If you can’t show an employer just how amazing you are, how are they expected to know you’re the right candidate? They aren’t mind readers, and they don’t have a large window of time to get to know you. Learning the art of self-promotion will help you score the job and convince others they were a genius to hire you.
Have Clear Goals in Mind
You need more than a vague idea of the work you want to do. Set clear career goals. What do you want to achieve? How do you plan to achieve it? How is the particular role you’re applying for going to help reach those goals? Thinking this way will enable you to find jobs that are a good match for your career trajectory.
Being able to clearly state what you want shows a capability of planning and articulating a vision for the future. Clear communication will help future employers envision how you fit into the workplace.
Just make sure to keep the goals you express all about work. Employers want to see that you have long-term aspirations with the company. They don’t want to hear about your plans for travel or taking up a new hobby.
Keep It Professional
You want to be authentic when pitching yourself but never become unprofessional. A pitch is not the time to slouch in your chair, complain about past employers, gossip about the competition, or share a personal story. Use humor, but keep it appropriate.
The goal is to come across as likable and engaging, all while showing you have solid boundaries within your professional life.
Do Your Research
It’s important to do research to have a solid understanding of the role and the company. Be able to speak intelligently about it and have a few questions of your own to ask when the time comes.
Don’t limit your research to the job, either. Study the market in general. You never know when this information will come in handy, and prospective employers will be able to tell you did more than glance at the company website.
Share Your Strengths
This isn’t the time to be humble and hide your accomplishments. Know your strengths, and you’ll be better able to share them and show them. Talk about your education, skill set, and achievements. Be able to talk about what qualifies you for the position and what makes you a great employee in general.
Spin Your Weaknesses
Everyone has weaknesses. Honesty may be the best policy here, but interviewers want to see you spin those very human elements into an opportunity. This isn’t the time to share that you are frequently late or tend to phone in work on Fridays. This IS the time to share that you prefer working behind the scenes but still need to improve your public speaking skills.
Another good “weakness” example is sharing that you often get caught up with projects and can become overwhelmed. This is incredibly common. Employers want to know you’re actively seeking better ways to delegate work and ask for help when needed.
Spin weaknesses into workable opportunities whenever you can.
Be Smart About Salary
Salary concerns may not seem relevant to the pitch, but they can make or break your chances when interviewing. Let the prospective employer share their offer before you share expectations.
Going first has significant drawbacks — primarily, you can put yourself in a bad position, or even end up out of the running if your expectations are too high. Yet, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by asking for a much lower salary, either.
Learn the Art of the Elevator Pitch
You won’t always have the full space of an interview to present your brand to a prospective employer. Seminars, conferences, and networking events are excellent places to make quick connections. Learning how to craft an elevator pitch can make you sound confident and help forge relationships faster.
An elevator pitch summarizes your assets in the length of time it would take to share an elevator with someone.
The best part is that there’s no elevator required. You just need to be able to introduce yourself, share what you do, and point out what differentiates you from the crowd of other applicants. What makes you the best person for the job?
Eliminate jargon, keep it short and make sure you have an objective in mind. Time yourself on being able to deliver what you have to say briefly without feeling rushed.
Learning the art of the elevator pitch will even help you when it comes time for a job interview. You’ll be able to streamline answers with confidence — a skill that can be useful in any business.
Practice Makes Progress
Don’t be intimidated by the process. Pitching yourself like a pro takes practice. It doesn’t hurt to enlist a friend to do a bit of roleplaying in advance, either. Practicing what you’ll say can help you become more comfortable.
Remember to treat an interview like a conversation rather than a monologue. Answer the questions, but share some of your own. No one expects you to be perfect. But, it’s important to show off your unique, marketable skills and winning personality.
You can also take a video of your pitch. This will help you time what needs to be said while also seeing a clear example of your own body language. Be open and friendly, rather than guarded or anxious.
Learning to pitch yourself may even increase confidence in your everyday life. After all, you already have the skills — the art of the pitch just makes it easier to communicate that to others. You’ll be charming potential employers before you know it!