Can you Sell Yourself?
SummaryAfter my many years of conducting interviews and recruiting for both junior and senior employees, I have come to the conclusion that if there is one single thing that a person can do to secure a second interview or a desired position it is believe in themselves.
Self-Confidence or No Confidence?
Having worked with young adults in a supportive role, assisting them to get their foot on the career ladder, it has become evident that generally speaking the one thing they have in common is a lack of confidence. At the other end of the scale, in my role as a sales manager I have come across some extremely confident – in some cases, even arrogant – candidates. Neither of these situations is ideal.
In order for a prospective employer to hire you, they have to believe that you will be competent in the position. Before, the can believe in you, you must believe in yourself, otherwise, you will not be able to convince them that you can do the job.
The key to self-belief is to know that you are capable, that you will be an asset to the employer, and to truly believe that you will be an invaluable member of the team – They need you!
Grow some Thick Skin!
Once you believe in yourself, and are able to present yourself confidently to employers, you then need to work on your resilience. In the event that you are not chosen for a role you worked really hard for, it can be demoralising if you don’t keep a healthy positive attitude and aren’t able to bounce back and pursue your career with consistent excitement and vigour.
And, should this happen more than once, it is even more important that you remind yourself how good you are and treat each application as a new and fresh opportunity, approaching it with the same energy and determination as you did the first.
Every sales person gets Rejection
It helps to remember that rejection happens to each and every one of us at some point – or points – in our lives. It should be viewed as an opportunity to tweak the sales pattern: that is invariably what we are doing when we apply for a new position, we are selling our professional selves. And that is of course, much easier said than done. It can be a daunting task. Even the most successful sales people don’t necessarily find it as easy to sell themselves as an employable commodity as they do another product or service.
Confidence or Arrogance?
Whilst it is important to remain confident it is equally important to refrain from being too confident. This is likely to put many-an-interviewer off instantly. They will be thinking about how you will fit into a team or how customers will view you. If you walk into the room with a swagger and a misguided air of importance about you, they could automatically assume that you will intimidate colleagues or customers alike.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. It is vital that the latter is not portrayed.
Prepare for Interviews
There are a number of things you can do to help you prior to being in the interview situation. The most obvious probably being connected with your appearance. If you look good you really do feel good. You can also prepare for the interview by finding out as much as possible about the role and the organisation. If the company doesn’t have a website – there are still some that don’t – then contact them by phone, find advertisements and get a feel for what they do, what their unique selling points are, their customers, the size of the organisation, how long they have been established, their goals etc.
From this research you will be able to anticipate what the companies expectations of you will be and then think about how you can match (or exceed) these expectations. Just as a sales person would prepare for a sale, learn about their product or service’s selling points and then consider your selling points, ensuring that you match them to the employer’s needs.
If you already do all of the above and you still have a feeling of inadequacy be sure that you are not aiming too high too quickly. Set yourself realistic goals, a structured career path. After all, it’s no good applying to be a doctor if your background and studies have been in the field of say, hospitality. Remember though, that it is good to be a little nervous. The chances are you are applying for the role that will shape your future career.
So whether you feel you could do with some work on your confidence, either because you are too submissive or too aggressive, remember that somewhere between the two lies assertiveness. If you are assertive you will automatically give the impression that you are confident and that you really do believe in yourself.
Article Written By:
Susan Mason, SharpCV
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