No matter the company or the occupation, the ability to sell yourself is key among all other attributes!
In an interview, you are tasked with convincing a recruiter that you, amid all other applicants, are the best hire, and it takes a certain amount of salesmanship to pull that off. Same with your next promotion… and how about that well-deserved raise? In every aspect of our lives, from relationships to networking and, yes during the job search… we are always selling.
It’s all selling.
Here are three ways to sell yourself into that dream job, and dream company:
Lay the Groundwork
Know your prospect! Learn all you can about the company as a whole, considering input from blogs, Glassdoor reviews and recent news articles. Take the time necessary to know the recruiter you’re meeting; research their social network profiles and look for common interests that could help you build a rapport, and create a great first impression.
Perhaps even more important: research the job intently. Begin by reading the job description as currently advertised, then look for similar jobs posted by the company’s competitors. This step enables you to ask intelligent questions about the role, impress the recruiter, and dive into solving the problems their competitors are looking to resolve, as well as their own.
Finally, track down someone in a similar role at that company or their competitors. Why? Often times, the job description is based on a generic template and does not cite every duty. The more you know about the actual responsibilities, the better prepared you are to sell your relevant skills.
2. Overcome Every Potential Objection
Chances are good you’ll be facing tough competitors, who may be far more qualified on paper, for this position. As recruiters do, they will be comparing you against that competition, and finding reasons to disqualify you from consideration.
To counter that process of elimination, you must have an answer ready for every argument against you –and evidence of your qualifications for every requirement! One way to prepare is to break down the job description point by point and address each issue. For example:
Qualification: Design and implement new user-facing features in Google’s products.
Experience: “I designed and launched a new interface for my employer’s software product and integrated it with the Google Chrome browser and Google Drive.”
Qualification: Build the libraries and frameworks that support large, complex web applications like Gmail, Google Search, and Google Maps.
Experience: “I produced complex libraries and frameworks reviewed favorably on GitHub. I’m proud to say the code I’ve shared in the open source community has made its way into projects featured in Google Labs.”
Qualification: Write client-side code for web-based applications; create fast, easy-to-use, high volume production applications, and develop prototypes quickly.
Experience: “I organized a Yahoo hackathon and created a search engine product that was rolled into beta; time to market was less than 72 hours.”
The single best way to sell your qualifications and beat objections: real world stories, preferably quantified, of your success!
Exceed Post-Interview Expectations
After the interview, be sure to sincerely thank everyone for their time. Even if you are not the one they choose to hire, you want to be as gracious and professional as possible.
Why? There will be another position open in the future. Since you’ve already been interviewed, shown interest in the company and sold yourself as a capable candidate, you will be considered! Plus, recruiters switch jobs, too. A recruiter you speak to at one company will contact you from their new professional home with a similar opportunity. It happens!
Selling yourself never stops. From before the interview to well after, your ability to sell yourself in a meaningful way distances you from your job seeking competition; establishes your reputation as a confident professional; and paves the way for a great career.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Glassdoor!