Marketing 101: How to sell yourself

Job-seeking IT professionals' greatest asset can also serve as their greatest liability, says one career expert.

Rob Sullivan, a corporate speaker and author of "Getting Your Foot in the Door When you Don't Have a Leg to Stand On," notes that logical left-brained, process-oriented thinking is what makes analytical and technical types successful. However, job searching is a marketing-oriented task that calls for right-brained skills rarely possessed by hard-core techies.

"Jobs don't always go to the most qualified people, jobs go to the people who know how to market themselves," says Sullivan. With that in mind, here are his tips for selling yourself and your abilities to potential employers:

  • Understand the difference between attributes and benefits.   Skills are attributes. How they help a company's financials,   productivity or efficiency, for example, are benefits.
  • Don't be afraid to self-promote.
  • Market yourself by communicating what you have to offer in a   factual, compelling way. Always carry a business card and network constantly.
  • Quantify your accomplishments. When have you helped save time or money? How has your work driven profits? Quantifying what you've done for others gives people a reason to believe you can do what you say you can do.
  • Tap your skills. What combination of skills and experience do you have that a potential employer would value?
  • Get help when you need it through a career coach.

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