To be Humble? Or to Brag? How to sell yourself

How to sell yourself

Have you ever sold yourself? An idea? Put across a position to persuade someone to your way of thinking? … Well, have you ever been interviewed? Convinced another person to watch the latest hit TV show or Movie? Got someone to meet you somewhere that was convenient to you or you wanted to try out? Then Yes, you have sold yourself/an idea, whether that makes sense or feels awkward to you on reflection, not only have you done it, but it’s taken confidence to do so. But do you ever catch yourself questioning how to sell yourself?

It does seem, however, as women we tend to fall into the category of being more humble in this respect, people-pleasing, doing what someone else wants to make life easy. Passing over a compliment like we didn’t deserve it or a well done at work like it was nothing. Vs our male counterparts who happily state what they want, display their achievements, make sure people are listening and repeat them, wait for the compliment. You could almost say they brag. But what is so wrong with bragging? Let’s think of some typical scenarios:

The Interview

You’ve likely interviewed for a job, at some point in your life. Whether it is something you’ve desperately wanted & pulled out all the stops preparing for & googling on. Or you desperately need to pay the bills and put food on the table. In either situation you need to prove to the stranger sat across from you that a) you want the job b) you can do the job & c) over anybody else you should get the job.

But how to sell yourself in an interview? Well, what is an interview but a sales pitch of you? You know you have to tell the interviewer everything you can, every example and anecdote that shows you have the skills that they’re looking for. You’re both a team player and capable of working independently. You’re great at communication, spinning plates, doing what you’re told and thinking for yourself … And if you don’t sell yourself, who’s going to?

Did you know men will apply for a job when they possess only 40% of the job description attributes, whereas women only when it’s 90%?

The First Date

The chances are when you go on a date with someone it’s because you want to be there and you want the other person to like you. Not only do you dress up, do your hair, your make-up, but when you are sat in front of them you profess how accomplished you are and show all the best qualities you possess. You don’t sit and give them the 101 on all the possible negative qualities, quirks and quibbles that you’re pretty certain would send them running (well not intentionally anyway).

So are you not selling yourself to the other person? If you have 7 seconds to make a first impression, you’re gonna start with the good stuff and make it count.

How to sell yourself in a meeting

The Meeting

Whether it’s a presentation at work or with the bank manager, the same rules apply. You come prepared and you come as the best version of yourself. You walk the walk, talk the talk and all the other clichés that are clichés for a reason – because they are true.

If you’ve done the work you want to show it or if you deserve the loan you want to prove it. You know it & you owe it to yourself to be that best version of yourself.

A little perspective: For every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p!! All-male founder teams get 89p, and mixed-gender teams 10p.

I hear you say ‘but these are the exceptions’ … OK, … Should they be?

Confidently sell yourself

Yes, it is nice to be humble, polite even to not overly dwell on a thank you or compliment, but to barely acknowledge them, to the point we dismiss and forget they were even spoken? To not go for the job because we think we won’t be good enough even though WE WANT IT? To always be people-pleasing over choosing what actually works best for you? Maybe it’s better to be less humble then.

Confidence is choosing to sell yourself when it matters and being humble only when it is polite to do so.

Telling people you achieved something because it lights you up, or you’re damned proud = confidence in yourself that you earnt.

& If sometimes, just sometimes that sounds like a brag? Well, the stats above don’t lie, doesn’t seem to harm our male counterparts too much.

How to sell yourself
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