Competency Category:

15.4 – Work with Clients to Develop Value Proposition

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) assist clients in developing a holistic value proposition, which helps them gain confidence, improve self-esteem, better understand their strengths, and communicate a consistent message across work search activities.CDPs ensure that clients have accurate information about themselves as well as the target market. This requires both introspection and research. CDPs guide clients to identify personal attributes and take steps towards their professional development and work development goals. CDPs enable clients to apply their value proposition in various contexts, e.g. résumé, communications, interviews, networking.
The value proposition evolves throughout the career development lifespan. CDPs must enable clients to become self-sufficient in defining and refining value propositions on an ongoing basis.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Explain benefits of creating a value proposition, for example:
    • Articulate personal and professional strengths and values
    • Gain a better understanding of what they have to offer employers
    • Focus on the needs of their target market
    • Present authentic portrayal of themselves
    • Differentiate themselves from other candidates
    • Gain confidence and alleviate anxiety about work search
    • Guide their career development
  • P2. Explain the components of the value proposition:
    • Employer’s reasons for hiring the candidate, e.g. generate revenue, save time and money, solve a problem
    • Client’s qualifications that support the employer’s needs, e.g. credentials, experience
    • Client’s qualifications that distinguish them from other candidates, e.g. special skills, unique attributes and
  • P3. Help client identify knowledge, skills, abilities, interests, values and beliefs, qualifications, education and
    experience, for example:

    • Skills developed in school, on the job, through volunteer experiences
    • Education
    • Qualifications, e.g. work, leisure, and community accomplishments
  • P4. Guide clients to identify professional goals:
    • Research opportunities, e.g. available jobs of interest
    • Match skills and relevant experiences to identified opportunity
    • Provide evidence of past relevant accomplishments
    • Document daily plans, activities, and tasks
    • Monitor activities to ensure that self-marketing is performed proactively and regularly
  • P5. Help clients define goals:
    • Ask questions, for example:
      • Vision: What does the client see as possible in their future?
      • Purpose: What role will the client play in achieving that vision?
      • Values: What does the client believe in? What, then, are the client’s values?
      • Passions: What excites/angers the client? How can the client use these passions?
    • Administer assessment tools, where relevant
  • P6. Describe information to research on target market, for example:
    • Industry, e.g. sectors, career field, historical and current trends, future forecast
    • Company, e.g. products, mission, values, culture, interviewer, supervisor
    • Work, e.g. position, objectives, responsibilities, requirements
  • P7. Guide the client to identify supporting qualifications, for example:
    • Area of expertise, e.g. specialty, level, stature
    • Background, e.g. education, experience, accomplishments
    • Style, e.g. personality, individuality, goals
    • Exclusivity, e.g. unique offerings, special strengths
  • P8. Confirm that the value proposition is:
    • Authentic, e.g. speaks in the client’s voice
    • Truthful, e.g. honest, legitimate, ethical
    • Compelling, e.g. attracts recruiters, employers, and networking contacts
    • Consistent, e.g. represented in the client’s work, consistent with the client’s brand identity
    • Operative, e.g. client can articulate it, client uses it in many career scenarios
    • Applied, e.g. in self-marketing documents, social media platforms, interviews, and networking

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Components of value propositions

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:


Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.

Value Proposition: is a message that a client can use to consistently communicate his or her promise of value to potential employers. Note this term originated as a marketing strategy to sell products to buyers. In career development, the client is considered “the product” and the employer “the buyer”.

Information Sources and Resources for Consideration

Graham, Sharon. The Canadian Employment Strategist 2020 Edition: Certified Employment Strategist Study Guide. 3rd edition. Career Professionals of Canada, Milton, Ontario, 2020.

Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?



Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Routinely, regular course of procedure

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

A competent career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience with at least 40 different clients, representing a broad range of individuals.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is somewhat likely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

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Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

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