How To Sell Yourself If You Hate Selling

Gail Belsky, job search tipsIt's one thing to sell yourself on paper, and another to do it in person. As a freelance journalist, I interview people all the time. But that doesn't make it any easier to be an interviewee -- particularly when a job is at stake.

The last interview I had before starting down the career reinvention path was a disaster. The HR person kicked it off with: "How much money are you looking to make?" I hadn't even settled into my chair. She criticized my resume for being two lines too long, and then said, "I've assume you've done your homework to find out what this job is about."

I hadn't. I thought part of the interview process was the HR person telling me about the job. At that point, I was so rattled that I couldn't have sold myself even if I knew how -- which I didn't.

Selling Yourself In Writing: All the work I've done in the last few months on my written self, however, has made a big difference. The career coaching that helped me focus on what I want to do; the personal branding exercises that made me see who I am; and the resume and Linkedin makeovers that tell the story; have made me surer of myself, and of my selling points.

More:4 Reasons Why You Are Still Unemployed

A Powerful Word To Use In Interviews: In the few interviews I've had recently (as well as the emails I've sent to contacts), I've been able to articulate what I bring to the party. I'm less shy about promoting what I'm good at. I've even used the word "excellent" -- something I didn't say to the blunt HR person 18 months ago, and probably didn't even feel back then when I was struggling with my professional identity.

Tell Them What You Do Well: Saying it now is very powerful. Not everyone wants what I have to offer, but there are certain things I do really well, and potential employers need to hear about it from me. (Who else is going to tell them?) Isn't that why we're talking in the first place? They have problems to solve, and I have solutions -- at least to some of them.

I recently went back to my notes from the very first career coaching session I had in January, with AOL blogger Marty Nemko. Here's what he said:
  • Sell yourself for who you are.
  • Sell what you bring.

I was still clueless then, so this advice flew right by me. Now I know what he meant.

What about you? How do you sell yourself?
How to Speak About Yourself at a Job Interview
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