Why should I hire you? That's a great question! In my opinion, not only is your ANSWER a critical part of your response, your ACTIONS rank high on the importance scale. Let me explain.

When hiring a new person, the prospective employer wants to know they've hired a winner, not a whiner. My guess is that employers typically want a low-maintenance employee, not someone they must guide each and every step of the way. After all, there's a job to be done. There's a company with a mission. Customers depend on the efficiency and overall experience involved. There's a lot at stake! So, I ask again, "Why should I hire you?"

Let's take a look at things that happen during the hiring process. Feel free to grade yourself to see how you're doing. Do you really and truly consider yourself the "Ideal Candidate"?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are you applying for a position that you meet the minimum basic requirements for, OR are you submitting your resume anywhere and everywhere hoping it will get you somewhere?

Do you sit by the phone waiting for it to ring, OR do you have the direct phone numbers to people at the company that you can call?

How long has it been since you had any contact with the prospective employer? That's probably too long!

Are you truly going above and beyond the call of duty in the hiring process OR are you trying to let your resume do all the work?

How well do you follow-up?

Did you get the names of people at the employer's office? Did you send them a personalized hand-written Thank You card or email?

Why should they remember you? What did you do that helped you stand out from the crowd? Was your resume, the visit to their office, and the interview "memorable"?

On your resume or in interviews, do you look like someone who just showed up each day to work and collected a check, OR do you look like someone who is a "MUST HIRE"?

Have you put your job search on cruise control? How active are you in your own hiring process?

When was the last time you networked with others outside your usual social circle?

What could you do differently to make sure you get hired? What's your plan?

How honest are you being with yourself on your job search? Are there areas in which you need to improve?

Who can you call today that can help you get in front of people who can hire you?

Do all of your references know exactly what your job search and career plans are all about?

If the company checks references (and they will!) will there be any surprises?

Can you back up your resume with real-world examples? Do those examples fit?

In interviews, are you making the mistake of complaining about your unemployment OR are you focusing on the matter at hand?

Do you show or demonstrate that you can add value to the company?

Take some time to think about all of these questions and take an honest look at yourself. My hope is that next time you're asked "Why should I hire you?" you'll have the answer.