Communicate the Value You Offer

A recent client mentioned that she felt uncomfortable about having to "sell herself" when looking for a new opportunity. She didn't like the term at all.

I think there is a misconception about how you need to "sell yourself" when in job hunt mode. It has little to do with typical selling techniques (or your perception of what these might be), and more to do with aligning yourself with the employer's workplace culture, realizing what the employer needs from you, and demonstrating the related value you bring.

Think more along the lines of sharing "here's what I can do for you" rather than "here's why you can't live without me!"

And remember,  like it or not in business it is all about money. Micro business or large, profits must be generated. Figure out how to demonstrate that you know how to either make money or save money and you're good! Sales people generate money and operational types usually save money. This doesn't work for teachers and social workers though.

In not for profit roles, show how you've upheld reputation and you're good! Teachers have to demonstrate that their students learn, and that parents and principals are happy; social workers have to cite examples of their ability to strike partnerships, thereby supporting clients' needs (and extending scarce funding resources).

That's how you sell yourself in the job search. Self-promotion is an art, a balance between identifying what it is that the employer needs from you, recognizing your value in this respect, and communicating it without boasting.

Maybe we can simply change the vocabulary. "Learning how to communicate the value you offer" is more to the point. If you need help figuring out precisely how to finesse this message, my e-book, Interview Strategies That Work, really does work! You'll find it on my Products page. Clients receive this resource as part of their resume/cover letter package. At $19.95 it is a worthwhile purchase that earns its value back in boosting your career management strategies.