Sorry, your GPA is too low for this position

One of the first jobs I applied to after college turned me down because my GPA was too low.

It was a very small disappointment, but one I’ve never forgotten. I just couldn’t understand why it mattered!

The average of all the grades I earned for four years of hastily-written papers, procrastinated projects, and sleep-deprived exam performances seemed to have little or nothing to do with how well I could do this job I was applying for. Nevertheless…

We all use heuristics and proxies to make difficult decisions (like selecting a vendor) easier and less risky. I certainly understand how looking at a job applicant’s GPA (or spelling ability) at least shortens the stack of resumes that you have to sift through.

What about your clients?

What heuristics do they apply to hiring you? What simple, obvious signals are they looking for?

Is it how your website looks? Your level of skill with a certain technology?

Or is it your ability to deliver the right solution? Your consultative skill in a planning meeting vs. your technical skill in a code editor?

Or maybe it’s something else? There really are no blanket answers. There are just your clients, their needs, and their particular way of selecting a freelancer or firm to solve a problem.

That’s why I wrote The Positioning Manual–to help you position your business in a way that matches your clients’ needs: http://thepositioningmanual.com

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