When most people are applying to a job, they focus very much on “what” they have: what their prior experience entails, what skills are on their resume, what qualifications they can offer the company.

But Simon Sinek advises a wildly different approach. With the mantra “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” Sinek tells us that the skill that separates successful people from everybody else is the way they sell themselves. They kick-start their sales pitch by explaining the why: the core belief that drives everything they do. Think: Apple, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright Brothers.

Why does it work? Turns out, explaining the “why” targets a specific area of your listener’s brain, making her biologically more apt to agree with you. “When we [start with the why], we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior…where gut decisions come from,” say Sinek. Not to mention, talking about the “why” lets your enthusiasm come shining through.

So, next time you’re applying for a job, bring your resume—but save it for later. Watch this video and find out how you can wow your future employer by telling them the reason why you’re there, and then seal the deal with all the “what” you have to offer.

Check out more from Job Search Month at The Daily Muse

Home page photo and video courtesy of TED.