Sell Yourself

Brian Hayes, student, University of South Carolina  |  June 17, 2022 in Pearson Students

An academic building featuring white pillars and a collection of international flags hanging from the porch overhang.

When you’re in the midst of a job search, you are actually selling a product – yourself. The ability to sell yourself to someone is an important skill. When this is done properly you can separate yourself from other people in a professional environment. Let’s talk about how to prepare to sell yourself and the key components that you should consider.

Do Your Research

Prior to meeting with a recruiter, you must do some research. It is rare that I encounter someone who enjoys doing research, but this step is critical. When talking to a potential employer about an opportunity in an environment such as a career fair, doing the necessary research can set you apart from other individuals competing for the same opportunity. Here are the three things that you need to research and understand:

  • The recruiter: It is important to research how long the recruiter has been with the company, their role with the company, where they graduated from and anything else that you can find that can allow you to relate and build rapport.
  • The actual company: If you are looking for an opportunity with an organization at the very least you should know the service or product that the company offers, their target market and mission statement.
  • Yourself: Get comfortable speaking about yourself and your story. It is also important to practice how you are going to tie your story and experiences with the company’s culture and mission.

Researching and understanding these things can put you ahead of the curve and provide you with the confidence to speak with the person you will meet with. I will note that you will not always know these things as some opportunities might be more random than others, but it is always good to take time and ask questions to uncover facts about the company and the person you are speaking to.

Ask About What You Want

After you have completed your research, you should then think about what you want. This is known as the “ask”. People will do everything that we have spoken about to a tee but at the end they do not ask for anything. This wastes everyone’s time. When preparing to talk to a recruiter understand what you want out of the interaction and ask them for it. If you want a job, internship or informational meeting make sure that you have sold yourself well enough to have convinced them to consider granting you the request.

Practice Makes Perfect

Now that you have the necessary information to sell yourself to someone make sure that you practice before meeting with them. The more you practice the more comfortable you will be in these settings. Put everything we have talked about so far together and execute. Introduce yourself, show that you have done research on the person you are speaking with and the company, tie your story/ experience in with the company, and finally go for the ask!

I would wish you luck, but luck is for the unprepared!

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