Some people are more shy and reserved than others, and some people are just naturally humble. If you are one of these modest and retiring types, however, you’ll have to fight those qualities as best you can so you can make yourself stand out during a job search. In today’s competitive job market you really have to be able to sell yourself, your skills and your best qualities with confidence.
The job interview is an important place for selling yourself. Arrive early to the interview (and get a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast beforehand). Enter the room with your head high; stride right through the door, smile and greet your prospective employer with a firm handshake and solid eye contact. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how you feel-how nervous or timid you might be-as long as you can effectively fake confidence and enthusiasm. Answer every question succinctly-don’t ramble-and be positive. Explain what education you’ve had, what experience you’ve had, and what talents you have that would make you a perfect fit for this organization. It’s a good idea to get a friend or family member to practice your job interview with you several times before the big day so you have some clear answers in your mind. (At the same time, however, you don’t want to memorize specific lines-this could make your answers come off as rote, and you might stumble if you’re trying to recite a canned line.) All of your answers should revolve around one central theme: how can you be an asset to this company and build up their value? Keep making eye contact, sit up nice and tall, and listen carefully to each question so that you’re answering exactly what’s being asked. Thank the employer for his or her time, and leave with another smile and another firm handshake. You can follow up the interview with a brief note thanking the person who interviewed you for his or her time.
A favorite job interview question, by the way, is “Please tell me about yourself.” The best answer for this question, which really can put an interviewee on the spot, is to describe the talents and experience you have that would make you ideal for the job opening, and not to delve into personal matters.
You also want to sell yourself on your resume, which means all of the things that you can do for a company to help create value should be prominently displayed. All relevant educational and job experience needs to be highlighted. It helps if you research a company carefully before submitting a resume, so you can tailor the resume to the specific needs of a company.
Don’t be shy about seeing a career counselor for help, either. He or she can really help you punch up your resume, and this person can stage detailed mock job interviews with you as well, and then offer pertinent tips and critiques.
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