Imagine a friend asked you to find a new book they’d like. It would be extremely time-consuming (not to mention nearly impossible) to read every new book available before deciding which one your friend might like best. Most likely, you’d read through the summaries of each option to narrow down a few choices that align with your friend’s interests.
For recruiters and hiring managers, the interview selection process is similar.
Unfortunately, it just isn’t realistic to interview every single candidate that applies to a job posting. And that’s where your job application comes into play. Your application is the first step (of many!) in the hiring process, and it’s absolutely crucial—if you don’t make the first cut you’re not advancing further.
Your story needs to stand out. And that's why we include a "Why Me" section when you apply for jobs through The Mom Project job marketplace.
The ‘Why Me’ statement is your opportunity to sell your story through a quick professional summary, with the goal of catching the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager. This is where you get a chance to make a solid first impression, so skip the copy/paste and take your opportunity to stand out. Why you, indeed!
👉 Pssst... Applying for an opportunity through The Mom Project? Download our "Why Me?" Statement Template to guide you through the process of crafting your statement.
Why, ‘Why Me?’
Crafting a strong and convincing ‘Why Me’ statement takes time and effort but is one of the best chances you have at getting that hiring manager to click “schedule interview.” Think of the ‘Why Me’ as the summary of your professional identity story that helps connect the dots to why you will be a star in the specific role. It sets the tone, provides context and sparks the reader’s interest. Most importantly, it helps your story make sense in relation to the role you are applying for.
The ‘Why Me’ statement is deliberately designed to help you stand out. With a 600 character limit (or about 100 words), this section acts as a mini-cover letter of sorts. For recruiters and employers hiring through The Mom Project, it’s an effective place to start evaluating candidates.
What recruiters and employers hiring through The Mom Project want to know here is: Why are you applying for this position? What skills, experience and enthusiasm do you possess to help them understand why you’re interested in this role?
Think of your ‘Why Me’ response as the equivalent to answering "Tell Me About Yourself" in an interview. Just like in an interview setting, a clear, concise and thoughtful statement will make a big impact.
How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" in an Interview
Learn how to craft a clear and effective answer, and keep the attention of the interviewer.
This is the time to sell yourself and demonstrate why you’d be a good fit for the opportunity. Provide relevant, specific details to help you stand out and avoid general blanket statements or quick, rhetorical responses, like “Why not me?”.
Relate your relevant experience and skills to the specific opportunity. Helping the reader quickly correlate your experience and hard skills to the role will help you further your application along.
For example, explain how your 8+ years in digital marketing led to a successful campaign that drove a 30% increase in web traffic and strengthened your interest in working for a company that prides themselves in unique marketing campaigns, like [insert a specific campaign the company you’re applying for created]. This highlight your accomplishments while connecting them to the position.
Make it personal
Your ‘Why Me’ statement is also an opportunity to add a personal touch to your hard skills. Think of it as a narrative to your resume. Add some color to your list of credentials with a bit of storytelling. It’s the story behind the facts that leave the recruiter remembering more.
Everyone wants or needs a job, but what about your story and passion is unique to this position or project that will resonate with the recruiter or hiring manager? Consider what connects you personally to this position. Tell your story as it relates to the role but position it in a way that still allows your hard skills to shine through.
For example, describe how your personal passion for problem-solving helped you accomplish a project in a prior role, and how your learning from that experience led you to share the same excitement for a common goal you have with the hiring company.
👉 You can also use this section as an opportunity to discuss aspects of your background that make you uniquely qualified and to proactively address questions about your work history (i.e. moving from full-time to part-time work or relocating).
Addressing Career Pauses
If you’re returning to the workforce after a career pause, you can address that in your ‘Why Me’ statement, but you don’t have to. Whatever the reason, there are many ways to address your career pause at different points of the application and interview process. Adding The Mom Project Pause to your resume and social accounts is also a great way to creatively tell your story.
Keep it concise
With a 600 character limit, you’ll need to keep your answer concise. No one is expecting your full story here—but they are expecting enough substance to understand why you might be a good fit for the role. Identify 1-3 hard skills that you want to illuminate with supportive soft skills and personal touches.
Things to avoid in your ‘Why Me’ statement
Claiming that you “Don’t have the experience, but…” : If you don’t have the exact matching skills, consider highlighting the experience you do have that transfers to certain skills required for the role.
Only listing general personality traits. Instead of listing general traits (i.e. I am tenacious, detail-oriented, driven and passionate), try using actual anecdotes to showcase these traits and bring your story to life.
Writing things like “See resume” or “Why not me?”: If you’re unwilling to provide a considerate answer in the very beginning steps of your application, how does that reflect on the perception of your job performance? Take the time to craft a thoughtful response that demonstrates your interest and commitment to the job or project.
Putting it all together
"I’m a UI/UX designer with 7 years of experience, including 4 years of working on mobile applications. During my career at XYZ Company, I led the development team to redesign the mobile app’s user interface, resulting in a 40% increase in mobile orders. I’ve also had some experience working in the medical industry, developing solutions for healthcare clients when I worked as an IT consultant. I’m passionate about using tech to improve patient experience and efficiency in the medical space, and I’d love to pursue this opportunity at your company."
Evolving your ‘Why Me’ Statement
You should make tweaks to your statement as you apply for different opportunities. Consider changing your process if something isn’t working, take pointers and most importantly—don’t give up. It’s all worth landing that job that has no doubt that YOU are the one!
Ready to get started on your "Why Me?" statement?
Applying for a job opportunity through The Mom Project? Use this template to create a strong 'Why Me?' statement that strengthens your job application.
Apply for career opportunities with vetted companies that support work and life integration. From startups to the Fortune 1000, inclusive employers of all sizes use The Mom Project to post job opportunities and find skilled, diverse talent.