Selling Yourself in the InterviewIn a way, everyone is a salesperson….especially when job hunting.  The only difference is that you are not selling a product or a service, but yourself.

Even if you are uncomfortable with sales and do not consider yourself an outgoing (or extroverted) person, you need to learn some basic sales skills in order to land your next job whether it be full-time employment, a freelance opportunity or temporary work.

Here are 3 things to focus on:

Don’t list experiences; sell benefits

Every sales person knows that if you want a customer to buy, you need to sell him on the benefits (not the features) of the product.  For example, if you are shopping for a new refrigerator and discover that the model you are looking at has a bottom freezer drawer, you might not know what to do with that information.  However, if you are told that the benefits of this configuration (allowing easier access to most-used foods and a wider fridge portion that allows for “double wide” storage of trays, etc), you now have the information to make an intelligent decision.   

The same holds true in the job hunt.  Do not just list your experience and education.  Expand on how this education and experience will benefit your targeted employer when they hire you.

Highlight a track record

Every achievement you put on your resume should be a talking point that can be expanded on during the interview.  However, during this time, connect every achievement to your track record.  Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for the best talent out there, and you want to be seen as part of the elite crowd.  Do not simply focus on finite, one-dimensional stories of a completed task.  Weave all of your experiences and achievements together to highlight a proven track record. Employers want to see an entire career that is dotted with successfully completed tasks.  If you highlight one, you are presenting a limited snapshot of your abilities.  By weaving them all together, you are highlighting a series of career progressions.  Think about it….would you make a decision on which movie to watch based on the movie poster or the trailer?

Communicate nonverbally

Would you buy anything from a salesperson who never made eye contact, fidgeted, slurred his words or looked bored and/or disinterested.  Well, neither would an employer.  In all sales situations (and this includes job interviews), your body language is just as important as what you say. Positive nonverbal communication is vital. You need to portray yourself not only as competent and knowledgeable but as dedicated, approachable and interested.

The job hunt has a lot of similarities to the a sales process.  You need to sell yourself as a good match for the company.  It is hard, and it might be uncomfortable, but it is necessary.  Remember, no one is a mind reader, and no one inherently knows what you can bring to the table.  So tell them….it is not bragging….it is selling the product known as “you”.

What do you think?  Are there any tips or tricks that I might have forgotten?  Anything you might be willing to share to make the job-search-sales-process easier?  We would love to hear it!  So comment below and let’s get a conversation going!

By Christiane Soto,