We are often told to “sell ourselves” in the competitive job-market. But what exactly does “selling yourself” entail? Is it just about being the most visible with a giant “Pick Me!” sign? Is it picking up your boss’ coffee every morning?
Many people would advise young graduates to take more initiative, stand taller and speak up louder. Indeed, nobody will be a better advocate for yourself than YOU. You know your own strengths the best, don’t be afraid to advertise it. Here are 3 tips on how to “sell yourself” in order to succeed in the modern workplace.
1. Show that you care
“Selling yourself” is not just about attending the most number of networking sessions possible. While maximum exposure always helps, in today’s world where we have an onslaught of easy-to-make connections and easier-to-forget acquaintances, a genuine show of concern will help you stand-out.
In networking sessions or whenever you meet someone through work, you should try to adopt a ‘giver’ mind-set. As you strive to make personal connections by helping others (instead of focusing on how you benefit), you will find that you stand to gain yourself. More often than not, our connections help us in ways we never imagined from the start. A friend of a friend, meeting someone by coincidence, old and new connections, you never how and who will come into your life to lend you a helping hand. Go out of your way to help someone whenever you can, all of these favours will stack up to help you big one day in the future.
2. Make your cover letter personal
Make a list of your strengths. Look at your life, work and academic experiences thus far and find connections between your experiences and strengths. This is the evidence to support your strengths.
Next, think about any life-changing or unique experiences that you have had. Expand beyond the classroom and think about any interesting things that you have done or instances where you have overcome adversity. These are the differentiating evidence that support your strengths.
Besides your strengths, you need values. Think of yourself as a brand. Who are you and what do you stand for? What is your mission statement? Find your values and stick to them and make sure that all your actions adhere to these fundamentals. Before long, you will find that you have a convincing brand and your story will flow naturally and persuasively in your cover letter.
3. Think about the intangibles
When you want to sell yourself, most people think about the tangibles. Your GPA, your degree, the name-brand internships you secured over the summer holidays.
A good foundation of tangibles is necessary to open some doors, but intangibles can help make your way much easier. It can also be the final factor that makes your employer want to hire you.
As stated above, think beyond your experiences in the classroom. Backpacking across Thailand, building a school in rural China, managing a popular blog or even Instagram. All of these points can go a long way to helping you make the final cut.
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