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You Are Your Own Best Advocate: 4 Ways to Prove It (And Get the Job)

by Jenny Kriha

Are you starting a job search? As you’re applying, networking, and searching for your perfect role, keep in mind that you are your own best advocate. Whether you are making a career move or going for a complete overhaul, you have the best and most recent information when representing yourself to those you meet.  Anyone can look good on paper, or even come up with a few solid references, but when you interact with others, keep in mind that you are your best source for illuminating your passions and successes.

As a frequent networker myself, I am far more impressed with professionals who can describe situations where their skills stood out than with those who simply list off generic attributes. Use real life situations, with touch of modesty. It will not only show off your skills, but it’s a great way for others to gage what part of your career you’re most enthusiastic about. After all, showing off who you are is the best way to find the right fit for you.

Analyzing your experience and finding the best way to explain how you’ve built your skills is also a great exercise to know what types of companies you want to target and why. Every company has their own distinct culture and by understanding what you value in a company, and in your own role, you’re more likely to find a great culture fit.

To get started, keep these four tips in mind, whether you’re interviewing for a job or simply meeting someone new:

1. Tell a Story. 

Anyone can read a resume; only you can explain how valuable your experience has been. When interviewing, don’t read through your resume job by job. Talk about specific situations that helped you develop professionally. Pick three examples that stand out and explain why.

2. Get to Know the Company. 

If you’re interviewing for a job, remember that you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Ask them real-life questions you want to know about the role. If you end up working there every day, you don’t want to underestimate the importance of day-to-day functions and company culture.

3. Discuss Industry Experience. 

If you have industry specific experiences tie, them into the conversation.  If you don’t have industry specific experiences, all is not lost! There is likely a connection between your skills and this new opportunity. Simply focus on how your background will compliment the job.

4. Brag a Little. 

If you came from a rigorous and challenging environment, you don’t have to downplay your accomplishments. Be tactful and respectful in explaining past situations, and always point out the skills you developed out of the experience.

If you take away one element from this article, remember that no one can explain your skills and experiences quite like you can. Be your own best advocate and you’ll be better equipped to find your perfect fit!

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© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Andres

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