In order to land the job of your dreams, you’ve probably been told you must “sell yourself.” You may have even been told to think of yourself as a “product.”
What if you hate the idea of bragging about yourself? What if you find shameless self-promotion uncomfortable, unethical, or downright sleazy? Well, it doesn’t have to be!
Read on to learn five ways to rethink and reframe “selling yourself,” while keeping your self-respect intact.
1. Sell Your Passion
I have a soft-spoken friend who is never one to brag. But, the one thing she’s super passionate and confident talking about is allergy awareness, because her child has experienced life-threatening allergic reactions.
Like my friend, think of your career focus as your passion—maybe you’re passionate about promoting cleaner energy, or better education for adults, or even just selling a product that matters.
Then, look for companies or individuals who have the same focus, and set your sights on sharing your passion with them.
2. Sell Your Expertise
We’re all in awe of those who are experts in areas we know little about. So, use your expertise and skill set as your selling point, and it will come naturally. And if you think you aren’t an expert, trust me—to the outside world, you know more about your field than you think.
3. Sell Your History
In one interview, I was asked the question, “What can you bring to this role that others can’t?” After some thought, I replied that I was most qualified to convert the organization’s least enthusiastic supporters. I’d once been a disbelieving cynic myself, and I knew exactly what had changed my own opinion.
There may be hundreds of applicants with the same skill set, but you’re the only one who has your own particular history and experience.
4. Sell Your Best Quality
Sometimes people who absolutely hate self-promotion have the exact qualities employers are looking for—humbleness, a strong work ethic, or excellent interpersonal skills—but don’t even bother to show them off. So, highlight your perceptive ability to notice what others miss, or your gift for putting fellow introverts at ease, or whatever quality is your best—even if it’s not necessarily a “job” skill.
5. Sell Your Conviction
In your life as well as your career, you have your own conviction about what is right, just, and true. Use this as a selling point. Employers are looking for people with integrity. If you believe in what the company is about and holding yourself and your job to the highest standard, show it.
Selling yourself is really shorthand for selling what you’re passionate about, what makes you unique, and what you believe in. That is your true “product.”
This article was originally published on LinkedIn. It has been republished here with permission.
Photo of person in interview courtesy of Thomas Barwick/Getty Images.