Selling Skills 101: Selling Yourself

— Oct 21, 2013 —

Highlight
Your Strengths.
  Talk about what you do
well.
  As in, really well.  Companies want to know what you bring to the
table; they’re paying you a salary for the skills you have, and, as the popular
phrase states, you get what you pay for.
 
The right companies will pay top dollar for top talent.  You only have an hour or so in an interview
to impress them enough to want you to come back.
  Use your time wisely.

Overcome
Obstacles.
  Hiring an employee is an
investment on the company’s part, so naturally, they will want to weigh their
options and take a look at your competitors, that is, other candidates
interviewing for the position.  Research
what skills other professionals similar to you have, see what you match up with
and what you lack.  This is a real eye
opener for both candidates and clients. 
If a company can hire you at the same rate they can hire someone else,
but you possess one extra skill or
are a subject matter expert in one other
field, that could be a huge advantage for you. 
Alternatively, if the majority of professionals within your level
possess skills you don’t have, make a list of the proficiencies you do bring to the table that may
compensate for your deficiency.  Understand
the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and deliver solutions that address both.

Address
the Competition.
  Surely there are hundreds
of applicants who are more qualified than you are for the position, or who can
do a better job than you could.  But
don’t, even for a second, let on that that is the case.  Think about the products you buy and the
reasons you choose one over another; you can see the value in both, but one
offers more value to you in some way
(cost, brand awareness, image, quality, etc). 
For example, another candidate may have more experience in the field,
but you possess more software knowledge. 
Start-ups and small businesses will want to get the biggest bang for
their buck.  Larger corporations may want
someone with an Ivy League education. 
Financial institutions may require a candidate with heavy Excel
experience.

In the end, it’s all about
positioning.  Highlight the positives,
find positives in the negatives, and add in your own personal touch to any
experience that requires persuasion (interviews, namely), and you’ll notice you’ll leave feeling more confident in
your abilities, and ready to tackle the next challenge.  Bring it on.

 

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