How to Sell Yourself
Whether you are writing a CV, an application letter to a potential employer or an internet dating profile, you have to know how to sell yourself. Coming up with something interesting, unique and fresh can be a challenge, especially if it must be done in few words. Here are some tips to make you stand out from the crowd.
Forget about your flaws
When you are selling yourself, you have the opportunity to be the best you can imagine! Instead of thinking about the way that you like to wake up late and forget your shopping list when you walk out the door, imagine the most perfect version of yourself.
Since leaving university with first class honours, I have worked in many engineering roles that I have enjoyed thoroughly. I spent two years designing a state of the art solar panel for Solex, the biggest solar company in Western Europe. I then had the fantastic opportunity to work as part of Termacore’s team, building efficient turbines in the Irish Sea. In this role I was able to test some of my own ideas of energy renewal…
Prove your qualities
Anyone can say that they are a ‘team-worker’ or that they are ‘self-motivated’. Instead of simply stating these personal qualities, use your experiences to prove them:
From 2005 to 2007 I worked as part of a team of financial advisors for XYZ Company. After leaving this fantastic team, I then worked as a freelance advisor for several small companies, working from home and producing reports on a weekly basis.
Exaggerate … a bit!
Maybe you don’t have exactly the right background to match the job you are applying for; it doesn’t matter! It is possible to amplify the truth! Depending on the goal of what you are writing, you can modify your roles and responsibilities. This is occasionally useful to overcome the ‘experience paradox’; when jobs require experience to be obtained, but the only way to gain experience is through having a job.
Camouflage any breaks
Employers don´t like to see gaps in your CV. If you have an unexplainable six months in which you were actually sipping coconuts on the beach, there are two thing you can do. Firstly, you could shorten the length of the time you were not working by slightly extending how long you worked in the jobs you had just before and after the gap. Secondly, you can highlight how this time out of work was beneficial to you in some way:
Change the ending depending on if you are an architect, a chef or a teacher.
In 2014 I took a wellearned 6 month trip through Europe and Asia. I spent the whole trip studying fantastic building styles in first-person / learning about vastly different cuisines from distant cultures / considering how different cultures approach education.
Flatter the reader
A small compliment can go a long way! Try acknowledging something you admire in the company you are applying to, before mentioning that you would like to work for them,
The way Smartex produces their products has always interested me.
Î thoroughly enjoyed reading your company’s biography; it seems to have changed a lot during its years of operation!
Know that you are full of options
Remember that you have a lot of options, and no one job is the one. When applying for positions, just like in a job interview, or on a date, the worst thing that you can do is appear desperate. On the contrary, it is them who need you. Present yourself as an asset that this company would be lucky to have.
I have been considering my options as to what area to move into in 2018, as there are many fields that interest me greatly…
Just like with everything, practising helps. If you did’t get the response you want, then it wasn’t for you. Believe in yourself and keep trying.
You can start practising by selling yourself in the comments section below or you can send your cv/applicantion letter for feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll be happy to help!