Don't "Sell Yourself" ShortBy Janet White
Our society teaches that you have to "sell yourself" to get hired and if you don't pitch, push or pressure an employer or recruiter, you don't stand a chance of getting hired. You believe even though you're great at what you do, you're facing formidable competition from dozens or hundreds of other candidates as good as, or better than, you.
Since they're all acing for your job, you have to convince "Mr. Bigg," your potential boss, that you are the ideal candidate. In order to decimate your competition, you are supposed to:
- Write a "killer" resume and irresistible cover letter that will make Mr. Bigg grab the phone to arrange an interview.
- Motivate Mr. Bigg into seeing you and/or hiring you by claims of what you can do for him.
- Use a 30-second to two-minute "elevator speech" to pitch your qualifications when Mr. Bigg says, "Tell me about yourself."
- Sell yourself like a product on the market, ready to counter any and all objections Mr. Bigg may have why you shouldn't be hired.
- Write a thank you note that reminds Mr. Bigg of all your wonderful qualities and provides additional reasons why he should hire you.
Unfortunately, hard-sell tactics like these usually backfire because no one likes to be sold, but everyone loves to buy. This includes Mr. Bigg who is, after all, a person just like you, and just like you, is extremely predictable.
You don't like to be pitched at, instinctively resist being hustled and know when you're being snowed, manipulated or pressured. Well, Mr. Bigg doesn't want to "be sold" either, but he's hiring because he has a problem that needs solving, so he wants to buy.
Unfortunately, the Traditional System of job hunting makes it very clear that you are responsible for getting Mr. Bigg to "buy" you. So, how do you do that? You don't. You can't.
You are not responsible for "making" Mr. Bigg do anything, because he alone is responsible for his choices, just as you alone are responsible for your choices. If Mr. Bigg decides he doesn't want you for whatever reason, nothing you can do or say will make him change his mind, even if you're the most qualified candidate on the planet.
On the other hand, if Mr. Bigg decides he wants you for whatever reason - even if you don't have the qualifications, don't have any experience and don't have anything special going for you - he will do everything he can to hire you as fast as he can.
That's his choice. You also have a lot of choices. You get to choose:
- The type of work you want to do.
- The type of company you want to work for.
- The kind of people you want to work with or for.
- The type of environment in which you will do that work.
- The amount and kind of compensation you will receive for doing that work for that company in that environment.
And most importantly, you get to choose how you feel about yourself. This feeling will influence everything you say and do, and will shape Mr. Bigg's opinion of you both consciously and subconsciously.
Whether Mr. Bigg wants to hire you has nothing to do with your qualifications; it has everything to do with how he feels about you, which will stem from how you feel about yourself.
Yes, you can choose your feelings. You can choose to feel helpless, discouraged, stuck, a victim of circumstance and lucky to get hired at any job at all, which are typical feelings generated by the traditional system form of job hunting.
And in this negative mindset, you are supposed to "sell yourself" to Mr. Bigg by pitching, persuading, pleading or pressuring him to believe things about yourself that you don't believe. No wonder it doesn't work.
On the other hand, you can choose to feel empowered, enthusiastic at meeting lots of new people, encouraged by the knowledge that your perfect work is already on its way to you, and excited that some lucky company will have the privilege of having you on their payroll.
The key is to be confident and at ease with who you are and what you have to offer a company in exchange for a paycheck. This state of mind can be achieved by:
- Knowing what you want.
- Thinking, speaking and acting as if you already have it.
- Moving in the direction of your dreams.
- Allowing it to show up by getting past your doubts, fears and limitations.
With this positive mental framework, you will attract and be attracted to the right Mr. Bigg who will be grateful you came along and be eager to hire you without you resorting to cheap, ineffective sales tricks.
When you are comfortable with yourself, other people will be comfortable with you, and you'll never need to sell out or "sell yourself" short.