5 Tips for selling yourself effectively


Dan is stuck. He wakes up every day and faces a daunting task – job hunting. Like a door with no hinges, he can’t close on any job interviews. Sighing deeply, he stares at his computer screen, “should I try again, or just spend the rest of my day watching Netflix and playing Counter-Strike…?”

Dan is far from alone. A lot of people like Dan face the same challenges finding a job. Many are angry or depressed after sending out many job-hunting emails and applications without any feedback. Only a few of them ever think about selling themselves. Consequently, many of them feel bad and start to lose confidence in themselves, which of course only makes them even more upset.

As a job-seeker, your task is to market yourself as a product. The three key elements of a product marketing plan are: “who is your target audience?”, “what is your message?”, and “how do you intend to deliver your message?”. Similarly, you can promote yourself by using these elements as a reference.

Below, you will find my 5 tips to successfully sell yourself to recruiters:

  • Know who you are

Do you know yourself well? Yes! I graduated from a marketing program with a couple of relevant internship experiences under my belt. I did at least 6 or7 faux marketing plans for my professors…but almost none of them could be used in the real world. I also did a bunch of marketing research and wrote tons of blogs for my internships. So, yes! I do know myself! I am a graduate student with a grasp of marketing and social media knowledge. But, even after listing all your achievements, what exactly do you know about marketing and social media? What exactly did you learn from your study and work experiences? You don’t really know yourself that well if you are unable to show recruiters what you can do and how they could benefit from you.

  • Know your competition

Looking for jobs is a big competition. If you are constantly knocked back, you should learn from your competitors; how have they succeeded where you have not? Ask your friends for advice about how they dealt with interviews and how they built their resumes. Sometimes, without comparing yourself to others, you are blind to what you can do better. You don’t see any room for improvement because you don’t know what else is out there. The sooner you realize your limitations, the better you can push those limits, gaining leverage over the competition.

  • Know your strengths

Everyone has his or her strengths. The degree on which you focus your strengths: skill level, interest, expertise, education, etc., determines your ability to promote yourself. Prepare a compelling anecdote for yourself to showcase your strengths. And most importantly, believe in your personal worth—believe what you’re selling is top notch!

  • Know your audience

Getting to know a prospective employer has never been easier. With the help of social media, you have an employer’s likes and interests at your fingertips. Read her LinkedIn profile and tailor your pitch to focus on points in your background that will be relevant to her. Revise your resume and explain your core objective somewhere obvious. By doing so, you are already half way to success.

  • Build your social network

Since tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have made it easier to build your social media and business networks, connecting has become the best way to market yourself to others. There will be always someone important out there who can relate to what you are saying and doing. In connecting with them, you not only get to know more about the industry you are interested in, but also create credibility for your future career.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Jiayi (Lynette) Lin

Jiayi (Lynette) Lin graduated from Emerson College, majoring in Global Marketing Communication and Advertising. She hails from Beijing, China where she had had three different kinds of occupations before: sports journalism, working as an English tour guide, and working in a PR agency. Jiayi loves all kinds of cultures and languages. Her long term goal is to have her own cultural exchange company in 10 years.

She is now living in the Boston area focusing on pursuing Search Engine Marketing related jobs.

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