You may not be looking for a job in sales, per se, but depending on your perspective, every job search involves a sales component. And those who know how to pitch, how to hustle and how to close the deal are more likely to land better jobs faster than those who don’t. This may sound like bad news if you don’t enjoy anything about sales and don’t believe this area is one of your strong points. But the news is more promising than you think, and here’s why: You’re great at sales, whether you realize it or not. And just a few practical moves can help you bring your innate skills to the surface and apply them to your career growth. Keep these tips in mind.

There’s no need to be shy.

You might think “I can’t sell myself! Selling is tacky and counter to my shy and humble personality.” And you may be right. But keep in mind that employers, like most people, are more interested in themselves and their own goals than they are in you and yours. They have a position to fill, and that’s really all they care about. They aren’t judging you on a personal level; they just want to know if you can do the job. So, if you can, let them know. Speak up!

Follow up.

The same idea applies to persistent follow-up. Don’t worry about hassling or annoying your employers by calling them to ask about a position or check in on your application. This is part of their jobs. Not only are they used to it (as they should be), persistent follow up really will grab their attention, even if only for two minutes. That two minutes may be all you need. The squeaky mouse gets the cheese.

Bragging and boasting? Maybe.

There’s a fine line between selling yourself and boasting in an off-putting way, and the line can be summed up in one word: honesty. If you’re stretching the truth as you crow, stop. Don’t do that. But if you’re simply explaining why you’re right for the job, move forward with confidence. Nobody wants to hire a jerk, an exaggerator or someone with no social skills—such people are more liability than asset. But at the same time, if you don’t share your story, nobody else will share it for you. Find the line and navigate it with honesty and social awareness.

Seize your moment.

Are you riding an elevator with someone who works for your target company? Have you just met someone at a party who works in your target industry? Don’t let the moment pass! Say something, even if your words aren’t perfectly practiced or polished. Just get your core message across: You work in X field, you want X job and you have something valuable to offer.

For more on how to use your sales skills to land a job—any job—contact Milwaukee staffing professionals Extension.


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