Translating Your Skills into Professional Value: How to be FAB

By Timothy Ring
Training and Development Assistant

Translating Your Skills into Professional Value: How to be FAB

In the thirty years Melissa Reitkopp has spent as a recruiter, she has noticed many students are concerned with their lack of professional experience or skills as they look for employment. She came to the Georgetown Graduate Career Symposium to put these worries to rest, and share how students have already developed the critical skills companies look for in new hires.

She firmly believes the key to success lies in translation—presenting the knowledge and skills you have obtained throughout experiences in classes, research, extracurriculars, internships, etc. as assets that may be used to benefit an employer. To do this, Reitkopp proposes showing off how FABulous you are in interviews. This is a clever acronym that stands for Features, Accomplishments, and Benefits (F.A.B.). When these three aspects are used in tandem, they can create a complete picture of who you are as a candidate and help you establish value with potential employers.

Features, Accomplishments, and Benefits (F.A.B.)

In order to understand this mechanism, it should first be broken down:

  • Features are facts about yourself or skills that you possess that you feel are important to who you are and what you hope to do.
  • Accomplishments take this fact about you and place it into a positive, real world example of your successful experiences using this skill.
  • Benefits take this positive asset of yours and what you have been able to do with it and package it in a way that appeals to what a particular business or company is looking for.

Here are two examples of how current graduate students articulated their FAB statements:

  • One student used her data analysis skills to predict Brexit and the consequential market trends (Feature). Using this information, she advised her company to make an investment that yielded a million dollar profit (Accomplishment). The talent and foresight she demonstrated through these hard skills bring value to any company (Benefit).
  • Another student utilized her multilingual abilities (Feature) to effectively open American markets to her South Korean business (Accomplishment), forging new relationships and opening investment opportunities (Benefit).

Next Steps?

Tying all these points together, these students were able to construct a complete picture of each of their skills, their experience using them, and the positive value they bring to a company.

This technique works in all fields and can be applied to whatever skill or career you feel most strongly about. The structure is used to help you best pitch yourself and appeal to employers, how you choose to use it is up to you. Reitkopp suggests developing 3-4 FAB pitches about yourself centered on different skills or different employers/industries. That way when the right moment comes, you’ll be ready to show just how FABulous you are!

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