Sell yourself, even if you have 10 years' experience

August 25, 2015 3 mins read
Sell yourself, even if you have 10 years' experience

“How to sell yourself”: you must have seen this phrase several times in interview “bibles” when you graduated. Today, some believe it is old and it is doesn’t apply to them anymore, as they believe“I have already worked for so many years”. However, it is still very important even for professional veterans to sell themselves in today’s job market.

Can you tell an interesting story about yourself that shows real-life experience? “What has been your most challenging internal control scenario?” if your answer to these questions are really simple and it takes only one minute to answer, then the Finance Director who is interviewing you may have two thoughts: that either you don’t have any solid internal control experience, or if you do have it, you don’t know how to show you have it. In this competitive job market, getting things done always involves an excellent and proactive communicator.  Imagine that you are a doer, but you lost that opportunity because your conversation is not succinct and concise, it is a shame, but it is what it is!

As a recruitment consultant, I deal with mid to senior candidates almost every day and surprisingly found that even with 10 years work experience, some senior candidates are unable to present themselves and have no sense of selling. So I try to help them unearth the information and encourage them to explain certain aspects and cut irrelevant details. It’s necessary to review your work and all the achievements, so that when a potential employer comes to look at your skills, you know where it is and how to sell them.

A job interview, is not only for potential employers to question your work, but also an opportunity for you to present yourself. Job hunters focus on how to answer the interviewer’s questions, they spend time researching and preparing the answers.

However, a great job hunter knows how to give valuable information related to the job in question -  it is a more proactive way to stand out. He or she can quickly find out what the interviewer expects and be more specific, share past experience and relevant knowledge. You may call it selling, but it is also about organizing your experience and capability.

In fact, not all of job hunters can perform perfectly and you don’t have to do that. For instance an example of  hiring of a Senior Tax Manager for one of my clients where I had two similar candidates: A and B. A failed the interview and B got the job in the end, because A was “too busy” to prepare and thought it was easy, he didn’t think it would be necessary to discuss with me, but B was happy to meet me and learnt lots of first-hand market information to use during the interview process. Choosing and trusting the right recruitment partner will help you stand out from the competition.

Tracy Luo's picture
Associate Director | Finance & Strategy Recruitment
tluo@morganmckinley.com