute significant value in a role that you are targeting.

I also recommend that your three areas of expertise be as differentiated as possible so that you really STAND OUT from your competitors.  You might also like to add a verb at the beginning of each statement to help describe the area of expertise in a more powerful way:

  • Developing Customer-Centric cultures
  • Streamlining business processes
  • Project-managing cloud transitions
  • Creating award-winning resumes
  • Leading medium-large non-profit organisations
  • Facilitating team development
  • Strategic brand planning.

 Crisp. Clear. Compelling.

Consistency in your Career Communication

Your three areas of expertise should be showcased in your career summary at the top of your resume.  A balance of key accomplishments from each of the three areas should also be included within the body of the resume.

Include the three areas in your LinkedIn headline and showcase them in the LinkedIn summary.

The three key areas also provide the perfect building blocks for the inevitable Tell me about yourself interview question or similarly, What value can you bring to this role?”  Or Give me three reasons to hire you.”

You should never have more than three messages in a story, an email, a memo, or a presentation.  And three bullet points tend to be far more impactful and memorable than two or four.

Remember to stick with the rule of three whenever possible.

A career coach can help you create and communicate your compelling value proposition. Career Money Life has an amazing range of career coaches like Anne who are ready to support you make the most of your career or to land your next big thing. Contact us to learn more. 

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