26 Aug

How to Sell Yourself as a Job Candidate

Posted by John Brandwagt

For those of us who aren’t naturally outgoing or charismatic, having the ability to sell yourself as a job candidate might not come easy. Sometimes it takes a bit of practice to market yourself effectively to employers, even if you’re fully confident that you’re the best person for the job.

Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure that you sell yourself properly as a job candidate to land the job of your dreams.

Be the Solution to Their Problem

When you’re on the job hunt, it can be easy to forget that the company that you’ve applied to wants you to be the solution to their candidate problem. When you’re distracted by resumes, cover letters, and your competition—even worrying about what you should wear— it’s possible to lose sight that at the end of the day, job hunting is just about making a good match.

The challenge comes from showing that you can do something for their company that no one else can. If you walk into an interview with the attitude that you—and only you—have the kind of skills and experience to do the job right, your interviewer will sense your confidence and will take you more seriously.

Be Their Biggest Fan

Learning to sell yourself effectively as a job candidate starts with preparation. Before you even apply to the position, research the organization and the industry as much as possible to familiarize yourself with their mandate and general work history. This will make it much easier for you to customize your resume and cover letter so that you can promote your abilities in a way that will appeal to them best.

Selling yourself to an employer means emphasizing your most relevant abilities and skills, and taking the time to familiarize yourself with their company will give you a much better indication of what will make your time with them successful.

Don’t Underestimate a Good Portfolio

Even if you’re a job candidate who’s freshly out of school without any real world experience, a good portfolio outlining your achievements can be your greatest asset during the job hunt. Did you develop an application as a part of your school curriculum? Did you code any websites in your spare time? What projects from previous experience are you proud of?

Bringing these types of accomplishments up with your interviewer is a great way to show that you have tangible experience in any number of areas, making a portfolio just as effective as a great resume.

Provide Specific Examples

When an interviewer asks a job candidate a question, they’re looking for the most useful answer that they can get out of them. Answering with broad, generic responses isn’t going to cut it—you need to provide specific examples and go into all of the necessary details in order to promote yourself as an asset to their company.

Avoid clichéd phrases about being a “hard worker” or a “team player”—show your interviewer that you have these desirable attributes by providing examples from your previous experience.

Ask Questions

In most interviews, there will be a time at the end for you to ask any questions that you may have come up with during your conversation. Look at this moment as an opportunity. Not only will you be able to pick the brain of an industry professional, it’s also a great time to show how engaged and dedicated you are to the position. Sometimes passion is the greatest asset that a job candidate can have, so take advantage of the Q&A period to make your enthusiasm evident.

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Topics: Job Search

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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