It’s not uncommon to be told to “sell yourself” when you’re applying for a job. But not everybody works in sales, so not everybody has the training and experience to do so. You can, however, learn to sell yourself by employing some basic techniques during your job interview.
– Focus on solutions. Most job advertisements hint at a company’s potential needs. Before your interview, go back over the job description and search for the kinds of problems you might be expected to solve. Then come up with ways you might be able to do that as well as examples of similar problems you’ve solved before.
– Get some sound bites ready. If you prepare a few easy-to-remember statements that highlight your accomplishments, you may find it easier to work them into the interview than it would be to come up with them on the fly. Think about your biggest recent accomplishments and the things that make you stand out the most compared to others in your field when building your sound bites.
– Practice nonverbal communication. Your body language will tell your employer a lot about you during the interview, and sometimes it can be more important than what you’re saying. So practice sitting up straight, smiling, and maintaining eye contact. You need to be able to project friendliness and comfort.
– Show personality. Sometimes you’ll be competing against other candidates whose accomplishments and skills are very similar to yours. In those cases, making a strong personal connection can mean the difference between landing a job and walking away empty-handed. Part of selling yourself means showing that you’re a good fit, personally, for an organization. So be prepared to answer questions about what you do in your free time, and get to know your interviewer and the culture of the company you’re applying to join as much as possible.