Yes, the percentage of young unemployed people with higher learning degrees has reached a historic all-time high. According to data released in June 2013 by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 44 per cent of all college degree holders in the state were employed below their skill level in 2012. This, of course, led authorities to question the value of a college degree at the time and ask themselves what these figures say about the state of the economy. Until they figure it out, however, this leaves a great many educated, intelligent and presumably skilled individuals out on the job hunt. And job searches are never easy, as many will rush to say. Or, aren’t they?
Today’s post posits that successfully navigating these troubled times for the economy is all about the art of selling your professional skills. If you can’t convince a prospective employer that you have what it takes to become an asset to their company, why should they hire you? After all, they do business, not charity, right? So let’s take a look at how to properly market your skills, in order to land the kind of job you actually want.
Show them your skills
In terms of the art of selling your professional skills, it all starts with properly demonstrating said skills. Always make it a point to remember that employees couldn’t care less about the knowledge you have accumulated throughout your academic and/or professional career. All they care about is what you can do with that knowledge, in order to bring them profit. You might have a degree from one of the most prestigious schools in your field; if you don’t explain how that makes you an asset in hands-on terms and examples, that degree is outright worthless. Case in point: the very percentage of unemployed or underemployed college degree holders cited above.
Explain how you’ll fit in
All right, so you’ve subtly, yet plainly explained to your interviewer that you are an asset for a given number of practical reasons. Next on the checklist that comes with the art of selling your professional skills comes enthusiasm and positivity. Some might find such concepts over-hyped or cliché – everybody’s tired of hearing about a ‘pro-active’ attitude and how much that matters on the job. And the truth is that telling your prospective boss that you’re positive and enthusiastic won’t make much of a difference. Instead, focus on demonstrating your positive vibe and channeling your career vision.
This includes crossing off a few pointers on your list:
- Don’t complain about the job market. Everybody knows it’s been better. Instead, focus on how you’re keen on working – and on working for this particular company above all.
- Let your positivity shine through in your cover letter and resume. Be proud of all that you’ve achieved thus far and know how to frame yourself in a flattering light. Don’t sell yourself short, but be realistic, too. Let those pieces of writing highlight the most important aspects of your training and career and skip the fluff.
- Follow up on the interview with a brief thank you note that includes well-wishing. So what if you don’t get the job? At the very least, you made a good impression.
Throw the ball in their court
This is also a tip that’s been explained before, but its validity still stands. It’s important to ask questions about what you’d do on the job, as it goes a long way in demonstrating genuine interest. Ask about workflows and procedures, typical days on the job and the company’s organizational structure. Steer clear of talking money – yet expect to be asked about the level of compensation you’re seeking. If you’ve mastered the art of selling your professional skills, you’ll come prepared with a ballpark idea of how much someone in your line of work, with your experience and history ought to earn by industry standards.
The art of selling your professional skills is all about self-worth
At the end of the day, marketing your professional assets is all about how well you know yourself and how adept you are at promoting what you know about yourself as a skill. And it’s a skill worth mastering because, unless you’re in a creative field and have an agent, no one else is going to do it for you.