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Don’t be afraid to sell yourself in 2016

Published on Saturday, 09 Jan 2016

Its set to be an even more competitive world in 2016, with employers having tighter budgets and reduced headcounts, which means they now have a comprehensive checklist for new hires.

In the face of these hurdles, my advice to interviewees is: “sell yourself”.

Many candidates I prep for interviews cringe at this suggestion. Most people feel uncomfortable speaking about their strengths, as they assume they will come across as boastful, phony, arrogant or even obnoxious.

But selling yourself has nothing to do with boasting. Your CV may speak volumes about your experience, and will definitely help you get through the door, but ultimately you need to secure the role in an interview. 

When given the opportunity, it is important to take on the challenge and sell yourself.

First off, forget the negative responses you have to the words “sell yourself”. Remember that this phrase also means that you are “demonstrating your abilities” or “highlighting your strengths”.

Prepare for the interview by detailing your positive attributes, such as your breadth of experience, your professional accomplishments, your leadership skills, your ability to work in a team and your potential contribution to the role.

In the interview, gauge the right time to self-promote – this is an important skill and it requires perceptiveness and the use of good judgment. If you are able to master these social and professional cues, you will convey your message in the most natural manner. 

Remember, there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and humility is key to selling yourself genuinely.


This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Sell yourself now.

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