Recently, I sat next to a group of young professional women at my favorite bakery for lunch. As I sat there, eating my sandwich and responding to some e-mails, I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation about interviewing. I listened to bits and pieces of the discussion, but what stood out was when one of the women chimed in saying, ‘Interviews are difficult for me because I don’t know how to sell myself.”
This interesting statement made me perk up from my roasted vegetable sandwich and think; what does a personal sales pitch sound like, and do other young professionals feel the same?
I got my answer a couple of weeks later when I attended the Chico State Career Fair to help screen potential hires at my company’s booth.
Throughout the afternoon, dozens of hopeful students came by, looking for job opportunities, but I was surprised by how many of them I had to pry information out of. No one knew how to sell themselves to me, and rather would just hand me their resume and wait until I started asking the questions. Even when I did ask them to tell me about themselves, most of them fumbled or gave me a short response.
After a few hours of this, it was apparent that many of these aspiring pros didn’t know how to sell themselves. But then a student approached the booth, offered a firm handshake with good eye contact and started in on his personal sales pitch. He gave me his degree, graduation date, past experience and details about his current job before I could even introduce myself. This guy knew how to sell himself, and as a result he stood out from the stack of resumes and became a contender.
This encounter made me realize that this was how you do it; when meeting a potential employer, make a strong, confident introduction and then tell them your background, tying it into what you can offer them in less than a minute.
Although it can be hard to talk about yourself or pinpoint exactly what makes you special, it’s worth taking time to identify your past accomplishments and what you have to offer, and then packaging it into a personal sales pitch that you can recite on cue.
Learn how to sell yourself and you’ll be less likely to get lost in the mix and more likely to land a job.
Do you know how to sell yourself?